By Megan Brewer–
U of L’s Board of Trustees had three different budget discussions the week of May 14 to find ways to fill the $48 million shortage in 2017-18, but not all of the trustees showed up to at least one of them.
U of L is in the midst of a hiring frost, trying to drive up enrollment and attempting to fill the gap in funding, but the full board didn’t even show enough concern to show up to the workshop May 16.
The options presented to fix the $48 million gap aren’t going to do much. The board is considering putting more financial burdens on U of L students with increased parking and housing prices.
Is it fair to push the problems onto the students?
For the Board of Trustees, probably so, because it’s easy. Making students pay higher prices for parking and housing is an easy way for the university to get more money out of students.
Students have to park and live somewhere, so going after those things seems like a simple win for U of L. The problem is this doesn’t even lessen the $48 million shortfall much. The parking price hikes would only bring in $157, 400.
U of L is already losing students to financial problems, so raising prices for parking and housing would only increase the issue. For U of L to make a significant impact in the shortage while simultaneously pushing the burden on the students, these prices will continue to rise.
The board’s willingness to throw the burden onto students concerns the future for students at U of L.
Will increased and extra fees visit students every year? Will this cause U of L to lose more students from year to year? Why is the board not finding more sufficient ways to fill the $48 million gap?
The answers: most likely “yes,” “yes,” and “who knows.”
U of L’s Board of Trustees seem to be off in space somewhere disregarding the university financial issues and pretending they’re actually coming up with solutions.
They don’t seem concerned about the fact increasing prices will drive more students away rather than bring more in. They also don’t seem concerned how this will effect students currently enrolled at the university.
As a student, I’m nervous for what’s going to be coming out of my pocket to attend U of L in the future.