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Decline of state support is what's hurting Ohio colleges



Published: Thu, June 30, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Decline of state support is what's hurting Ohio colleges

EDITOR:

Since I am a part-time graduate student at the University of Akron, I am well aware of the impact the tuition increases can have on students. Since I also received my undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio in 1955, I am also aware of where the real blame for the problem of the public universities and colleges becoming too expensive for Ohioans really lies. The legislators may be voicing concerns over this, but they are more than 30 years late with those concerns. While they are pointing their fingers at the boards of trustees, they should note where the other 3 fingers are pointing. Right straight back at them.

When I was at Miami University from 1951 to 1955, my tuition was $90 per semester, or $180 per year. If state aid were the same today as it was then, the tuition would, at the very most, be $900 per semester, or $1,800 per year at schools such as Akron and Miami. Comparatively less at Youngstown State, where tuition currently is one half that at Akron.

Why? The Legislature, since I graduated, has been cutting state support to the universities when there were difficulties with the state's financial picture. This is understandable. However, it was always done with the promise that the cuts would be restored when things improved. That promise was never kept. The present day tuition problem is the cumulative result of those unkept promises over the last 50 years. It would take more than a 100 percent increase in state aid to restore it to the 1955 level. The legislators can disclaim responsibility for what was done in the past all they want, but the General Assembly is a continuing body, through its members may change. When they took the oath of office, they assumed responsibility for everything done in the past.

Maybe the argument that tuition hikes are necessary do not impress the Republican leaders in the General Assembly. They had better pay attention. That tuition cap is just a ploy to cover up the real source of the problem. Higher education of the variety that would impress potential high tech employers is by its very nature a labor intensive process. Cut too many corners, and the process will suffer much more than it has. What would these "leaders" (and Mr. de Souza) do if the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools put some Ohio colleges and universities on probation, or worse, revoke their accreditation. And don't for one minute think it can't happen. It has once already.

Of course the column was mainly focused on President Sweet, the administrators, and the classified employees, and the quite stupid administrative study of those salaries. When he is compared to top grade college presidents such as Dr. Garland of Miami University, maybe Sweet's salary is exorbitant. Yet, how many yearly tuition's cover that salary? 40.

JEROME STEPHENS

Warren

Don't blame the poor cat

EDITOR:

I was such a cute kitten. When my owner brought me home, I got lots of attention. Then as I got bigger, the attention came less and less; it's now nonexistent. I was allowed to roam the whole house, then I was exiled to the basement. Soon a dog came into the home. I'm afraid of the dog. I cannot get to the litter box.

Now I'm out of the house. I'm hungry and I've lost weight. I have no litter box so I used my neighbor's flower bed, now they're mad at me. Here comes that black cat up the street. I wonder if his owners threw him out, or if he left to find food, or a friendly pat. There's that mean yellow striped cat. I have to hide from him, he scratches and bites me. I wish my owner would find me a new home, or let me in and take care of me. The neighbors are getting mad at me. It's not my fault -- I'm just a cat.

Something will have to be done. We have at least seven cats running the neighborhood. Dogs have to be licensed and on a leash, why not cats? If people don't care for their animals, the neighbors are troubled, discontented, distressed or downright angry.

LOUISE MONTI

Austintown




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