Those constitutional jesters: AZ’s State Universities: “As nearly free as possible”

Arizona’s three state universities presidents are proposing steep increases in tuition this fall, saying they are necessary to make up for cuts in state funding.

University of Arizona is proposing the steepest hike with a $2,130 jump in tuition and fees for undergraduate students, raising the cost by 31 percent, to $8,972 a year.

Arizona State University where President Michael Crow and his wife Sybil Francis are paid phenomenal salaries (as of last report back in 2007), is recommending a $1,286-a-year increase for new students, or 19 percent, bringing annual tuition and fees to $8,126. The daily reports that under the proposal, current ASU students costs would not increase quite as much but could still face hikes of nearly 14 percent, or $770 to $871 more a year, depending on when they started.

Incoming students at Northern Arizona University would pay $1,040 more a year, or 16 percent. The new charges would bring tuition and fees to $7,667 annually. NAU said Friday that new students’ tuition would be frozen at that level for the next eight semesters, though they could pay more in future years via fee increases.

The stunning proposals need the approval of the 12-member Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the three state universities. Individual contact information is here.  Let your voice be heard. In this toughest of economic times, these steep increases will keep many students out of the education loop.

The  Arizona Constitution Article 11, Section 6 requires that “the university and all other state educational institutions shall be open to students of both sexes, and the instruction furnished shall be as nearly free as possible.”

Apparently ASU.’s President Michael Crow, U of A’s President Robert Sheldon, and NAU’s President John Haeger haven’t gotten the message.

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11 Responses to Those constitutional jesters: AZ’s State Universities: “As nearly free as possible”

  1. Patriot says:

    What message? “as nearly free as possible” is NOT “free”; in fact, it’s basically meaningless, since “as possible” is open to broad interpretation. I’d rather shrink the size of the AZ government through cuts, then bolster educational availability through privately-funded scholarships, grants, and loans. Tuition increases are not bad per se; it depends on whether they accurately reflect the costs of running the institutions. The less money we have flowing through government, the better — “starve the beast”.

    And don’t get me started on the actual quality of the education those tax dollars are buying. I believe, for instance, that U of A is using a textbook written by the unrepentant Weather Underground bomber and far-left radical Bill Ayers. Is that what we want to teach our prospective teachers, so they can go out and indoctrinate all of those innocent minds?

  2. Chuck says:

    Patriot:
    The starve the beast message can be taken too literally. In your case the beast was starved to the point that your underpaid instructors neglected to teach you that punctuation goes WITHIN the quotation marks. Since you wrote this way twice, it clearly was not an oversight.

    BTW, the constitutional language stands. As to the Ayers text being used: I have no knowledge of that. If it’s a fact, it should be halted. On that we agree.

  3. Patriot says:

    Chuck: My “instructors” instructed me before the American public education system collapsed. One thing they taught me was that the picayune punctuation point you broached is a matter of personal preference, not draconian law. They also taught me that such a trivial matter has nothing to do with the merits of the argument so punctuated.

    The constitutional language does indeed stand, in all its ambiguously useless glory.

    In terms of starving the beast, this particular beast, as is true with governments in general, has an insatiable appetite, and if left unchecked will eat its feeders out of house and home (literally, viz. property taxes in the case of schools). I have also observed that the quality of education appears to be inversely proportional to the amount of taxpayer money spent per student. I don’t claim causation, just correlation.

  4. ann marie says:

    Chuck,
    I questioned your position on quotations and punctuation. I have often had trouble with people who place the punctuation for a whole sentence inside a quotation which constitutes only part of the sentence.

    Interestingly enough in looking it up, it appears that your position is a American phenomenon and not necessarily always required. In fact, clarity can require Patriot’s position.

    That said, I was educated in part in Arizona Universities. I agree that we are not getting our money’s worth these days.

    I remember when tuition was $45.00 a semester. We all had to take two semesters of Humanities which gave us a sense of our heritage and became a stepping stone to more knowledge and understanding as we bbecame older. I have four children who were also educated in Arizona Universities. Three of the are steeped in the Humanities and tend toward Conservatism. The fourth never had a course in Humanaties and is clueless about the implications of current events. I undertand that the Humanities requirement was abandoned years ago and that is how my one child escaped studying the same. If my little universe is typical, we are really not getting out money’s worth

    SEE:13.5.1 In American usage printers usually place a period or comma inside closing quotation marks whether it belongs logically to the quoted matter or to the whole sentence or context…. But when a logical or exact distinction is desired in specialized work in which clarity is more important than usual (as in this dictionary), a period or comma can be placed outside quotation marks when it belongs not in the quoted matter but to a larger unit containing the quoted matter. The package is labeled “Handle with Care”.

    http://www.englishforums.com/English/PunctuationWithinQuotes/bgbzh/post.htm

  5. Romans says:

    My son will be a college freshman this fall. Rather than four years at ASU he will attend two years at community college college and earn an AA that transfers to the universities. There are options. Here are the tuition comparisons of MCCCD tuition compared to the universities:

    MCCCD
    http://www.maricopa.edu/about/?tuition
    ASU
    http://www.asu.edu/admissions/tuitionandfees/fall09undergradnondegree.htm
    U of A
    http://www.bursar.arizona.edu/students/fees/showrates.asp?term=101&feetype=undergrad&feerate=all
    NAU
    http://home.nau.edu/bursar/res_ugrad_fall_flagstaff.asp

  6. Stanford says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Patriot. So, you were taught that proper punctuation was a matter of personal preference. Does spelling also fall into that realm? That certainly cuts down on the need to purchase dictionaries, which also incorporate proper punctuation in the back pages for those of us who didn’t attend such a progressive school as yours. I’d appreciate the name of this institute of higher learning, so I can be sure to send my children elsewhere.

    ann marie:
    Yes, such punctuation is an “American phenomenon,” and not the way Brits do it, for example. However, we are Americans and don’t use “zed” for the letter “z” or call toilets “water closets,” either.

    As to your children: Educating them is not the sole responsibility of schools. Did you ever discuss current events with your “clueless” one? That’s a parental obligation.

  7. ann marie says:

    Dear Patriot,

    I think the point of the article on punctuation was not Brits v. Americans, but clarity when writing and having punctuation which contributes to clarity.

    And oh yes, I am one who discusses all sorts of things with my children and it is those very discussions which disclosed her cluelessness.

    I am one who has lamented for years the lack of excellence in education and tried to remedy it with supplementation when kids are young. But the universities can change kids a lot with pc and revisionist curricula.

  8. Patriot says:

    Stanford: Logically, punctuation should be within quotation marks only if the entire sentence (for periods) or phrase (for commas and semicolons) is quoted. This is independent of whether the writer is American or British (or Hungarian, for that matter). It’s interesting that you pin so much of your hopes of prevailing on such a trivial point. Why don’t you spend all that energy addressing the issue?

    Your leap to spelling is nonsensical and irrelevant (it’s a “straw man” fallacy). As it happens, I was a three-time spelling champion in my youth, twice at the county level.

  9. Patriot says:

    Stanford: BTW, there are many points in grammar and spelling that are “personal preference”. Example — grey vs. gray. So your snide comment is a “distributed middle” fallacy. Maybe you need to bone op on logic.

  10. Patriot says:

    Oops, “op” -> “up”. Typed too fast…

  11. Stanford says:

    Glad you succeeded in spelling, Patriot. But, spelling is neither grammar nor punctuation. There, you get a much lower grade. And what does “logic” have to do with the subject at hand? If logic were the determiner, the number “eight” would be spelled “ate” and “ought” might be spelled much differently — perhaps “awt.”

    Enough of this exchange. I’ve made my point, you’ve made and made yours, along with corrections. Tennis beckons. Back away from your computer and get some fresh air.