Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

University Presidents Make Statehouse Appeal For Higher Education Funding

    Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

    The campus of Indiana University East / Ivy Tech Community College / Purdue University College of Technology in Richmond.

    Indiana’s public university presidents are at the statehouse this week making their appeals for increased funding. From Indiana Public Broadcasting‘s Brandon Smith:

    A common theme among the university presidents Wednesday was proving to lawmakers that their school is working to reduce the cost of college for its students.

    Acting Purdue President Tim Sands says one of the ways the West Lafayette school aims to accomplish that is creating a more year-round schedule by increasing class offerings in the summer.

    “I think we’ll see much higher completion rates, much faster completion sometimes, but it will also allow students who do internships, study abroad to see less penalty in their time to graduation,” he says.Indiana State University president Daniel Bradley says his school is incentivizing students to finish on time through a graduation guarantee program offered to incoming freshman for the first time this year.

    “They will do certain things and we will do certain things and if they keep their promise, they’ll graduate in four years or we will make sure that they don’t pay any more tuition in order to finish up,” he says.

    Bradley also says the school is outsourcing a number of services, including its motor vehicle fleet and student health services, as an effort to reduce costs.

    Officials from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education have asked lawmakers to increase funding for the state’s colleges and universities so the schools can keep tuition costs down. Higher education institutes are trying to show the legislature they’re doing their part with programs aimed at helping students graduate on time, like Purdue’s year-round academic calendar and Indiana State’s guarantee.

    The commission’s recommendation is non-binding. Keeping tuition increases at the rate of inflation would require the state kick in $128 million more tax dollars between now and 2015.

    Last year lawmakers called for greater state control over tuition increases, but a proposal to cap the amount public colleges and universities could charge died in committee.

    Indiana University and Ball State make their appeals Thursday. If you’re interested in funding for higher education, IU President Michael McRobbie will be on WFIU’s Noon Edition Friday talking about performance-based funding and privatization.


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