On Feb. 5 Student Senate passed a resolution proposing that the UW System raise tuition 2-3 percent to give faculty a pay raise.
Their reasoning was that UW System faculty get paid 18 percent below the national average and that if UW-River Falls is to attract quality professors, we must pay them accordingly.
We here at the Student Voice agree completely that quality professors are a part of what makes UWRF a great place to be.
However, we also know that UWRF has one of the highest percentages of low-income students in the entire UW System. That being said, raising tuition is the wrong thing to do. Sure 2-3 percent doesn’t seem like a lot, but it could be $68-$100 per semester, per student.
A USA Today article showed that 66.6 percent of college students said the economy has a big impact on their college choice.
We agree and believe that the low cost to attend UWRF is a key factor in what separates us from all the other schools and why many students come here.
If we continue to raise tuition, we will lose in enrollment what we had hoped to attract in bringing in better professors.
This motion also does not guarantee that we would hire more professors. It is simply a pay raise.
The motion Senate passed is now forwarded to the UW System Board of Regents and the Wisconsin State Legislature.
Tuition will not increase unless the legislature approves this plan or a similar one.
We are urging the state legislature to approve no such plan and to remember to keep tuition low.
It is a competitive world for colleges to attract students and if UWRF wants to maintain that competitive edge, we must keep tuition low.
Senate has good intentions with this motion and we do know that our faculty are hurting as the cost of living has increased dramatically. However, we do feel that faculty do get paid adequately for the job they are given and that increasing tuition is unfair to the students of UWRF.