Tuition hike, budget cuts have FGCU bleeding
Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 21:07
In 2007, a now deceased lawyer, Ananda Padmanabhan, filed a lawsuit against Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple administration in Trivandrum, India. Padmanabhan alleged that underneath the temple, consecutive treasure vaults resided.
For centuries, the royal family managed Padmanabhaswamy’s temple. Legend claims treasure was sealed in the temple vaults for Vishu, the temple’s deity. In India, deities can own property, but are treated as a minor legally. Therefore, as long as an official guardian — who in this case turns out to be the royal family — represents the deity, treasure can be maintained in the name of the deity.
For centuries, in India and North America, elites have taken advantage of the populous in order to manipulate capital for their means. Those holding positions of power have often used the excuse that their control of society’s wealth “is in their best interest.”
However, if the scrupulous cannot trust those holding power, whom can they turn to? In America, college is the natural progression for those seeking further education after high school. Statistically, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s report entitled, “The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings,” 60 percent of high school seniors attend college and following graduation, are expected to earn over $900,000 more than those who chose not to attend college.
If the government says it, it must be true, right? Well, even Nixon may blush by the catastrophic economic gully young adults find themselves in nowadays.
Outstanding student debt in the United States has reached $1 trillion, which is more than the combined population’s credit card debt. Yet, colleges and universities continue to propose tuition increases.
John Sexton, the president of New York University, recently proposed a $6 billion budget to expand the university’s Greenwich Village campus. This ambitious plan will demolish two acres of green area and cause 2,000 families to relocate, 40 percent of which is their own faculty.
NYU does not project its expansion will be completed expediently, contrary to the manner in which FGCU’s South Village construction occurred. NYU is planning to take between 15 to 20 years to complete this project.
The money to construct the project is expected to come from tuition, since NYU doesn’t currently have an endowment to fund special projects. NYU clearly should implement the phrase “Caveat Emptor” in its application process.
On a local level, on June 19, the Florida Board of Governors was given two choices:
A. Increasing tuition by the requested 14 percent; or
B. Limit the increase to 12 percent, which still provides additional capital requested by FGCU.
Our Florida Board of Governors chose the latter.
Each year, universities under the “differential tuition” law are allowed to request an increase in the tuition that can be charged to its students, up to a maximum of 15 percent per year.
Effective for 2012-2013, FGCU tuition will readjust to $6,195. Repercussions to this increases may include: fewer class choices and significant facility cuts, among other proposed changes.
“I’m past bleeding,” a newspaper executive in 2008 said, remarking on the substantial office cuts in his newspaper office, “we’re into amputation now.” FGCU, officially one of Gov. Rick Scott’s neglected stepchildren, is well into amputation after $3 million of cuts from state funding.
“Florida Gulf Coast University has sustained five consecutive years of cuts in state funding. The rubber band has stretched and stretched, but now we have found our self dangerously close to the breaking point where it comes to quality of education and access to FGCU,” President Wilson Bradshaw recently said, according to our Eagle News staff.
Nationally, whether the federal student loan interest rate increases to 6.8 percent from the prior 3.4 percent is dependent upon what Congress does. Additionally, Congress can also choose to extend the enhanced Hope Scholarship program, which increases the maximum tax credit to $2,500.
However, the opposition does have justification. If kept at the current rate, FInAid.org projects a burden of $5.6 billion per yea. Considering our country’s deficit stands at $137.3 billion (as of June 14), every billion counts.
With that being said, Florida’s tuition rate is among the nation’s lowest. Should $300 million in budget cuts for the State University System really be where capital is deployed?
As to the future of the Kallaras, in 2009, after the supreme court of India ruled in Padmanabhan’s favor, a team of observers were granted permission to inspect the vaults. After discovering numerous pieces of gold, deity imbedded with hundreds of gemstones, and several other priceless artifacts, the observers estimated the hidden treasures to be worth $ 20 billion.