November 18, 2003
Legislators (still) unclear on the concept

The University of Texas says it still plans to exercise its newly given freedom to raise tuition, and the people that gave them that freedom still don't get it.

The legislative oversight committee will meet next month to assess how higher education institutions are using their newly won ability to set their own fees and tuition, said Sen. Florence Shapiro, co-chairman of the committee. [Lt. Gov. David] Dewhurst on Friday asked the committee to review current and future tuition increases and the universities' proposals for financial aid to students who can least afford tuition increases.

Shapiro, R-Plano, said the committee will look at decreases in state funding as well as tuition hikes. In January, when increases go into effect at a number of institutions, the committee will survey the effects the hikes had on enrollments.

"We gave the power back to the local universities because we did not fund them the way they needed to be funded," said Shapiro. "But we want to make sure they don't abuse this new authority."

Yo, Flo. If the Lege wants to have some say over UT's tuition, then it shouldn't have deregulated its tuition structure. I don't think this is a difficult concept to grasp, but you and Dewhurst are doing your best to make it look that way. This has nothing to do with whether or not deregulating was a good idea, though I'm sure there are plenty of Longhorns who are happy to see you struck with buyer's remorse. It's just common sense.

UPDATE: Check out this Daily Texan editorial and this handy Tuition Deregulation for Dummies graphic, both via Burnt Orange.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 18, 2003 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack

If I know Republicans, I doubt they're feeling buyer's remorse. Rather, they are publically trying to make the universities of the state out to be the bad guys. They knew exactly what they were doing when they gave that power up. They wanted to make higher education harder to obtain so that the labor force becomes more desparate, then people begin working for lower wages and fewer benefits. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

Posted by: Blake on November 18, 2003 4:38 PM