The Arizona Desert Lamp

Shelton giveth, and Shelton taketh away

Posted in Politics by Connor Mendenhall on 13 February 2009

Bad news on the fee front from the Arizona Daily Star:

University of Arizona President Robert Shelton said he intends to seek permission from the Board of Regents to increase costs for students. That is on top of other moves to balance next year’s budget, including requiring employees to take five days off without pay.

But Shelton, who persuaded the regents in December to approve a $545 hike in tuition, said he doesn’t plan to boost that. Instead, he said students next school year will face higher fees. Those fees, however, will not be the traditional fees for things like health services.

“It would be a fee tied to what the state did not fund,” Shelton said.

For example, he said, all students may be charged a set amount to maintain the university’s library system. And Shelton said there also could be a specific fee to pay the university’s utility bills.

Hiking fees instead of tuition also means more students would pay. The plan approved in December by the regents guaranteed that returning students would not see their tuition increase by more than 5 percent a year. That cap, however, does not cover fees.

You can thank your student regent for reversing this year’s tuition decision to push through the now irrelevant five percent plan, by the way.

“State-didn’t-fund-it” fees seem to me the epitome of pettiness from our president,  a truly weak way to live up to an already-dodgy deal with the Board of Regents. If these fees are imposed, they ought at the very least to come with one semester sunset provisions attached, to keep students from shouldering the electric bill two decades hence. Perhaps they could even be put to a student referendum, so we could decide whether UA needs another fiscal quickie or a serious effort to wean itself from the whims of the state. The Regents ought to deny this request, not because it’s unfair to ask students to chip in a little more when times are tough, but because it’s another bit of skullduggery as opaque as the first. I’m not holding out hope.


3 Responses

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  1. […] a source that wishes to remain anonymous, it would seem that PIRG is jumping onto the student fee bandwagon: Hello *******, My name is Lisa and I’m with the Arizona Public Interest Research Group […]

  2. […] also highlighted how the “feeing” has only just begun — already, PIRG and President Shelton have lined up at the fee trough. Judging from reports around the country, students can also look […]

  3. […] on February 19th, 2009 First, the Daily Wildcat editorial board, in cautious concurrence with my opinion on President Shelton’s proposed fees to make up for state budget cuts: In a story published […]

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