Bend over, students

The board of trustees and administrators are poised to shift more of the financial burden onto your backs.

On Friday, they reviewed plans to implement a 3.5 percent tuition increase over the next two years.

Their poor financial management and staggering enrollment overestimate have left the university with a $7 million hole that, apparently, only we — the students — can fill.

The push to raise tuition comes on the heels of a national report released earlier this month by the Project on Student Debt. The report places Ohio seventh in average student debt. Nearly 70 percent of Ohio students have debt, averaging nearly $28,000 per student in 2010.

A report released on Nov. 9 indicates that three out of four students between 18 and 24 years old are finding a college education harder to afford now compared to five years ago.

Many students attend YSU because it’s affordable. These students sacrifice size and reputation so they can put gas in their tanks to get to school.

Yet, every facet of our education is under fire.

While tuition is hiked, the Cabinet’s six-figure salaries can’t be touched.

Budget reductions for departments were highlighted with the $1.2 million cut in academic affairs, ultimately affecting our classrooms and coursework. While barely $55,000 was cut from Tod Hall and the office of the president, all other departments lost between $175,000 and $750,000.

A meager $350,000 donation from the administration is nice for public perception, but it’s only 5 percent of the $6.87 million the president, her Cabinet, college deans and department chairs rake in. And they’re only 55 of the 211 non-union employees asked to contribute. Imagine if everyone carried the burden equally.

But, anyway, thanks for the change. We’re sure it was cluttering your $50,000 SUVs.

Only one trustee at the board meeting, Leonard Schiavone, mounted sincere concern about placing additional financial strains on students, which stirred seemingly coerced agreement.

If the board truly feels remorse over increasing tuition, it should look elsewhere.

It’s cut operating budgets for every department, increased tuition for students, frozen hiring, collected peanuts from your cohorts, and downsized staff and faculty, yet it still can’t find another way out of this mess.

Perhaps it isn’t a revenue issue but more of a management concern.

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