Posted Thursday, July 14, 2011 by Katie Hippert
With the constant buzz about budget cuts around campus, it’s almost impossible to avoid thinking about how students will be personally affected by the rise in tuition and the cuts made to programs. However, thanks to the combined efforts in protest of cuts by our students and ASUN leaders, several compromises have been made that will reduce the effect the cuts will have on students. Though students appear to remain positive about the future of the school, they still will face several changes due to the cuts.
ASUN President Casey Stiteler has been working through the budget cuts during some of the roughest times the University has seen in years. Stiteler admits that the fight isn’t over yet, but is proud of the programs that have been saved due to many meetings with state legislators and protest rallies. According to Stiteler, many majors will not be cut after the negotiations with legislators.
“The areas that had previous cuts that are going to be restored are mathematics, statistics, theater, education specialties, nutrition, philosophy, educational psychology, French, and educational leadership,” said Stiteler.
Director of Legislative Affairs Michael Stannard has also dedicated countless hours to working through the budget cut crisis with legislators. Though Stannard doesn’t see the budget going back to what it was five years, he thinks that it will stabilize as the economy improves.
“The total cuts, as proposed by the governor, were going to be 162 million dollars and that eventually got cut down to 85 million dollars. And so that was helpful,” said Stannard.
Ultimately students will be most affected by the thirteen percent increase in tuition that will take place in fall 2011. Undergraduate registration fees have gone up by 29 percent in the last two years. Graduate students will see a five percent increase in fall 2011 and another increase in fall 2012. Stiteler hopes that this will be that last increase students will see in tuition.
“Even with the struggles that we’ve had, students still want to go to school here. And because of that, I think, we’re still going to be able to see growth. Hopefully we can move into the future with students being able to afford school, the state being able to afford school, and everybody being able to get that education in the state,” said Stiteler.
Additional Impacts on Students:
-The Bureau of Mines and Geology will be downsized.
-The Theater and Dance Departments will streamline curriculum.
-The Athletic Departments will receive less funding.
-Student and facility services as well as libraries will be reduced.