The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 17, 2012

PSU seeking 6.15 percent increase in tuition rates

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Pittsburg State University has submitted a proposal to the Kansas Board of Regents to increase tuition for the 2012-13 academic year by 6.15 percent.

If the request is approved at the regents’ June meeting, an undergraduate paying in-state rates will lay out $2,193, or about $128 more, in tuition this fall.

In a presentation this spring to faculty and staff members, PSU President Steve Scott said unfunded expenses for fiscal 2013 would be salary commitments; health insurance premiums, expected to rise 12 percent in the coming year; emerging programs; and utilities, which Westar Energy has indicated will rise.

Scott said that while enrollment grew 9.8 percent from 2005 to 2011, state support during that time decreased from 70 percent of the school’s funding to 52 percent.

“State support has continued to decline in proportion with what it costs to educate a student,” said Scott, who noted that the Consumer Price Index and the Higher Education Price Index indicate state allocations have not stayed up with the basic rate of inflation.

Scott told the regents this week that the additional revenue would be spent on health insurance premiums for faculty and staff, rising utilities costs, faculty promotions, strategic initiatives, sustainability and recycling, operating expenses, and a modest salary increase for unclassified employees.

Student Chris Ward, who carries a full load as a double major in biology and chemistry, said he can see the proposed increase from two perspectives.

“One, there are a few things around campus that do need tending to, but I think that if the tuition is increased, it should be modest,” he said. “Not all students can afford to deal with paying more.”

Mark Johnson, an officer in the faculty senate, said the average faculty member on campus has not had a raise in three years; the coming year will mark the fourth.

“Salary does concern me,” he said. “The big problem with our salary situation is morale of faculty.”

Faculty members have received small incremental raises in recent years for insurance premiums, which Johnson said was akin to robbing Peter to pay Paul.

To offset rising costs, tuition has increased since 2005 from 30 percent to 48 percent of the university’s budget.

Ward, who just completed his sophomore term, depends on a combination of financial aid and scholarships for tuition. His concern, he said, is that another tuition increase might negatively affect enrollment.

“It might have the opposite effect,” he said. “It might deter students from coming here.”

But Scott said that historically, the university has been conservative in its approach to raising tuition, and he believes that is again the case with the proposed increase.

“The Tuition Committee (composed of students, faculty, staff, administrators and residents) spent months analyzing the university’s needs, the expected support from the state, and tuition at other universities in the region and across the U.S. before coming up with a recommendation,” Scott said.

Scott said that if the proposed tuition increase is approved, PSU will remain one of the most affordable universities in the region. Last year, PSU had the lowest tuition of its national peers and was fifth from the bottom among the universities in the MIAA.

Student Pamela Thompson said she believes she is “paying plenty now” and was surprised to learn of the proposed increase.

“I also feel that with the economy the way it is, it seems that the numbers are up for college attendance, and I would hope that the college would be doing fine. I wish they would make college more available and affordable for all,” said Thompson, a nontraditional student who is working on an elementary education degree.

University officials have reported reducing costs and maximizing resources in several areas, including consolidating academic departments, eliminating positions, implementing the state’s voluntary retirement incentive program and reducing energy consumption.

Scott said the university has led efforts to make tuition more affordable for out-of-state students by implementing the Gorilla Advantage program in 2010 and has seen enrollment increase as a result.



Expansion requested

IN ADDITION TO REQUESTING increased tuition rates, PSU requested an expansion of the Gorilla Advantage in-state tuition plan to Clay and Platte counties in Missouri. PSU also asked for permission to create a separate plan that offers tuition at 150 percent of in-state rates to qualified students in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Ballot issues dominate GOP event

    A maze of campaign yard signs lined the sidewalk at Big Spring Park, leading up to a line of local candidates for public office with rolled-up sleeves shaking hands with potential voters.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter