Tuition affected by new contract negotiations

Bethany Jones

The negotiation for a new contract between the American Association of University Professors and the administration comes at the cost of higher tuition for students.

David Creamer, vice president for administration, said that the proposed salary increase by the AAUP would largely be paid by the 6 percent tuition increase that students will face during fall semester.

“That’s always the difficulty in these discussions,” he said, “we’re stuck with the balance of how much to increase compensation.”

“The tuition increase next year was largely driven by these compensation changes,” he said.

Cheryl Casper, economics professor and Kent State chapter president of the AAUP, said that revenue for Kent State has been increasing faster than employee salaries. Within the last three years tuition has increased about 25 percent and faculty has only received a 10 percent pay increase.

Salaries for senior ranking faculty members at Kent State compare favorably to other Ohio universities; non-tenure positions do not, she said.

Creamer said that dollars are going elsewhere in the state. Expenditures for kindergarten to twelfth-grade students, nursing home residents and correctional inmates have seen a large increase in state funding.

University funding from the state is in the bottom 20 percentile nationally, and Kent State was the 7th most expensive state university in the fall of 2004.

The lack of financial contribution from the state is what is causing increased tuition costs, Provost Paul Gaston said.

“The state of Ohio has failed to provide support that addresses the increases in educational cost,” he said.

Student’s pay about 65 percent of educational costs compared with 35 percent paid by state funding, Creamer said.

Despite lobbying efforts to the Ohio General Assembly, an increase in state funding seems unlikely, he said. Increasing tuition will continue to be a trend faced by Kent State students.

“The question is only a matter of how much it will rise,” he said.

Creamer said that up to this point Kent State has not experienced a drop in enrollment due to increased tuition, but he said he believes the university will begin to see that effect.

Contact academic affairs reporter Bethany Jones at [email protected].