To the Editor: BGSU can cut fees, boost enrollment PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Dick Conrad   
Monday, 30 November 2009 09:58
The Sentinel-Tribune reported earlier this year on BGSU President Carol Cartwright's "State of the University" address.
The following are quotes from the article: (1) "Enrollment vitality equals fiscal sustainability," (2) "The more we grow the student population in both numbers and quality, the more we are able to fulfill our mission and to the things we aspire to do." (3) "It is critical that enrollment increase in fall 2010." (4) "Enrollment has declined in the past three years."
Over the past 20-30 years most state supported universities in Ohio have increased their fees and other charges dramatically. Most of these universities are competing for the same student pool. This pool is shrinking because many prospective students just cannot afford the continually escalating cost of a 4-year college program.
So why not cut your fees and other charges by 10-20 percent?
If BGSU were to do this you would get the attention of students world wide and especially their parents, who pay the bills.
I think it can be done by using the following ideas:
(1) Go back to the university governing model used for hundreds of years - up until about 1960, where the primary purpose of a university was to educate students and the primary purpose of the president, vice presidents, deans, chairs and directors was to manage the university.
(2)  If an undergraduate class doesn't have 30 students enrolled in the program, or a graduate class doesn't have 12 students in it, it doesn't make it. If an undergraduate program doesn't have 30 students enrolled in the program, or a graduate program doesn't have 12 students in the program, then the program should be phased out. Also, look at what constitutes a valid teaching load. By eliminating many of the "other duties" and committee work, maybe a faculty member could teach more than three three-hour classes a week.
Another way to reduce expenses is by not laying off valuable and dedicated employees, but to do the following: Anyone making more than $300,000, reduce their salary by 20 percent; anyone making more than $200,000, reduce their salary by 15 percent; anyone making more than $100,000, reduce their salary by 10 percent; anyone making more than $50,000, reduce their salary by 5 percent; and anyone making less than $50,000, no change.
Can you cut fees? Absolutely. Can you increase enrollment? Beyond your wildest dreams. Get back to the basics. Educate students and eliminate committees. Think outside the box. That's what you tell everyone, while you live very comfortably in the box.
Dick Conrad
Bowling Green


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