Comments about ‘Pulling the plug — A perfect storm is brewing that could change higher education’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 27 2011 11:00 p.m. MST

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Cali Coug
Visalia, CA

Fund UVU, pull money from the u to support UVU.

Springville, UT

There are a couple of things things that should be put on the table. First, university endowment funds are getting irrationally high and universities seem to be in a competition with one another to see who can build the biggest one. This may not be much of an issue with UVSU, but around the country it is huge. At some universities, there is enough money to give each student a free education and still have revenue in the black. The money in these endowments should be used for educational purposes, not to enrich Wall Street and build ego of the schools. Perhaps a tax scheme should be devised for the bloated endowments. Use the money for educational purposes or face a very high tax for the privilege. These are supposed to be non-profit organizations. Second, like any family who is short on money and has cut the household budget to the bone, perhaps it is time to raise some money, meaning taxes.

  • 6:40 a.m. Feb. 28, 2011
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Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

In the current debate over higher education cuts, it would seem appropriate to look at which universities receive the highest percentage of funding from the State and why. When the range is from 45% for UVU to 79% for an unnamed university, I think I know where I would begin to look for efficiencies.

Kearns, UT

At the time I attended the University of Utah, in the 1980s, tuition increases exceeded the rate of inflation every year. The University's explaination was that in the 1970s they had not increased tuition to match the rate of inflation and now needed to catch up. Here we are 20+ years later, tuition has outpaced inflation every year, now the explaination is state funding cuts. I begin to doubt the various explainations for the continual increases.

Sugar City, ID

Utahns need to elect more retired people who are looking out for their grandchildren rather than real estate salespeople and network marketers who hate all taxes and look out for their own interests only.

Salt Lake City, UT

Just a few years ago, UVU became a university when it added an MBA program to its curriculum. Is that change a source of at least some of its financial problems - too much growth too quickly?

Hey It's Me
Salt Lake City, UT

My daughter moved to Utah just out of high school. She got a job and attended UVU. My husband and I couldn't afford to pay for her college, so she applied for financial aid (Student Loan) which she unlike many other is paying back. My point is she was charged out of state tuition even though she was a working tax payer who was a leagal citizen of the United States. It was hard for her to come up with the money but she did it. We need to quit giving free education to people who break the law. That would help the governement and the schools. I have no problem with anyone who wants to come to America and do it legally but when you are given my tax dollars as an illegal to go to school but my daughter had to work really hard to put herself through school there is something wrong with the picture.

tooele, ut

When I was in college in 2008 they were installing a million dollar clock tower. Can someone explain how this clock tower added value to my education? To continue my attitude of entitlement? Go look at how tuition has risen over the years. It does not match inflation; it does not match the rate of pay raises. In recent years the federal government made low interest student loans very accessible. Colleges saw how much money these students could get access to and they wanted more (classical greed). These colleges justified it by installing computer labs, having plush couches, fancy landscaping, installing statues, and best for last.. Clock towers! I cant argue with computer labs, but how do those other things add to my education? The whole time they had the excess money, teachers werent getting pay raises. So now when they try and cut teaches pay because of bad economic times, its not fair because they got none of the spoils during the good times. All above references are about college I went to, so I am not saying this typical at the state level, but it is what happened at my school.

Clearfield, UT

Every major University provides their president a generous salary and a nice home to live at taxpayers expense. I have seen the residence provided to the U of U president. Definetely high end. How many professors just do research instead of teach? I have always wondered why private business can't hire them instead. I am not against research just want to see those who benefit the most pay for it.

Waiting for someone to put a post on here blaming it all on illegal immigration.

Clearfield, UT

Hey its me. You are talking about students brought here as children by their parents. They have lived here most of their life, and attended school here. Please explain what law they broke? And how many are we talking about? I suspect not enough to have a much of an impact on funding. I Knew someone would find a way to sneak immigration into this discussion.

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

@ Allan - the growth is certainly an issue for UVU. It is not a matter of being a university per se but the fact that demographics along with becoming a university have added huge enrollment numbers. These same students would have been looking for spots at the U, USU, Weber State, and maybe even SUU has UVU not picked up the slack. So, while UVU was taking in larger numbers of new and continuing students than the other universities in the system, state funding was not keeping up with that growth resulting in part of the percentage differentials. The remainder is largely due to the fact that faculty and administrators at UVU have been hired in largely at pre-university salary levels. A comparison with Weber State, the most similar university in the system, would show a wage gap of 10 to 20 percent in most cases. That number would increase significantly were the comparison to be with the U or USU, more research oriented institutions.

As to the MBA, with 41 students in the initial class and paying graduate tuition, this is basically self-funded.

Salt Lake City, UT

You can not continue to use a 16th century education delivery model designed as a guild to withhold product and increase revenues and meet the need for education in 21st century Utah. Higher Ed. must change its vision and model of deliver. The state should require efficiency increases of 5 to 10 percent each year for the next 10 years in each institution or budget cuts to encourage the redirection.

Sugarhood, UT

This is a drag for students and families of students trying to get through college. That being said, the cost to benefit ratio for higher education in Utah for residents is pretty remarkable, particulary at the University of Utah, which consistently rates in the top 100 schools in the nation. Tuition has gone up significantly over the years, but it still one of the best deals in the country. Weber also has a few departments that rank very highly, and Utah State is one of the premier schools in the country for agricultural and husbandry education. None of those schools are Harvard, of course, but for a fraction of Harvard's cost they provide a quality education that's pretty well respected, out west at least.

In the interest of disclosure, my perspective is greatly colored by my long, not neccessarily pleasant affilitation with the UC system. Like many things Californian, their unsustainable business model is falling apart and they're trying to keep it together with the pocketbooks of students and faculty.

Rock Chalk BYU
Lawrence, KS

@ Esquire, you have to include the donors on this conversation. University endowments are not one large lump of cash, but rather a million little pigeon holes, that are bound by the donor's wishes. The money might be given to Department X to support Activity Y, and the university's hands are tied and they can't give it to Student Z.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If UVU is planning on an expansion they cannot afford without huge increases in funding by the taxpayers, then they need to change their plan.

I could plan to buy a huge mansion, a dozen fancy cars and jewelry for the spouse. But, if my income does not match the planned expenditures, then I must change the plan to reduce spending or find a better job or a second job to be able to afford my planned purchases.

You would think that a bunch of bright PhD types would figure out basic economics issues like that.

Just demanding more money from taxpayers is a non-starter. Especially when higher ed has been raising their prices (tuition) every year for decades at higher rates than inflation. What have they done with all that money? Or, do they have the "entitlement" disease so prevalent in our country today?

Hurricane, UT

can someone please answer a question for me. how can a university with an endowment fund the size of uvu's plead poverty?

Provo, UT

I hope that Utah can find a better way of coping than the rest of the nation, and that we can become one of the top states for Higher Education. I think that in the long run, it will be worth the investment as the state will attract bigger and better businesses because of the trained and educated people. Also, if we can lead the nation in education, it will increase Utah's influence on the rest of the country in many other areas.

I hope that the Utah legislature finds a way to continue to invest in higher ed and not cut too much more.

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

@ DN Subscriber - UVU is not the one pushing for huge increases in enrollment, it is being demanded of UVU by the Commissioner's office and the legislators you and I elected to make such decisions. Indeed, Matt Holland, in his State of the University address, said that UVU cannot meet that mission without the funding and would, therefore have to renegotiate its mission It appears then that "a bunch of bright PhD types 'd'd" figure out basic economics issues". I am quite confident that the bright UVU PhDs are capable of doing the easy thing, limiting enrollments by ceasing to be an open enrollment institution. What that means is that only the applicants with good grades will be admitted - second chances for those who did not do well in high school will be curtailed.

@ busted - what is the size of UVU's endowment? What has it produced in terms of spendable revenues over the past few years? Where does that money go? Now compare that with endowments for BYU, U of U, USU, and so on. Within this context, I suspect your post would take on a different tenor.

Sugar City, ID

Are we to understand that you are not a part of the movement back from Democracy to Republic to Aristocracy to Kings or the original intent of our 16th Century founders of our Constitution?

Say What?
Bountiful, UT

Who needs universities? We have talk radio.

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