Posted at 10:15 p.m. Dec. 4, 2013

Trustees oppose proposed WCCC tuition increase

Laramie County Community College’s Board of Trustees unanimously passed a motion Dec. 4 to support continuing the current tuition costs for in-state and out-of-state students.

LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer will represent this perspective of the trustees at a meeting Dec. 13 in Rock Springs, when the Wyoming Community College Commission is scheduled to consider a 5 percent tuition increase for all Wyoming community colleges. That would equate to a $4 a credit hour increase in tuition for all community college students beginning in the fall semester. It would generate $1.7 million systemwide and $380,000 for LCCC. 

“The real question is 'What are we planning to do with that money.' If the things we plan to do with that money are fairly poor plans, it makes more sense to leave that money in the student's pocket and not increase the tuition.”

Kevin Kilty

Board of trustees vice chair

By state statute, the WCCC, which has the authority to raise tuition systemwide, must consider a tuition increase in December for the following academic year.

Schaffer voiced his surprise last December that the WCCC must consider raising tuition before the a legislative session.  

Several members of the board related concerns about why this increase is being considered.

“The real question is what are we planning to do with that money?” Trustee Dr. Kevin Kilty asked. “If the things we plan to do with that money are fairly poor plans, it makes more sense to leave that money in the students’ pocket and not increase the tuition.”

Kilty also pointed out that low tuition is consistent with the state’s constitution, which tries to keep education as affordable as possible.

“In the years when we had rapid budget growth…we didn’t use the money very wisely,” Kilty said, claiming an increase in the number of administrators.

Schaffer shared these concerns, saying the question is not only what the college would do with the monies it received from increased tuition, but also whether it’s utilizing money it currently has to its “fullest extent.”

Trustee Ed Mosher agreed that he found “it inappropriate that we’re talking about raising revenue without having some rational for the expense that that revenue is to cover.”

Schaffer also had concerns with the justification of increasing tuition. “The only rational that I’ve been able to find at this point is that we charge less than the Western states do,” Schaffer said, “and I don’t know if that’s enough rationale to sit and look our students in the eyes and say, ‘We’re increasing your tuition just because of that.’”

The WCCC’s will announce its decision after it convenes Dec. 13.    

In other business, the trustees:

 


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