One extra year of college costs students more than a 100% tuition increase

Updated with a letter in the ODE from a variety of student groups raising questions about the administration’s seriousness in consulting them about the tuition increases, here:

University of Oregon campus community,

On Jan. 4, a new term began for most students at the UO, and with that began another round of weekly talks about tuition with the Tuition & Fees Advisory Board. This board is comprised primarily of administrators and faculty, with two students appointed by students and two students appointed by the administration. At the start of the term, guaranteed tuition was off the table for 2016-2017, and administrators presented an increase of 4.7 percent for in-state students and 4.46 percent for out-of-state students. Over the course of the year, if a student were to take an average of 15 credits per term — the required amount for graduation in four years — than this would amount to an increase of about $484 for in-state students and $1,428 for out-of state students per year. Factor in the duration of loan payment and interest rates, and students will be paying this increase back for many years to come.

The student representatives, including the ASUO President Helena Schlegel, opposed this increase and looked forward to negotiating ways to adjust the budget in order to reduce the proposed tuition and fee increases. During the week of Jan. 25, the student participants left the meeting a few minutes early in order to make it to class. The rest of the group came to a consensus about the 4.7 percent increase after the student representatives left.

Both student-nominated representatives were informed on Monday, Feb. 1 that this decision had been made, as well as that all remaining TFAB meetings for the year would be canceled as they were no longer deemed necessary. …

2/7/2016: In response to popular demand I’m posting some info about the tuition increase debate.

The feds make UO post this cost of attendance information:

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But these numbers ignore the biggest component of college costs: the wages students give up by not working. Even for the lowest earning group of college majors – Humanities – the median starting salary was $36,237 last year, according to the NACE:

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So when a student takes 5 instead of 4 years to graduate, it costs them more than would a 100% increase in UO’s out-of-state tuition, or a 300% increase in in-state tuition.

This is the argument Mike Schill made to the Eugene City Club on Friday: let’s make UO cheaper by getting students graduated more quickly, rather than fighting over a 4.7% tuition increase. KVAL has video, here:

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Last year UO’s students shut down the Trustees meeting with a demonstration over tuition increases. Lillis and Coltrane looked like deer in the headlights. But this year we’ve got a President who is talking sense.

Will the students listen, or demonstrate and shut down the March 3-4 Trustee’s meeting too? Here’s the Daily Emerald’s report, more here. It turns out our students are talking sense too:

Schlegel demanded “The Three Asks,” including a 3.5 percent tuition increase for both resident and non-resident students, University’s support for the corporate tax measure and funding for the Oregon Opportunity Grant.

The “corporate tax measure” is the Better Oregon ballot initiative for a 2.5% tax on corporate sales, which would apparently increase state tax revenue by 25%. The legislature is considering a watered down version, which would still lead to significant increases in state revenue and the likelihood of more state higher education funding.

So surely this legislation is a priority for the UO Board of Trustees? Nope, not even on their list. The only tax increase that UO’s Board of Trustees want is a 1 percentage point increase in the hotel tax, to subsidize a track meet:

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So it should be an interesting Board meeting.

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12 Responses to One extra year of college costs students more than a 100% tuition increase

  1. Robert's Rules says:

    Not too hard for the students to avoid in the future. Leave one person, call quorum, meeting is over. Or, if you don’t have enough representation to affect a quorum call, you weren’t ever going to be able to make a difference on the vote in the first place.

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    • Objection! says:

      There’s still a quorum even with no students in the room, so the latter.

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  2. Dogmatic Ratios says:

    Tuition rates matter in many cases, and these cases should be tracked by a public-service university. Timeliness, and course load, are worth considering, in the mix of constraints the student copes with, but they have no special status in ensuring a quality education. And … why would anyone conclude that they are not being considered? Graduation figures do not reveal such things. What about students who need to work, in order to attend school at all? Or students with families, or those starting businesses, or those taking care of relatives, or those with other goals and responsibilities? What about the time needed to actually judge and integrate course material into one’s worldview and life, rather than treat it as something to complete and forget, so one can more quickly become a wage-slave?

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  3. Schill a lot of money says:

    The elephant in the room at City Club Schills humongous salary. Divide Schill’s $850,000 pay package by the $484 tuition hike per in-state student and you get 1,756. So it takes a tuition hike on almost 2,000 students to cover the president’s big paycheck. Obviously, the poor guy needs to get paid, but if the trustees could hold it to only about four times what the governor makes, then they could cut the tuition hike in half.

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    • Let's do some math says:

      Ignoring the issue of whether anyone is “overpaid,” whatever that means: If Schill were paid 4x the governor’s salary, which would be about $400k, that would certainly not “cut the tuition hike in half.” Even if the salary savings of $450k were applied only to in-state students, this works out to $45 per student. ($450,000 divided by about 10,000 in-state students.) $45 is *not* half of the $500/student fee increase.

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    • anonymous says:

      You know, he accepted the deal that was offered him. A little late to complain now. Given the miserable experience of recent UO presidents, and given UO’s precarious situation e.g. vis a vis the AAU, I can understand how he might have demanded that much to come here.

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  4. Dog says:

    Salary issues:

    I person X gets a large salary and is incompetent and harmful then bitch, moan and shoot.

    If person Y gets a large salary and is competent, fair and helps the organization to improve, salute and move on

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    • uomatters says:


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      • Sun Tzu says:

        Why does UOM continue to shill for Schill?

        Our new president has bought the bullshit from Jamie Moffitt that we are in financial difficulty (we are not), has forced the weak interim CAS dean to make significant cuts to departments, has allowed the law school subsidies to continue, has done nothing to reduce the excesses of the athletic dept, and has not reduced administrative expenses.

        Schill continues to weaken the notion of shared governance and has not fired JH incompetents such as Coltrane and Moffitt. He has done nothing to improve graduate or undergraduate education nor has he improved general campus morale. Pet administrator projects continue to spring up like weeds and Shelton’s anti-instructional budget model continues to suck funds from colleges and departments.

        Schill supports having IAAF track meet at the UO and is in favor of the UO Foundation providing funds to backstop track meet expenses. He even has allowed Lanana to be exempt from UO Conflict of Interest/Commitment rules so that Lanana can have two simultaneous full time jobs (we faculty would be fired if we had such an arrangement).

        Schill’s annual pay package is outrageously high by Oregon standards and has a bonus clause that pays him an amazing $800K if he sticks around for 5 years and one day. Like his predecessors of the past 20 years, Schill talks a good game but has done very little to tangibly improve academics or morale.

        So I repeat, why does UOM continue to shill for Schill? Is it because UOM is Senate VP and next’s year’s Senate Pres and wants to develop some sort of working relationship and credibility with Schill? New flash to UOM: JH hates you today, tomorrow and always and there is nothing you can do to change that. Nothing. So stop kissing up and go back to telling it like it is. You are not a politician, you are a truthteller. Tell the truth about Schill and how he can’t do anything meaningful because he wants that 5 yr bonus and needs a recommendation from Lillis to get his next presidency job.

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      • Dog says:

        no enough data on Schill yet
        so he is X’

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  5. Oryx says:

    I continue to be surprised that students don’t protest tuition hikes more vocally and more energetically.

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