After Lawmakers Balk, UW-La Crosse Backs Off Its Diversity Plan - Higher Education

Higher Education News and Jobs

After Lawmakers Balk, UW-La Crosse Backs Off Its Diversity Plan

Email




by Associated Press

MADISON Wis.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is backing off a controversial plan to increase diversity and financial aid by raising all students’ tuition, the school’s chancellor said Tuesday.

Chancellor Joe Gow said he would still seek a tuition increase but will use the money to improve quality rather than add diversity to the overwhelmingly white and increasingly well-off student body.

The university will use the increase to add at least 500 students and dozens of professors to reduce class sizes, which are the highest in the UW System, Gow said.

His latest proposal comes days after state lawmakers rejected a plan to increase tuition by $1,320 over three years. University leaders had pitched that tuition hike as a way to expand and increase diversity without using tax dollars.

The proposal called for adding 1,000 students, with half of them from low-income families or minorities. The higher tuition would have been used to increase financial aid and need-based scholarships and boost efforts to recruit minorities.

Some Republican critics dubbed the plan “a tuition hike for diversity.” Democrats, meanwhile, said it made no sense to try to improve access by raising tuition. Both sides worried the increase would hurt middle-class families.

The state budget approved last week rejects that plan, saying tuition cannot be used to cover financial aid. In other words, the university can’t charge one student more so that another can pay less.

Gow now says he will scale back the diversity component of the growth plan and use state tax dollars, not tuition, for financial aid.

Related:  South Africa: Protesting Students Torch University Buildings

“This plan is really more focusing on growth and quality” rather than access, he said. “I think the concept of using tuition to fund financial aid was one that probably didn’t get enough scrutiny in the outset. Now, we know clearly that is a major issue for legislators from both parties and both chambers.”

Gow said he would ask the UW System Board of Regents to approve a higher tuition rate for the campus in the coming weeks. The increase will likely be slightly lower than the $1,320 originally sought, apply only to new students and go into effect next fall.

Undergraduate students at the university pay $5,830 in tuition this year. The university has about 8,600 students.

The regents have the authority to set tuition rates. But the university asked lawmakers to approve the original plan, however, because it would have used tuition money to pay for financial aid for the first time.

Gow said he wants to present the plan to the regents, who govern the UW System of 13 four-year universities, at their meeting next week in Madison or in December.

Earlier this year, the regents approved a $1,000 annual increase for business students at UW-Madison.



© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com

RELATED ARTICLES >>
University of Colorado Business Dean Accused of Gender Discrimination to Resign BOULDER, Colo. ― The dean of University of Colorado’s business school is resigning from his position amid allegations of gender discrimination. The Daily Camera reports David Ikenberry said in a resignation letter Monday he thinks the Leeds School...
Clemson Defends Prayer Policy after Man Told to Move CLEMSON, S.C. ― Clemson University is defending its policy after a staff member asked a man praying on campus last week to remove a sign or leave. Local media reported a man had a “Prayer” sign Aug. 25 when he was asked to remove the sign or file ...
Helene Fuld College of Nursing Tops List of Best Community Colleges Looking to choose the best from the dizzying array of the nation’s community colleges? WalletHub ranked 821 community colleges from best to worst, looking at career outcomes, education outcomes, and cost and financing. New York City’s Helene Fu...
A Recipe for Success in Educating STEM Leaders Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a local science conference. Because it was free, I took my upper-level chemistry class. There were only three, so there was not an issue of space, reservations or anything. Dr. Rose Stiffin W...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *