NDSU student leaders back tuition increase
FARGO -- Student leaders fully back North Dakota State University's proposal to raise tuition rather than face program cuts. The NDSU Student Senate on Sunday unanimously agreed to support tuition increases "up to the amount that ensures our qual...
FARGO -- Student leaders fully back North Dakota State University's proposal to raise tuition rather than face program cuts.
The NDSU Student Senate on Sunday unanimously agreed to support tuition increases "up to the amount that ensures our quality of education does not suffer" and continues to succeed.
NDSU President Dean Bresciani will present an 8.8 percent tuition increase today to the state Board of Higher Education.
Bresciani told a higher education subcommittee Thursday that core academic programs would face cuts without a tuition increase that deviates from the state-mandated 2.5 percent cap.
Cam Knutson, NDSU student body president, called the increases the "lesser of two evils."
"We do not want to be in this situation, but the corner we feel we're backed into, it's this or cutting core programs," Knutson said.
Knutson and other senators said they've heard from students who oppose raising tuition, but it comes down to the dire budget situation NDSU faces.
Brock Schmeling, a senator for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, said the university needs to be funded more equitably compared to other state schools.
For example, according to figures prepared by the Legislative Council, NDSU received about $16 million less than UND during the 2009-11 biennium in the general fund budget, not including UND's medical school. NDSU served the equivalent of 4,000 more full-time students in that biennium than UND did.
"If we could go over those things and get more students to understand it, I think more people would be on board" in support a tuition increase, said Knutson, who will attend today's higher education meeting at Bismarck State College.
NDSU's budget concerns have deepened over the past decade as the school's enrollment increased and programs and athletics succeeded, Knutson said.
"It's come to the point where this funding model has put us in jeopardy of losing all of those things," he said.
Ashley Lane, an NDSU senior who didn't attend Sunday's senate vote, said she isn't happy about a tuition bump but is willing to pay more if it means keeping programs.
"It stinks that they're going to raise it just because it's hard on us economically, but I know that they're probably having hard times, too," she said.