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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Editorial: Regents made a painful but necessary call

The Arizona Board of Regents deliberated tuition proposals from the state’s three university presidents for several hours on Thursday, weighing students’ wallets against devastating budget cuts. It’s not melodramatic if it’s true.

At the conclusion of Thursday’s meeting, the regents approved a $1,500 increase in annual base tuition for resident undergraduates and graduate students, along with a $750 rebate for undergraduate residents. The rebate comes from rainy day funds set aside for projects and to address budget cuts by the Arizona Legislature.

Also on Thursday, Gov. Jan Brewer announced she’d signed the state’s budget for fiscal year 2012. Brewer called the balanced budget “”quite an accomplishment.”” It’s the kind of accomplishment in which universities take a $198 million cut. Of that, the UA will see an estimated $78 million loss. Since 2008, the UA has already seen a $100 million reduction in state funding.

Regent Mark Killian said the proposals were too high, given the economic climate. The sentiment should be appreciated, considering students have argued the same thing every year. But in the end, Killian voted in agreement with the proposed increases, allowing them to pass 7-to-2.

There are no easy decisions when you’re looking at a $198 million hole. As easy as it would be to decry another painful hike in tuition, it would also be pretty pointless. The idea that education should be “”nearly as free as possible”” is a lovely notion, but also incredibly lofty. The regents did what they had to.

“”The Legislature has given us no choice,”” Killian said. “”We’re making the best of a very bad situation.””

And he was absolutely right.

 

— Editorials are determined by the Daily Wildcat editorial board and written by one of its members. They are Kristina Bui, Ken Contrata, Michelle A. Monroe and Heather Price-Wright. They can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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