Concrete suggestions for improvement

We wrote a long and vague resolution that did not go anywhere, but I would be for making much more frequent, short recommendations, and repeating them. Two possibilities follow.

Tuition and fees

The rising cost of tuition and fees is untenable. For universities to be a public good, public higher education, like secondary education, must be accessible and affordable to all, supported by general tax revenues as it was until just three decades ago. Selective taxation of only the students who get that education, and of their families, should give way to general tax support, since the benefits of HE accrue to all of society and the nation.

A first step could be to cap tuition and fees immediately, then institute an annual reduction. A 7% reduction per year will halve tuition in ten years. California has studied a “$48 Fix” as the amount per capita that would return CA to its 1960 Master Plan for tuition-free UC and CSU systems, and AAUP has endorsed it.

Through local chapters and state conferences, the AAUP could monitor and support the above, to see that the reductions are on track.

Administrative bloat

In recent years, administrative personnel have grown at ten times that of tenure-track faculty. In the UC system, the ratio of faculty to administrator ratio was 5 in 1994, 1 in 2009 and it has grown even smaller since. We would need to get the figures for Louisiana.

These two things alone would do so very much, and would generate so much other conversation.

Axé.


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