To the editor:
Another tuition increase at the Marty Meehan led University of Massachusetts should come as no surprise.
Fortunately for Meehan and Beacon Hill, there is a readily available model for the successful, innovative and cost effective stewardship of a public research and land-grant university.
Because of the creative leadership of Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, tuition has been frozen there since 2012 and will hold through at least the 2020-21 academic year.
In-state resident students pay less than $10,000 a year in tuition. The combined cost of tuition, room and board, etc., is now less than what it was for a Purdue student during the 2012-13 academic year.
Out-of-state students at Purdue pay slightly less to attend than Bay State residents pay at UMass.
Daniels has been able to achieve this by balancing Purdue's operating budget while investing in capital projects and competitively increasing faculty compensation.
Purdue also has a unique income share agreement plan available whereby the Purdue Research Foundation funds enrolled students who agree to pay a fixed amount of their income for a set term of years following graduation. This has been a terrific alternative to private loans and federal Parent PLUS Loans.
Meanwhile, applications to and enrollment in Purdue have increased, total student borrowing has declined significantly, and fundraising and sponsored research money are skyrocketing (appropriate for the school that launched the first and last men to walk on the Moon).
With Daniels at the helm, Purdue has only improved its status as one of the world's finest institutions of higher learning, and has done so in a fiscally sound manner.
The blueprint for a significant reduction in tuition and increase in quality at UMass is readily available and has been demonstrably implemented.
Will Meehan show initiative in order to truly serve the commonwealth by studying and emulating the fiscal stewardship of President Daniels?
Let's hope that his vow to find ways to avoid more increases does not go the way of his term-limits pledge while he was a member of Congress.