College tuition hikes get support from strapped lawmakers

It would take a 77 percent tuition increase at Georgia’s colleges and universities to meet the demand for a $385 million cut in the state’s higher education system budget, Chancellor Erroll Davis said Wednesday.

Davis, speaking before a sometimes testy joint House-Senate budget committee, said that would raise tuition at the research universities to more than $10,000 a year, while four-year colleges would raise to more than $6,700 and two-year college tuition would grow to more than $4,000.

But it took some time for Davis to get to that point. Sen. Seth Harp (R-Midland) interrupted Davis as the chancellor was explaining how dire the university system’s financial situation is.

“We are in a budget crisis,” Harp said. “I fully appreciate what you have offered. We are familiar with this. We have got to cut another $200 to $300 million out of your budget. Please, prioritize where those cuts will come or we will do it blindly.”

But Davis did not bring suggested cuts, arguing instead that the university system has already cut $360 million since July 1, 2008. Davis said he has not yet had a chance to speak to all 35 college presidents to discuss specific cuts, although he promised to provide lawmakers with ideas by Friday. Cuts will have to come from individual schools, he said, as there are few system-wide programs at the regents’ office that can be eliminated.

But Davis said he does not believe it is possible to cut $385 million from the system. That, he said, would total the entire budget for 23 universities. But, Davis said the University System has made necessary cuts in the past and would do so again.

Still, Davis could not immediately answer some questions, such as when Rep. Austin Scott (R-Tifton) asked how many employees of the system have total compensation packages of more than $500,000.  A quick check of state salary data at opengeorgia.gov, however, shows a handful of university system employees making that much, including Davis himself and UGA President Michael Adams.

Nor could Davis answer Rep. Bob Lane (R-Statesboro), who asked how much a 1 percent salary cut would save the system. A quick check of the 2010 state budget however, shows that a 1 percent cut to the systems’ teaching budget, the overwhelming majority of which goes to salaries, would save $19 million. A Regents spokesman later said a 1 percent cut to all University System employees would save $10.4 million.

Any tuition increase would effect out-of-state students as well as those paying the lower in-state cost. Students from other states pay four times the in-state tuition rate in Georgia.

Harp said everything is on the table: Big tuition cuts, salary cuts, closing or consolidating schools.

“We are now where the state of Georgia does not have enough money to complete this fiscal year,” Harp said. “Please, we need definitive ideas, suggestions where to come up with that money by Friday. I hope you can do that. If you can’t,  you put it on the folks of this committee to do it. And we do not know the best way.”

If tuition has to raise by 77 percent, “so be it,” Harp said. “If we have to break the promise of locking in tuition, we have to break the promise. It’s not something we wanted but I cannot emphasize enough we do not have the money.”

There were mixed feelings on the committee about tuition increases, however. Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville) said students and parents are the only ones who can pay.

“We’re becoming a socialist society when we say that you shouldn’t raise tuition at all,” Balfour said, adding that his son attends college in Georgia and that tuition “is embarrassingly cheap.”

“I don’t want a commitment from you you’re not going to raise tuition,” Balfour said. “I’d rather have a commitment from you that you are. The only group of people who can pay is the people taking the course.”

But Rep. Bill Hembree (R-Winston) said tuition increases cannot happen without the university system doing everything in its power to first reduce spending.

“We all know there are inefficiencies, excessive costs,” Hembree said. “If we walk away from this session without having cut somewhere in this system … then we have failed. If you go back and raise tuition, I for one will not stand for it.”

Hembree said a “modest” tuition increase might be acceptable if it’s accompanied by significant cuts.

Davis didn’t disagree that some savings can be found. And they will find it, he said.

“While I am here to agree there are room for improvements, I’m not able to say there are efficiencies that equal the total budgets of 23 of our 35 institutions,” he said.

296 comments Add your comment

A Question

February 24th, 2010
10:53 am

If tuition is raised, will the HOPE scholarship then commit itself to cover the increased tuition?

Raising tutition should be a last resort as taxpayers already fund the public university system. Consolidating schools and the 1% pay reduction seem the most viable options but both will be difficult, politically speaking.

Aaron Gould Sheinin

February 24th, 2010
11:16 am

A Question: Good, um, question. I’m trying to find that out now. I’ll update the post when I know for sure.

sam I am

February 24th, 2010
11:16 am

Why not close and consolidate some tech schools?there is a campus in every croosroads community in south Ga. Too much duplication.Why is Moutrie Tech campus in Tifton spending money to put up a huge sign when money is so tight?

Aaron Gould Sheinin

February 24th, 2010
11:20 am

A Question: According to the HOPE web site, the HOPE award covers the cost of tuition, whatever it might be. So, I would think the answer is yes.

Me

February 24th, 2010
11:21 am

Why don’t we stop athletic program…..this program cost us a lot of money….

Sunday Liquor Salesman

February 24th, 2010
11:24 am

Utterly ridiculous. Cutting the education budget and therefore the services provided by these schools, while possibly raising tuition. So you’re paying more for less. These ‘legislators’ would rather renege on locking in tuition, than ending all the tax credits and handouts they offer to businesses. They don’t even have a clue if these tax breaks are cost-effective. Will someone ask why they won’t look their first instead of cutting HALF A BILLION dollars from education in two years. Based on their cuts, you see whats important to these people. Sonny’s Go Fish program is ripe for the chopping block in such tight times, IMO.

Says Who?

February 24th, 2010
11:24 am

“Embarrasingly cheap” ?! That’s a relative term, yes? Depends on who you’re asking. . . and what college/university you’re referring to. I have a son at a Georgia university and we’re struggling.

Not Sam

February 24th, 2010
11:25 am

I think you made a mathematical error. The total university system budget is about $1.9B. A 1% cut would be $19 million, not $190 million.

University Employee

February 24th, 2010
11:25 am

I would rather take system wide furlough days which are essentially temporary pay cuts. For some reason, HOPE is struggling, while the lottery makes money hand over fist. I think they need to move to redo whatever agreement that they have with The Georgia Lottery Corporation….

Student

February 24th, 2010
11:25 am

“embarrasingly cheap” – my question to Balfour. Does your son have a HOPE scholarship?

Anthony

February 24th, 2010
11:26 am

Typical government response to a budget problem, raise the revenue (tuition/taxes) and protect the bloated administration/government jobs/salaries. It’s the age old issue, that legislators have no clue on how to run a business. You cut costs BEFORE you raise the prices.

University Employee

February 24th, 2010
11:27 am

HOPE covers tuition and fees, but not all tuition and fees. There is approximately $400 that students/parents have to pay out of pocket.

Kingfish

February 24th, 2010
11:28 am

Why not cut salaries on all of these professors and do away with things like sabbaticals, they only work half a year anyway? All we ever hear about is “we have to raise tuition,” lets cut overhead and also require teachers to teach more than a few classes per week. many of which are taught by teaching assistants!! The people are tired of having to carry the burden for a system that is run by the unions and special interest groups!

Response to Me

February 24th, 2010
11:30 am

This in response to Me. Me, I don’t think you realize that most of the major athletic programs (i.e. football) at the large universities help to support the universities. When have you ever seen a crowd of 80,000 – 90,000 people come to cheer on a science bowl team? I didn’t think so.

Sunday Liquor Salesman

February 24th, 2010
11:32 am

End the tax breaks to businesses, especially when you don’t know how much revenue is generated from them. Don’t know where my previous post went.

Chip J

February 24th, 2010
11:33 am

Ok – so we (the state of Ga) cannot readily come up with $$$ to cover our current Higher Ed. budget… But they are entertaining thoughts of assisting in the funding of a College Football Hall of Fame that has already doubled its proposed budget?

I am a UGA Bulldwg to the core, but does anyone else see an issue with the fact that we have funds available for that venture, yet want to potentially raise tuitions for families that are already facing their own Budget Crisis…

I am thrilled that Sen Balfour feels well enough about his family’s financial situation to state the following in your article:

Gold Dome Live
College tuition hikes get support from strapped lawmakers

10:27 am February 24, 2010, by Aaron Gould Sheinin

It would take a 77 percent tuition increase at Georgia’s colleges and universities to meet the demand for a $385 milion cut in the state’s higher education system budget, Chancellor Errol Davis said Wednesday.

Davis, speaking before a sometimes testy joint House-Senate budget committee, said that would raise tuition at the research universities to more than $10,000 a year, while four-year colleges would raise to more than $6,700 and two-year college tuition would grow to more than $4,000.

But it took some time for Davis to get to that point. Sen. Seth Harp (R-Midland) interrupted Davis as the chancellor was explaining how dire the university system’s financial situation is.

“We are in a budget crisis,” Harp said. “I fully appreciate what you have offered. We are familiar with this. We have got to cut another $200 to $300 million out of your budget. Please, prioritize where those cuts will come or we will do it blindly.”

But Davis did not bring suggested cuts, arguing instead that the university system has already cut $360 million since July 1, 2008. Davis said he has not yet had a chance to speak to all 35 college presidents to discuss specific cuts, although he promised to provide lawmakers with ideas by Friday. Cuts will have to come from individual schools, he said, as there are few system-wide programs at the regents’ office that can be eliminated.

But Davis said he does not believe it is possible to cut $385 million from the system. That, he said, would total the entire budget for 23 universities. It is barely more than the University of Georgia’s annual budget.

Still, Davis could not immediately answer some questions, such as when Rep. Austin Scott (R-Tifton) asked how many employees of the system have total compensation packages of more than $500,000. A quick check of state salary data at opengeorgia.gov, however, shows a handful of university system employees making that much, including Davis himself and UGA President Michael Adams. Nor could Davis answer Rep. Bob Lane (R-Statesboro), who asked how much a 1 percent salary cut would save the system. A quick check of the 2010 state budget however, shows that a 1 percent cut to the systems’ teaching budget, the overwhelming majority of which goes to salaries, would save $190 million.

Harp said everything is on the table: Big tuition cuts, salary cuts, closing or consolidating schools.

“We are now where the state of Georgia does not have enough money to complete this fiscal year,” Harp said. “Please, we need definitive ideas, suggestions where to come up with that money by Friday. I hope you can do that. If you can’t, you put it on the folks of this committee to do it. And we do not know the best way.”

If tuition has to raise by 77 percent, “so be it,” Harp said. “If we have to break the promise of locking in tuition, we have to break the promise. It’s not something we wanted but I cannot emphasize enough we do not have the money.”

There were mixed feelings on the committee about tuition increases, however. Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville) said students and parents are the only ones who can pay.

“We’re becoming a socialist society when we say that you shouldn’t raise tuition at all,” Balfour said, adding that his son attends college in Georgia and that tuition “is embarrasingly cheap.”

I have 2 sons that are in Georgia Colleges and I am paying for these “embarrassingly cheap” college expenses… Maybe I can help him filter some of his “embarrassment” by letting him sponsor my children’s tuition — I promise that my embarrassment will be well disguised with appreciation and especially when my daughter starts college herself in a bit over a year!!!

Feel free to offer my email address to anyone else who is embarrassed about the cheap tuition they are currently paying, and I will extend my offer to them as well !!! I bet I don’t get one email — chip_mede@hotmail.com to offer to sponsor my kids :~)

Sincerely,
Chip J

Ash

February 24th, 2010
11:33 am

I agree with sam I am. However you cannot just blame colleges in south Georgia when Chattahoochee Tech has seven campuses(sp?) within 45 miles of each other. All of which have duplicate degrees and certificate programs that are offered at the main campus in Marietta.

mike

February 24th, 2010
11:33 am

It is time to end the HOPE Scholarship. For one thing, it does not help many low-income students anyway. Look at the stats. on it–it is a middle-class entitlement that can no longer be afforded.

University Employee

February 24th, 2010
11:33 am

Response to Me…the money generated from athletics are totally separate from the general budget…

Jeff

February 24th, 2010
11:33 am

The Universities have been passing along first $100 and now $200 dollar fees to the students so they can circumvent HOPE. I attend Georgia State and am funding a football team which is sure to be a financial black hole.

Jaimac

February 24th, 2010
11:34 am

sam I am,

“Why not close and consolidate some tech schools?there is a campus in every croosroads community in south Ga. Too much duplication.Why is Moutrie Tech campus in Tifton spending money to put up a huge sign when money is so tight?”

Closing Moultrie Tech would not affect the Univ Sys of GA’s budget b/c the Technical Colleges are apart of GA’s Technical College System.
http://www.tcsg.edu/college_campuses.php

The University System is responsible for the 34 state supported institutions(ie GA Tech,Kennesaw ST, Fort Valley ST, etc.) that award college degrees and not diplomas.

A Student

February 24th, 2010
11:34 am

Several state employees are taking furlough days every month. For many this has resulted in more than 2% pay decreases. Asking the state university employees to take a 1-2% pay decrease, especially for higher paid staff is not unreasonable. Another partial solution would be to have the funds raised by the athletic departments help subsidize general fund costs for a year or two. And how about eliminating some perks that only a few select people get. All would save costs.

Chip J

February 24th, 2010
11:35 am

(Let me try this again – sorry for the messed up post above)

Ok – so we (the state of Ga) cannot readily come up with $$$ to cover our current Higher Ed. budget… But they are entertaining thoughts of assisting in the funding of a College Football Hall of Fame that has already doubled its proposed budget?

I am a UGA Bulldwg to the core, but does anyone else see an issue with the fact that we have funds available for that venture, yet want to potentially raise tuitions for families that are already facing their own Budget Crisis…

I am thrilled that Sen Balfour feels well enough about his family’s financial situation to state the following in your article:

“We’re becoming a socialist society when we say that you shouldn’t raise tuition at all,” Balfour said, adding that his son attends college in Georgia and that tuition “is embarrasingly cheap.”

I have 2 sons that are in Georgia Colleges and I am paying for these “embarrassingly cheap” college expenses… Maybe I can help him filter some of his “embarrassment” by letting him sponsor my children’s tuition — I promise that my embarrassment will be well disguised with appreciation and especially when my daughter starts college herself in a bit over a year!!!

Feel free to offer my email address to anyone else who is embarrassed about the cheap tuition they are currently paying, and I will extend my offer to them as well !!! I bet I don’t get one email — chip_mede@hotmail.com to offer to sponsor my kids :~)

Sincerely,
Chip J

Kent

February 24th, 2010
11:42 am

Mr. Balfour you’re right. Let’s cut all the social programs and we’ll have plenty of money!

University Employee

February 24th, 2010
11:42 am

Chip J, please don’t hold your breath on Mr. Balfour contacting you…if he does, let me be the first to congratulate you!

tc

February 24th, 2010
11:44 am

salaries of high level admin types seems to be way out of line when compared to other state agencies. regents jobs are plums and the folks that get them are smart, but i wonder if the responsiblity they carry that much more than others in state government? and it seems to be creeping into technical and adult. many of these folks earn much more than folks like agency heads for agriculture, attorney general, state auditor, public safety, etc. granted this may only be a small percentage of regents budget, but the compounding effect over the years is significant and it translates to huge pensions.

uberVU - social comments

February 24th, 2010
11:48 am

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJCGeorgia: Tuition hikes gain support from strapped state lawmakers http://bit.ly/cxb9gc…

An underpaid university employee

February 24th, 2010
11:50 am

A 1% salary cut? We already make well below the national / regional averages for our careers. We have student loans for degrees that were required for us to work in academia. We live in cities and towns with higher costs of living because the students raise it artificially. Prestige doesn’t make up for the fact that we’re hurting.

I don’t understand why the state picks on the group of people to bear the brunt of the cuts burden just because they can. If the cuts were spread across every citizen in the state, no one would hardly notice.

Angry Moderate

February 24th, 2010
11:54 am

Kingfish: Before you spout your vitriol, please get a clue.

“All of these professors” have already been required to take 6 furlough days this fiscal year, which amounts to more than a 1% pay cut. I have approximately 20 contact hours per week with students (not counting the time I spend answering emails from home), several committee meeting each week, and spend a large amount of same grading assignments and preparing for class. I do not have any TA’s.

And what unions and special interest groups are you railing against? I’m certainly not a member of any.

A GSU Professor

February 24th, 2010
11:54 am

Kingfish — GSU has already stopped awarding sabbaticals, cut salaries with furloughs, cut research funding, and increased class sizes. My total compensation is down 20% over the last 4 years, and my workload has increased substantially. Nothing about the university system in Georgia is “run by unions” — there are no collective bargaining agreements in force among the teaching staff/faculty of the universities here.

A Student — See above; the University System of Georgia has already instituted furloughs, resulting in an effective salary cut of over 2% for me (and I assume for others as well, though there may be mathematical details that I’m not aware of that make things different for different people).

Does any of that mean the university system should be immune to further budget cuts? No, of course not. When there’s no money around, there’s no money around. But let’s get the facts straight first.

University Employee

February 24th, 2010
11:58 am

And just to be clear, a furlough day for Staff and Faculty are different because the Faculty will continue to work. Faculty CAN NOT stop answering emails or other student questions. Although I am staff, I understand completely…..

Chip J

February 24th, 2010
12:00 pm

“University Employee ” – you think :~)

I would be willing to bet that if Mr. Balfour will not only NOT take me up on my offer to aid him in limiting his embarrassment, but also that we will somehow manage to cry foul and that he was grossly “mis-quoted” when and if he is asked to further explain how he simply doesn’t pay enough tuition for his son’s higher education!

I don’t know the guy personally but would LOVE to sit and have a beer with him and share our diversity in EMBARRASSMENTS!!!

smoochies

February 24th, 2010
12:00 pm

Someone please tell where I can find these “embarrassingly cheap expenses” that Mr. Balfour is referring to so I can transfer my child in right away. My child is at Valdosta state and I am struggling trying to keep her in school. He should be willing to help the rest of us pay for these cheap expenses. Not everyone is making a six figure salary to cover the cost of tuition. We had an increase in fees last year.

Another USG employee

February 24th, 2010
12:01 pm

Yes, Athletic budgets are totally separate and money they make does NOT go to the schools…it remains in the athletics budgets! So get over that one.

Yes, there is too much duplication among schools. Many programs at Ga State are also offered at UGA. UGA wants to start engineering programs, but there is already an engineering school at GT. So much of it is political, and the root cause comes from under the Gold Dome downtown.

Also, for you people who don’t know squat about public universities, there is NO SUCH THING as a Sabbatical!…you either work or you don’t get paid!!! State law!

And in addition, what professors and researchers bring into the state through research grants, etc., is WAY more than any athletics programs, so quit the argument about 80,000 people going to watch a science bowl…that statement definitely shows your ignorance.

Look, I am retiring from the USG at the end of next month, just so I didn’t have to lay off two people in my office. I wasn’t asked to retire..heck, I am only 58 years old! But I am doing it just so the department can continue. That said, schools just cannot cut any more without drastically reducing the quality of deliverables…I guess then all the students and parents will start complaining, and we will be criticized for that!

Jordan (STUDENT)

February 24th, 2010
12:03 pm

Okay, I have a few comments on this, without reading any of the comments above. First off, having cheaper tuition helps EVERYONE! In case people don’t realize how, think about this:

A more educated community makes it more likely for big corporations to be brought here or started here, which fuels a larger economy for the state and more tax revenue.

Now, I am not one to say that you can’t raise tuition ANY. But, seriously, why not start a statewide 1% sales tax to finance these institutions and levy the bill on everyone. I doubt many people would be mad about that as long as they know where it’s going and how it’s being used.

middler and so tired of all the rhetoric :

February 24th, 2010
12:05 pm

What does a public university employee do that warrants a $500K salary (and the accompanying perks)? That tired old saw of they will walk if we don’t pay it is ridiculous. Let em walk and hire some of the hundreds of thousands of qualified people without jobs or with jobs way below their education, experience, and previous salary. And remind me again why the GA lottery staff gets 6 figure salaries and bonuses? Since several of the schools field football teams, let’s share the athletic department wealth with the academic side of the house. I’m glad a legislator is wealthy enough to label GA higher education “embarrassingly cheap.” Guess those of us who have lost jobs don’t deserve our children to get a college degree. Shame!

Aaron Gould Sheinin

February 24th, 2010
12:07 pm

ACK! Not Sam, you’re right. That’s why journalists shouldn’t do math!

Auggie

February 24th, 2010
12:08 pm

I know it’s hard for these brilliant educated people to understand, but they are not above taking a pay cut. Just look around you will see pay cuts occuring all over the United States. It is really odd that Davis only real answer is a tuition hike. professors do live in a steril world. They teach theories and feel as if they should not be touched by happenings in the real out outside of academia, yet they always tend to forget it is the real world that pays their salaries and allows them to work 4 hours, three days a week.

Amazed

February 24th, 2010
12:09 pm

If programs would have been started long ago to encourage jobs in the State that would have been filled by Georgia Tech Engineers we would be in much better shape. The State spends a ton of money to run a great Technical Institution but most of the Graduates are forced to move out of the State to find jobs. We thus lose the revenue from their salaries. Of course those in the Dome are so busy bashing Atlanta to gain votes that they missed the opportunity.

common sense

February 24th, 2010
12:11 pm

Giant cuts to education, but I bet more taxpayer dollars will be spent on the ever-expanding sex offender registry and its restrictions so that legislators can say they are keeping children safe, which would be great if they really were. The truth is that taxpayers are spending millions to restrict and monitor teenagers and young 20-somethings who have consensual sex with 15-yr.-olds in the same way they restrict and monitor violent pedophiles and rapists. All the research shows that residency restrictions and monitoring have no effect on recidivism, but the powers that be continue to throw money at law enforcemnt due to increased demands of the laws, and passing the “feel good” laws keeps legislators in power. What a waste, especially when the state is in a budget crisis.

James

February 24th, 2010
12:12 pm

A”A Question” re: “Raising tuition should be a last resort as taxpayers already fund the public university system.”

At issue is the fact that the taxpayers are paying less to fund the system as revenues decrease. The system budget has been cut many times since 2000. At the same time, especially now, demand is way up and more and more students are attending classes. Usage is up, revenues are down. Students and parents have to understand that the increase in tuition is needed to make up for what the state is no longer willing or able to pay to subsidize student’s higher education. Take a look at the tuition at Emory and compare to state institutions tuition and you’ll begin to understand how much the state has and does subsidize your tuition payments. State tuition is no-where near the full cost of educating students.

Just curious (student)

February 24th, 2010
12:14 pm

Has anyone considered the fact, if drastic tution rates are passed down to already struggling families, student loans are harder to get approved for, that nobody will be able to afford to go to colleges/universities (except for the rich/privelege/international students) and then where will you get money if you have no students to teach or will it really show how many priveleged people are “entitled” to go to school and the middle and lower families cannot. How much more divided can out country become, especially over the mightly dollar/ greed. Why can’t the athletic departments at these universities help assist the same universities they represent in a time of crisis. Kudos to the teacher who is retiring early to save jobs. Is everybody and aspect of life about the all mighty dollar and greed. If so that is a shame and we are no better than a communist country. Can anyone explain that?

What the . . .???

February 24th, 2010
12:14 pm

I cannot BELIEVE Balfour fixed his lips to say that tuition at all GA schools is “embarrassingly cheap!” Seriously? Well, Mr. Balfour, my kid doesn’t receive the HOPE, and we have another college-bound kid right behind him and only one income. For us, there is nothing embarrassingly cheap about the tuition we sacrifice to pay to keep our kid at GA Southern. And, like Chip J posted, my family wouldn’t be at all embarrased if you kicked in some dough to help us pay our kid’s tuition. Since, apparently, you have so much to throw around.

Sunday Liquor Salesman

February 24th, 2010
12:21 pm

Balfour Translation: “I got mine. Let them eat cake!”

John

February 24th, 2010
12:22 pm

If tuition is raised, that just means more families will not be able to afford sending their children to college. They will try to get student loans (if they can, since it is harder now) and when that student graduates, he/she will be in debt repaying that loan and guess who is getting the loan monay and interest? The feds. This will be money from the recent graduates paycheck that will not go to anything for Ga. That will be money lost out of Ga revenues.

It's the Arrogance...

February 24th, 2010
12:22 pm

What strikes me about the article is the arrogance of Davis and the University System. He comes to a budget hearing with no ideas about how to cut his budget. He snubs the legislators and the taxpayers and says simply “we’ll raise tuition.” In an era where every state agency has taken (and will continue to take) significant cuts this arrogance is beyond the pale.

historydawg

February 24th, 2010
12:22 pm

Sen. Balfour might be persoanlly responsible for the destruction of education in Georgia. As a business exec with a single degree from Bob Jones, he represents Snellville well, I guess. Do he and Harp understand that since the degrees are actually worth less (because of the last 10 years of cuts), the degrees are worth less; thus according to the all-hallowed laws of supply and demand, the tuition should actually decrease. He obviously learned about socialism incorrectly.

University Employee

February 24th, 2010
12:22 pm

Auggie, I can assure you that professors work much longer hours than that…hell Middle School teachers work longer hours than that. Auggie what information are basing your 4 hour three day work week on?

Rik

February 24th, 2010
12:22 pm

Do teachers never stop whining? You have cushy jobs in nice climate controlled facilities with extraordinary benefits. You are not doctors, you are not saving lives, you are not heroes. Get over yourselves. You deserve to make as much as it would take to replace you just like everyone else. Maybe if you would venture beyond the hallowed walls and do some real labor, you might appreciate just how good you have it.

I am amazed at the facilities that I see at even the smallest colleges around Georgia and the construction continues. The amount of bloat that is out there is tremendous. I currently have a daughter on HOPE (really ACCEL) and will have a son on it next year at Southern Poly. I have had three kids go through the Ga Lottery funded Pre-K. As long as people volunteer to pay the stupid tax (lottery) then I will be glad to take this “middle class entitlement” The rich get smarter and the poor get dumber – it’s pure Darwinism.

answer to mike

February 24th, 2010
12:23 pm

Hey mike. The HOPE is not a middle class entitlement it rewards high school students that make the grades to be able to get money for college. Once they get there it rewards students the work and maintain the grades to keep it. Where does it say anything aboout income unlike Pell grants and tons of other ’scholarships’ that are tied to low income. If those low income kids would first get off their rears and work in high school they would qualify for the scholarship ( notice the root word scholar). Maybe the reason middle class kids get and keep the HOPE is that their parents explain to them – if you want to go to the college of your choice you got to have the HOPE..

Believes in Education First, Handouts Last

February 24th, 2010
12:23 pm

This state spends millions of dollars supporting people offered a free high school education who could not be bothered to show up and work to get a high school diploma. They dropped out of high school because they were lazy and it was too much trouble to study to be able to pass minimal standards. Now they can’t find a job because who needs Johnny with a 10th grade education? They blame the economy, but it is their own stupidity. They couldn’t figure out grammar, but they managed to figure out how to have a couple of kids without any means of support. And we put all those folks on Medicaid, and they get free food, Section 8 housing, and we haven’t the guts to tell them “we are putting our dollars on those who believe in education.” We’d rather cut money from Georgia’s universities where students show up every day to better themselves and give it to some 21-year-old who can’t stop replicating with irresponsible men.

You want to trim the budget? Then I suggest that you stop squeezing our state’s best and brightest students and their families for more tuition and start cutting off all the funds from those who live off the backs of Georgia’s hard-working citizens.

My child has the HOPE scholarship because she earned the grades to receive it. Not enough HOPE funds to go around? Raise the standards. Raise the grade point average requirements from 3.0 to 3.2 or 3.4. It is a SCHOLARSHIP not a handout. You want it, you work for it. Oh, and do away with all those absurd scholarships for athletes who are never going to finish college but want to play in the NFL or the NBA. It is called a scholarship because you are supposed to be a SCHOLAR. Want to know what absurd is? If you play football at UGA and can barely pass English 101, you can get a full ride at the school …. tuition, room, board, everything. If you are a National Merit Scholar and scored in the highest 1/2 of one percent of all PSAT takers in the United States you get $250 a semester from UGA.

The priorities in this State are screwed up.

GSU Student

February 24th, 2010
12:26 pm

What is up with everyone on here attacking teachers?

Another University Employee

February 24th, 2010
12:26 pm

It’s obvious that our legislators are clueless, as are a few of the commentators in this forum. First, we’ve already taken an equivalent of a 2% paycut across the board with furloughs (Georgia State has taken the lead here – we were already taking 8 days when the System only required 6). We have cut budgets to the bare bones, eliminated hundreds (if not over a thousand) of jobs (300 alone at GSU) while experiencing record enrollment. This means we have less money and staff to provide services / facilities to a larger number of students. We’ve learned to cope, doing more with less very well over the past few years. This will result in a decline in the quality of the services we can provide, as well as a deterioration of the condition of facilities that can’t be properly maintained, if we are continually forced to make cuts. This will result in an even greater cost to the taxpayers when these facilities have to undergo major repair or replacement.

I’ll admit, in the years I’ve worked at my university, I’ve seen excesses and waste, but no more. Those days are gone, and there is truly nothing more that can be cut without impacting the quality of the education we provide to our students. I’ve seen (and heard) the comments about athletics, and it’s true that most athletic programs are a money pit – most do not make money. However, much of their funding comes from outside sources (alumni, athletic foundations) and these groups drive the demand for such programs. Since these folks contribute money elsewhere to universities, you have to try to keep them happy. In addition, ahtletic programs provide a “full college experience” for most students, and these programs allow us to draw from a wide variety of students. This in turn provides a more enriching experience to students. Jeff at GSU, you have been and will be paying an athletics fee, whether we have a football team or not. And as for professors and their teaching schedules and sabbaticals – professors are expected to maintain a certain level of research scholarship in order to remain current and relevant in their fields. We don’t want our students learning from people who can’t relate to current trends, and thus to students. By providing this time to professors, we insure that our schools stay on the cutting edge and provide the highest quality education possible. Of course, we could just eleminate higher education altogether (why not education in general?) and become a nation of farmers, hunters and gatherers once again. Better yet, let’s just count on the rest of the world to look out for us. C’mon legislators, pick on someone other than education – I know of a nice fishing tourism program that could save us a few bucks.

Oh, and if anyone is concerned – I read and responded to this article/ comment feed while on my lunchbreak (at my desk, still answering my work phone and e-mail) on my personal laptop. Your tax/ tuition dollars at work!

xdog

February 24th, 2010
12:27 pm

Harp said, “Please, we need definitive ideas, suggestions where to come up with that money by Friday.”

So they first checked with him on Wednesday. Glad our reps are taking this crisis seriously. Anyone got a rope?

James

February 24th, 2010
12:27 pm

Re: Tuition Paid by Students

From 2004 – http://www.libraryspot.com/know/tuition.htm

Georgia average public tuition is the seventh lowest in the nation, or was in 2004.

This is the amount students pay. The full cost over and above this revenue from students is subsidized by taxpayers. Hope is used by students to pay the tuition they owe, it does not cover what the state pays as a subsidy. I do not have figures to compare those subsidy percentages paid by other state’s in comparison with GA, but I would be willing to bet we’re near the low end on that list as well.

an

February 24th, 2010
12:28 pm

Embarrassingly cheap….middle class entitlement! Enough already. My husband and I both have full time jobs, yet I drive a 15 year old car and we barely manage to take 1 vacation a year. There is always something in the house that needs to be fixed or replaced that we always have to save and budget for. My son was accepted at an out of state, and a state college. He is heading to the state college because we could not afford the out of state tuition. Between increased health care costs, property taxes, clothing, groceries, too high of an income bracket to qualify for anything but not enough money to pay for everything, I don’t know how we will do it. Embarrassingly cheap…middle class entitlement, please! “Embarrassingly cheap”, I would be glad to have you send some of your money my way so I can send my son to college. Oops! Never mind, that is a middle class entitlement that I don’t qualify for.

Eggergrl

February 24th, 2010
12:29 pm

For those of you talking about cuts at the Technical colleges, please look at the State budget. The ENTIRE technical college system is run for less than the budget of the University of Georgia. I don’t think the Technical colleges are the problem. Plus the tuition at the Tech colleges are some of the lowest in the nation. The Technical colleges have consolidated several of their schools.

Steve the Rational One

February 24th, 2010
12:30 pm

Kingfish has got it all wrong about professors. In most disciplines at most colleges, they make less than public school teachers with doctorates–there are exceptions at large research institutions to be sure–but the University System is broken, as the chancellor says. It is not reasonable to expect people to take constant pay cuts over a period years.

Why would a purportedly capitalist government want people to work for free in the spirit of “shared sacrifice”? That sounds like socialism to me. Why would a capitalist object to the idea of raising the price of something that is in high demand? No one will build roads for free, so why should teachers educate Georgia’s kids for free?

I know many college professors who work hard all year. Kingfish has no idea what he is talking about.

John

February 24th, 2010
12:32 pm

Well said Another University Employee

Another USG employee

February 24th, 2010
12:32 pm

Auggie, you don’t live in the real world…get a clue. The professors I work with, including me, work 50 to 60 hours a week: teaching, doing sponsored research (brings $$ into the state), writing, advising, performing office hours, attending meetings, visiting with industries who are looking to relocate to GA (more $$). And, even coddling students and their “helicopter parents.”

And we’re not above taking a paycut, you moron! We already have this year..6 days, 2.3%. And many people have been laid off. I am not saying we won’t take more, but at least get your facts correct before spouting off.

Chip J

February 24th, 2010
12:33 pm

“James” – just curious, how many students are you currently sponsoring tuition expenses for?

And I will offer the same thing to you that I would offer to Mr. Balfour, you are more than welcome to step forward and contribute your $$$ towards mine or any other parent / student that you think should be paying more for their higher education…

The point is simply that our state govt. seems to have little trouble determining that WE (parents and students) should be able to cough up more $$$ for our kids’ educations, while they continue to spend money on other programs that don’t seem to measure up in terms of MY PRIORITY’s (see the article I referenced about considering funding for a College Football Hall of Fame)…

Yeah just keep passing the trash onto John Q. Consumer —- they will figure out how to cough up extra cash, surely.

CW

February 24th, 2010
12:33 pm

Ok, what this doofus Balfour fails to realize, is if tuition is raised, the result could be that students will no longer attend college, thereby causing the deficit to increase, so would he ask that tuition be raised again? Another nitwit without any business sense.

AF

February 24th, 2010
12:38 pm

State Senator Don Balfour (R-Snellville): “We’re becoming a socialist society when we say that you shouldn’t raise tuition at all,” Balfour said, adding that his son attends college in Georgia and that tuition “is embarrasingly cheap.”

What we all need to consider is that state tax dollars – yours and mine – support public colleges in Georgia. While Senator Belfour may find tuition “emarassingly cheap” some of us who don’t have much find it a stretch to pay already.

If you raise tuition, you are cutting out people who can’t afford it. Take this far enough and what we are doing is using tax dollars from everyone to subsidize college education for the well-to-do.

Frankly, I don’t have enough to do that.

One solution. Means test the Hope Scholarships. That means, put a floor on income of the family that can receive the Hope. The purpose of the Hope scholarship is to make college available to more Georgians. If there is a state funding short-fall, means testing the award keeps the lottery money flowing to those who most need it.

Besides, didn’t I read somewhere last year that a study of those who play the lottery showed that it is mostly played by lower income people. Lets let it work for those who play the game.

Nathan

February 24th, 2010
12:38 pm

Kingfish, it is obvious from your comment that you have never been on a college campus and do not understand how the campus is run. The professors at the colleges in Georgia only teach a few classes a few because there are a large number of other tasks they are required to do. Besides actual classroom lecture time teachers are required to provide officer hours where students can come ask questions as well as prepare lesson plans and grade assignments. That still doesn’t account for the total amount of work they have to do as a majority of these professors are also involved in research that is necessary for the university to survive. Every professor I can remember having a class with or working for at Georgia Tech was involved in some type of research that brought funding to the university. You can ask the teachers to teach more classes and spend more time away from research but all that will do in the end is hurt the bottom line as your research funding, which is a major funds source for all universities, would dry up. College professors are not like high school teachers they do not get the summer off to go relax on a beach or by the pool, they usually either teach summer courses or continue their research if not both.

Relax

February 24th, 2010
12:39 pm

Relax says, relax….if they do follow through with these tuition hikes b/c we can’t tax smokers who we’ll end up paying for later, or repeal some tax breaks (b/c being such a tax friendly state has us sitting pretty with all the jobs that tax cuts create…we are a shining light for the rest of the country, right?)…..then guess what, there are elections coming up in November.

Rik

February 24th, 2010
12:42 pm

@Another University Employee – again more whining from a teacher. So you work through lunch: boo-hoo! Who doesn’t? I own my own company and guess what? I worked through the night. Second night this week. Things are tough all over and if that means 10 or 15% pay cuts to government employees then oh well. You chose to take a job that is dependent on tax revenue. Revenues drop during hard times and people lose pay and/or jobs. I can’t just raise my rates to make up for poor planning and management on my part. I can’t collect money from others at the point of a gun just so I can stay “relevant”. I’m sure as hell not getting a bail out or the business tax cuts that someone else mentioned here. Be a part of the solution – quit your job and save us the money if it sucks so much.

Just Wondering?/

February 24th, 2010
12:45 pm

Why is it that there is money printed to bailout financial institutions that have made poor decisions but no such offer is made to help stabilize our educational institutions?! Politics is that reason but whats the answer?

db

February 24th, 2010
12:45 pm

Why don’t we turn it back around and say let’s cut everything. politicians pay, state employee pay, services, DOT, everything. Why is it just coming after the education system when there has already been cuts and furloughs?

one who knows

February 24th, 2010
12:48 pm

Technical colleges are not part of the Board of Regents. But rather technical colleges are another state entity separate from the University System of Georgia.

jconservative

February 24th, 2010
12:48 pm

So the legislature wants to cut education again. We have a problem with no jobs, a problem with the jobs we have being low paid and they want to cut education so we can guarantee that we continue to low paying jobs.

Chancellor Davis needs to play hardball. Close half a dozen institutions. If we are broke, we are broke.

Higher Education

February 24th, 2010
12:48 pm

Go to the universities, see the overhead and high salary staff and professors. I have sent five childern to the state universities and all had Hope (thank God).All we did was buy their education.A majority of the staff and proffesors need a dose of reality;take a pay cut and be happy you have a job.The pay cut should be on top of the furlough days.Somebody Please look at the salaries of these people before they raise tuition. I hope the legislature reviews all salaries before they take action.

James

February 24th, 2010
12:49 pm

@ ChipJ – I certainly don’t know how many, but I as a taxpayer do in fact subsidize student’s educations here in GA. There are only three choices.

1. Lower cost of education and we’re near rock bottom now.
2. Increase subsidy from the taxpayers (raise taxes or shift $$ from other projects)
3. Collect higher student paid tuition.

Your choice Chip.

jeff

February 24th, 2010
12:52 pm

increase tuition? – splendid idea!!! Let’s just take current tution and triple it, then the colleges would be in good shape financially!!!!

Jim

February 24th, 2010
12:52 pm

The reaction to the crisis here is typical of most elected and appointed officials. They simply will not proportionately manage expenses to incoming revenues.

Rik

February 24th, 2010
12:53 pm

@Nathan – Maybe the better solution is to spin off the research to private institutions where these valuable professors can work and have teachers that just teach. I attended Armstrong State in Savannah and I recall very few of my professors being involved in research. Of course, large universities are different. My professors at UGA were not that accessible. How can they be when they are so involved in non-teaching activities?

UGA

February 24th, 2010
12:55 pm

Seriously? How many freaking times do we have to endure paying for higher education? Why not take the mass amount of money we are paying FB coaches and put that towards the budget. Colleges have their priorities out of order!!!

Rik

February 24th, 2010
12:58 pm

@db – they are going after the education system, because it is bloated. There are other ways to save though.

Here’s one – end the stupid war on drugs. The money spent on police officers and equipment to keep Shaggy from smoking a doobie is ridiculous.

Chip J

February 24th, 2010
12:59 pm

I vote for #2 … in particular (shift $$$ from other projects) and hey – knowing that if I were You , I would ask me for specifics on HOW to do that!!!

Here you go, again to sound like a broken record and use the prospective Fund raising for a College Football Hall of Fame, as my example… Instead of figuring out how to fund that, via the sale of Bonds, I might invest that energy into figuring out a way to fund my Higher Education needs first (I am not sure how to incorporate a BOND issue with our Higher education but put me on a task force with others and we will do our best to figure out a way!) …

Also instead of raising the Bonuses of Ga Lottery folks, I might restructure the funding and resource gatherings from them…

The real point is that I don’t want you or anyone else casting my vote for me, and voting to increase tuition, especially when that person is not necessarily paying tuition directly themselves! And I dare say that people like Balfour, are in the huge Minority of Georgia Parents and Students that would support such a vote!

Thanks for playin’ James.

Chip J

February 24th, 2010
1:08 pm

Though I Love my Football and in particular UGA football and we are, as all other revenue generating institutions based on their athletic good fortune, blessed with Not suffering the cutback in almost all other areas of our economy….

In other words, Athletic revenues are GROWING while other seemingly more important areas are stagnant or LOSING….

So maybe the answer is somewhere in the association of taxing the dollars that go towards those Entertainment based activities… Maybe ask the University Athletics Departments , the Professional Sports Franchises, particularly NCAA Bowl Coalition, NFL and MLB, and Movie Makers at a higher rate!!! They can afford to pay their superstars millions upon millions, they should be able to cough up a few mil. to Education on a National Basis.

Hit them for the extra $$$ and let them cut their revenues by a few percentage points, instead of continuing to pick the pockets of Me…. John Q. Consumer.

DAVID: AJC Truth detector

February 24th, 2010
1:08 pm

THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF UNEMPLOYED COLLEGE GRADUATES NOW……Want to be added to the list-????……..Today…….where will a degree get you-???

Chip J

February 24th, 2010
1:09 pm

Further than a H.S. diploma alone — I am fairly certain.

GT-Man

February 24th, 2010
1:09 pm

Jordan(Student) hit the nail on the head. Lower tuition costs help everyone in Georgia whether you have a kid in college or not. Tuition should only be raised after the all the excess costs and waist are driven out of the system. In yesterday’s AJC, there was an article about companies from Ohio moving their operations down here. Do you think companies such as Novellis and NCR would be coming to Georgia if we were not turning out the college grads so they could have a base to recruit from? Having a more educated population base leads to higher paying jobs which eventually leads to more tax revenues.

Every time a subject like this comes up, people throw out the dreaded “S” word (Socialism) because it’s the new hot button word of the day. Maybe every time you call 911 they should first ask you for your credit card number. Maybe the government should check your speedometer and bill you for every mile driven. We all know everything that is socialized such as police, firefighters, and public roads are bad.

Barry

February 24th, 2010
1:11 pm

How transparent! These gutless lawmakers are forcing Regents to charge students more in tuition, thereby – they hope – allowing them to avoid tough choices that could include charging taxpayers higher taxes or eliminating some of the state’s sweetheart tax breaks. The Regents will get the blame for higher tuition, and the lawmakers will furrow their fat brows and talk about what hard work they’ve done. And then go out to lobbyist-funded wine-’n'-dining, where they’ll promise their fat-cat pals even more tax breaks.

Amazed

February 24th, 2010
1:13 pm

People are all about free markets until it hits there pocketbook. Let college set their own tuition since the State has pulled back on their promise of support per student.

MyOpinion

February 24th, 2010
1:13 pm

@Rik
As a current student of Southern Poly, the same teachers you are putting down are same teachers that are trying to save you money each semester. Most departments at SPSU tend to use the same book for classes that have a Part I, Part II or a Part III.

My advisor who was also my professor at different point and times in my academic career has helped me more than anybody else at the entire school. I know for a fact that he has over a 150 students that he sees each semester; just for advisement to help them get in and successfully out of school as quick as possible while maintaining decent GPAs. Moreover, he is a counselor to some students providing mental and emotional relief and for those with finical issues, points them in the right direction to find funds to help alleviate the cost of school and living. Moreover, he usually teaches three to four classes consisting of 32 students a semester, all of which requires an additional lab that is sometimes limited to 16 students per lab session. This does not include the time that is set-aside for office hours, responding to emails and phone calls, and grading of assignments. At the end of each day, he finds time to spend with his family. This past semester I sent an email to him on a day that was his furloughed day – guess what – I received a response the same day and held an email conversation because this was concerning my graduation petition.

When I look at all he and other professors like him do, I don’t feel they “have cushy jobs in nice climate controlled facilities with extraordinary benefits.” They do “save lives” because these professors provided students with the education to enter the workforce to make more money so we don’t leech off others. It is hard to “replace them just like everyone else” because many people do not educate themselves enough to teach in college academia.

Most teachers and professors probably wish that had a regular 9-5 job so when the leave work at 5, the leave work – not take it with them home.

tc

February 24th, 2010
1:13 pm

do regents and school teachers get both state pensions and social security? do regents and school teachers get both longevity and colas (when awarded) generally throughout their careers? if so, it would seem that their salary base is just not sustainable and contributes to overgenerous pensions as compared to average citizen. in private sector, i imagine there is sufficient turnover to keep salary manageable. it would be interesting to compare a large national company with state enterprise in terms of stategies that keep that large company progressing….how much revenue growth vs. cost control. are there lessons to be learned?

Irritated Student & Tired of this Mess

February 24th, 2010
1:17 pm

I as a college student am being affected by all these tuition hikes and so forth and so on and I for one am so sick and tired of these big heads at the top making decisions about raising tuition costs when they should be taking pay cuts first and foremost before passing the costs on to the students/parents. They wonder why the economy is failing….newsflash…. people that are unemployed / in need of a better job or better yet not even in the job market that need a higher education…..most likely are going to school in search of getting a higher education and or a decent paying job , but if the tuition and other related costs continue to rise, people aren’t gonna be able to afford to go even with financial aid assistance. The economy isn’t really going to truly improve either till the job market recovers, the analysts can say what they want but people aren’t gonna spend more than necessary if they don’t feel secure in their jobs or that they have enough financial security, and if that ain’t happening then prepare to see more nationwide store chains, etc. going under. Truth is we’re in a down-ward spiral till someone makes all the IDIOTS at the top wake up and smell the roses. Things aren’t simply gonna improve just from simply giving stimulus checks here and there and or better yet just a few tax credits here and there either. I don’t think furloughing the professors / teachers (Even at the high school level) is the right answer, as all that’s doing is making some of them frustrated and want other jobs where they don’t have to worry over such pay cuts, and next thing you know Georgia is gonna have even more of a teacher shortage state wide than we already do. So truth is as I already stated, the ones who truly should be taking pay cuts are the ones at the top making all the decisions, because truth be told if they weren’t making such bad judgments and choices, the state wouldn’t be in as bad a shape as it is budget wise. Take it out of the pockets of those who’ve made the bad choices, don’t make everyone else pay!!!!

University employee

February 24th, 2010
1:18 pm

It’s refreshing to see so many people interested in public education all of a sudden. Where have you been these past few decades??? The state of Georgia does not take public education seriously folks. Look at other states like North Carolina or Virginia or Texas. Look at the amount of money those state legislatures have dedicated to education over the past two decades and then look at the test scores and graduation rates of those students vs. Georgia students. Look at the cost of tuition at UNC, UVA, and UT-Austin. Tuition in the state of Georgia is ridiculously cheap in comparison. Tax dollars in the state of Georgia equate to less than one third of the operating budgets of our public research institutions (Tech, UGA, Ga. State). Those institutions are primarily funded through donations, grants, and tuition….not state tax dollars. In addition to the paltry level of support from the state legislature, we then rely on the Georgia lottery to fun the HOPE scholarship. Most of the people who play the lottery have never been to college and will never go to college but yet they are paying for many children from middle-class families and above to get a very cheap education. Our entire public education system in Georgia is completely screwed up. The state legislature has never made it a priority and it is now glaringly apparent with these budget cuts. Stop blaming the schools and the teachers and the administrators and start yelling at your elected officials to make public education a priority in this state.

Pryncess

February 24th, 2010
1:19 pm

I bet the chancellor not once considered to cut his +$500,000 salary. That’s out of the question.

Boba Fett

February 24th, 2010
1:20 pm

Yeaaa…I’m with Sunday Liquor Salesman ….eliminate tax breaks for businesses. That way they move out of state, and we lose even more revenue….idiot.

biddly NObiddington

February 24th, 2010
1:22 pm

reduce his paycheck by 77%

db

February 24th, 2010
1:23 pm

back @Rik…. You don’t think the other agencies are bloated as well?

db

February 24th, 2010
1:24 pm

db agrees with Boba Fett…. Think how much more tax $’s that would generate. Especially after everyone is depressed from paycuts, job losses and politician’s general BullSheet!

tc

February 24th, 2010
1:32 pm

sorry little off topic, and easier said than done and maybe day late & dollar short, but should we to the greatest extent possible buy american (if we make things anymore) and start a national campaign for this? can’t impose tariffs or china will quit lending us money…..and all the energy we import? all you economic academicians reading this blog any constructive comments?

University Employee

February 24th, 2010
1:35 pm

why is it that some people have a problem with Higher Education? They have a problem with taxes for roads, etc…

Not Sam

February 24th, 2010
1:40 pm

Aaron,
Your math is still off. 1% of $1.9 Billion is $19 Million, not $190 Million and not $1.9 Million. Journalists can attempt math, but they need editors.

Rik

February 24th, 2010
1:43 pm

@My Opinion – I have been around enough teachers to know that there are exceptionally good and exceptionally bad ones. For every teacher that answers the phone on a day off or stays to help a student, there’s another that does their eight and hits the gate. I disagree that preparing someone for a career is saving a life. Most of what you describe in your post are things we in the business world like to call part of the job. Actually seeing and advising your students like you are paid to do it no more admirable than a trash collector actually making his rounds. When you have completed your degree and are working for pay and benefits that are well below those of the teachers, then get back with me about whether they “have cushy jobs in nice climate controlled facilities with extraordinary benefits.” The fact is that teachers like all government workers have benefits that many of us could only hope to and get more vacation time than your average worker. I was married to a teacher, my mother is a retired teacher as are my grandmother and two aunts. I have taught classes in a private setting and I know a little bit about that which I speak. I have a daughter in college and can tell you that while I appreciate the pretty new wrought iron sidewalk lamps on campus, I think they could’ve saved a buck or two. I think the professor that goes to the Galapagos islands every June could miss it this year. After all evolution doesn’t happen that quickly and he can afford a book or two to pass the time and fill the gap. And if most teachers would prefer a 9-5 job then I, for one, would encourage them to do so. For myself, I have never worked a forty hour work week in my life and have almost always been on a 40 hour salary until becoming self employed. Now, I just work constantly.

There is bloat aplenty and yes, db in many other agencies as well. It is easy to spend other peoples money when you are not held accountable. Now some of these government workers are feeling the uncertainty that the general population lives with and, like us, they don’t like it.

Road Scholar

February 24th, 2010
1:43 pm

Ah, after reading the above posts, our education system has been in big trouble for years. Not speaking of just financial matters, but the quality of the education and understanding economics most posters have exhibited is embarrassing.

The Georgia in-state tuition, when compared to in-state tuition for similar universities beyond Georgia is lower. The out-of state tuition in Georgia (it’s about 4 times as much as in state) is similar to other states” out of state tuition. The legislators have kept it artificially low to stretch the Hope scholarship benefits to allow for a larger in-state attendance.

With the influx of young students and the new influx of unemployed to the schools, attendance has soared. One school at GT has doubled its enrollment in the past few years. No new facilities for this school; students are now sitting on the classroom floor to attend their classes. Professors as well as support staff have ben cut and have taken multiple furlough days. Operating budgets have been slashed. The latest mid year cut does not allow some schools to maintain their teaching ability. I know because my wife is a professor at another school than Tech and I’m un unpaid advisory board member at another.

There is tremendous pressure by parents to get/keep the Hope scholarship as evidenced by the threats by parents for Lil Johnny to keep his B or above average, even though his course work is not up to that level. Why do you think the High School teachers are changing test answers? Not only to pad thier pockets, but also to keep Lil Betty from not qualifying for the Hope. My wife, as well as other professors have been verbally threatened by the student and parents to not allow Johnny/Betty from getting less than a B; One was sued and the case was dropped during a pre-trial hearing when the professor showed the documentation of substandard work by the student.

Cancelling summer semester for colleges to save money is a misnomer, since most professors have been paid for their yearly 9 mo contract ( some sign 3 year contracts!) This cancelation would also undermine many CO-OP programs that allow students to get and education while also working every other semester. (don’t get me started on why we now have 3 semesters instead od 4 quarters- the iidiot legislature!)

Maybe our legislators should have been discussing abortion and guns less often, and learning to understand the ramifications of what they have passed in the past. Things like tax cuts, tax exemptions, give aways….tuition freezes. (Sorry about this one in advance (toungue in cheek)…Maybe we should have allowed more abortions so that the demand for our schools would have been lessened?)

College Student

February 24th, 2010
1:45 pm

Its ALWAYS stressed to get an education, so you can be a productive citizen of society. However,it has costed us an arm/leg to learn. EDUCATION should be given, and not manipulated into a cash cow.

Amazed

February 24th, 2010
1:50 pm

Once the cuts are made to the budget you can guarantee that that they will be at the worker bee level and not at the middle management levels. Five years down the road the AJC would publish a report on the fraud and abuse that has occurred since there are no adequate worker bees to actually get work accomplished. The cycle will continue.

Base

February 24th, 2010
1:51 pm

Sonny and the legislature continue to trash the state.They want to privatize the state! Balfour is a wacko.Wonder how much Balfour makes from Waffle House if state tuition is so cheap. His kid probably goes on HOPE or socialism for the rich.

College Prof

February 24th, 2010
1:57 pm

Tuition in the state is way too low and needs to be raised dramatically! Faculty salaries have not kept pace with inflation and should be much higher at the colleges in Georgia. I do a lot of research and my salary has only increased about 5-7% per year over the last 5 years, which is way too low. The state needs to raise tuition and taxes if necessary to allow for a big increase in salaries and benefits, to keep the faculty from leaving the state.

General Sherman

February 24th, 2010
2:03 pm

Senator Balfour..I have voted for you each time you have run for public office,but the assinine statement you made (embarrassingly cheap) just pissed me off. Some people are not fortunate enough to run in the same circles as you and the rest of our so called caring officials. Some people such as single parents,etc barely can afford a daily living,but have some bright kids that deserve a break in life.For you to make such a statement shows what kind of elected official that you are.you folks need to listen and learn from people that need the help and show that you have some idea of what is happening and quit making assinine statements.

Aaron Gould Sheinin

February 24th, 2010
2:10 pm

Not Sam … boy do we ever. Thanks.

Money Talks

February 24th, 2010
2:14 pm

The maximum georgia income tax rate is only 6% which is way to low to fund all the costs of education. This rate should raised way up to 10-15% to get a lot more money for colleges to improve and grow.

Shar

February 24th, 2010
2:14 pm

College Prof, my job evaporated and I’m still paying your salary. Your comments are absurd – a 5-7% year-over-year salary increase is way out of reach of most of the people whose tax dollars are confiscated to pay your salary and benefits. If you could get hired somewhere else, you’d already be gone. Your research is of no interest or relevance to me. You are as out of touch and insensitive as Don Balfour.

General Sherman: Why exactly did you vote for that fat idiot?

Rik

February 24th, 2010
2:15 pm

@ College Prof – If your salary has gone up 35% + over the last five years then you should be thankful, however you sound arrogant and ungrateful. If your research is so great then go do it in the private sector and roll in the dough you think you are worth. If that means you leave the state, then don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out!

tc

February 24th, 2010
2:18 pm

college prof, if you are doing research then if the private sector benefits from it, let them pay you….what kind of research do you do?

Educator

February 24th, 2010
2:24 pm

I apologize if this is a repeat post…I didn’t read through them all…but just imagine what will happen to the university budget once education changes over to merit pay! When the BOE no longer recognizes higher degrees as a way to improve salary, teachers will no longer use their money to pursue them. If they think we are in a crisis for higher education funds now….just wait.

Bev

February 24th, 2010
2:28 pm

Increase tuition? That way, we can have more uneducated Americans! Yeah! Are you serious??

UGA grads

February 24th, 2010
2:28 pm

When I was in college 25 yrs ago, my parents paid my full tuition. No loans, no HOPE. They worked hard and saved all their lives to put two kids thru college. A financial advisor told us to start saving for our children’s education when they were born. We did. Stop asking for professor pay cuts–we can no longer risk sacrifice of the quality of education. Many companies offer work/study scholarships and tuition reimbursement plans for students. Stop asking for a free college education. It’s expensive, and it should be. Chick-fil-a and McDonalds are ALWAYS hiring.

USG staff

February 24th, 2010
2:31 pm

The largest cost in higher education is typically salaries. But most faculty and staff are not highly paid. I’d much rather continue the furlough days then have to fire staff. Pay cuts aren’t a good idea because it’s looked on as being more permanent than furlough days. I think 4-day 10 hour work weeks would help some. Raising tuition by 15% or less would help but I’d also consider temporarily eliminating student fees (only the ones that can be temporarily eliminated). This would help soften the blow on students. (there are some fees that are funding parking decks and buildings that cannot be eliminated.) And keep the furlough days (1 or 2 per month at most) coming. No one is happy about it but we’d much rather do it than fire our co-workers.

Dr. Young

February 24th, 2010
2:33 pm

You were fortunate enough to have parents pay your tuition! This isn’t the case for a lot of students! Did you work and go to school simultaneoulsy? Judging from your comment, you must’ve worked at Chick-fil-a or McDonalds, or maybe both.

UGA grads

February 24th, 2010
2:37 pm

Dr Young. I always had a part time job in college and carried a full class load. My kids have part time jobs in college while carring full class loads. Judging from your comments, you must be one of the ones always lookng for a handout.

Different College Prof

February 24th, 2010
2:37 pm

College Prof must be at a private university (where annual tuition averages $26,000). The legislature has not approved raises for faculty at state institutions for the last couple of years. Before that we got between 1% to 2.5% merit raises. Keep in mind also that many faculty bring in external funding that covers their salaries and tuition for their students (typically graduate students). I have brought in over $3 million in external funds in the last 4 years and for this I have seen my pay go down and my workload increase.

jj

February 24th, 2010
2:41 pm

Every public school teacher in GA is taking up to 6 furlough days or a 3% pay cut. Cobb county took a 2% pay cut plus 4 furlough days which is a 4% pay cut. And the high and mighty college profs are barking at 1%. These folks teach 1 or two classes while the grad assistants teach most and the vast majority make in excess of $75-100K. Damn good pay for a couple of hours a week.

vicki

February 24th, 2010
2:44 pm

As a parent who has paid for college tuition for two children, the elected official who said tuition is “embarrassing cheap” needs to be voted out of office. He is so out of touch with the people of Georgia. Perhaps he can get a job with the college system in Public Relations.

1 at GSU and 1 at UGA

February 24th, 2010
2:52 pm

“We’re becoming a socialist society when we say that you shouldn’t raise tuition at all,” Balfour said, adding that his son attends college in Georgia and that tuition “is embarrassingly cheap.”

“I don’t want a commitment from you you’re not going to raise tuition,” Balfour said. “I’d rather have a commitment from you that you are. The only group of people who can pay is the people taking the course.”

I’m happy that this moron doesn’t represent me.

First of all, he obviously doesn’t know what socialism is, and sometimes, a little socialism is a good thing (like public libraries & schools). But gee, doesn’t it sound scary to those who don’t understand it? However, that’s off the topic.

Secondly, you get what you pay for. It seems as though the university system has been “pared down” to the bone. Keep cutting and you will either force some universities to close, the better teachers to leave, create conditions not condusive to education, or a combination of the above.

It may be that a tuition increase is necessary, but I think that they should also be looking at a tax increase to fund the deficit. I want my children to get a quality education, and it is a “social good” for our university system to produce well educated people.

A tuition increase alone means that those with higher income parents will be the ones that can afford it, or would “scare off” some of those trying to pay for it themselves. We need to be more concerned about educating the best and brightest of our children than worrying about who can best afford it.

And perhaps if we had a better educated population here (especially in Snellville), perhaps we wouldn’t produce morons like Balfour.

Cheapo

February 24th, 2010
2:53 pm

Georgia tries to go cheap on the tuition and taxes, and they get mediocre education. Only UGA and Ga Tech, with a lot of private money, are quality institutions in this state. All the rest are mediocre.

General Sherman

February 24th, 2010
2:54 pm

Shar. I VOTED FOR HIM BECAUSE AT THE TIME HE WAS THE BEST THAT THE REPUBS HAD TO OFFER,HE HAS SINCE BECOME PART OF THE SYSTEM AND PROBLEM INSTEAD OF A SOLUTION.PLEASE FORGIVE!

worried

February 24th, 2010
2:55 pm

Things are REALLY getting scary now… A 77% increase in tuition? What will that look like for the average student? Times are hard as is, teachers being laid off, will this cut the enrollment rate in GA universities and junior colleges? I don’t like this. I don’t like this at all.

Shar

February 24th, 2010
3:00 pm

Mon general, I forgive you gladly but do you suppose you could work on putting his spatula back in his hand come November? Far better that than my tax dollars in his pocket!

tc

February 24th, 2010
3:00 pm

if we rank so low in our k-12, how are these folks getting into college, voc-tech ok, but college?

what % of ga college students getting HOPE?

Old college student&worker

February 24th, 2010
3:02 pm

I am currently a full time student at a private university and by the time I graduate my loans will be as much as a house in foreclosure.. 50K. I also work at a public university. I see a complete difference between the two. Where I work people retire at the age of 70 and then two months later they come back to work part time. So basically they are taking money from the teacher retirement fund, getting social security and getting a paycheck from the university. How fair is this? Some are even hired back at full time!! If you want to keep tuition down stop hiring back retired workers who are old enough to get ready for the next part of their life… if you know what I mean…

1 at GSU and 1 at UGA

February 24th, 2010
3:03 pm

I VOTED FOR HIM BECAUSE AT THE TIME HE WAS THE BEST THAT THE REPUBS HAD TO OFFER – General Sherman

Then you are part of the problem

college gramie

February 24th, 2010
3:04 pm

Ask Erroll Davis how much money he makes. And how many 6-figured assistants he has.

tc

February 24th, 2010
3:06 pm

sounds like a sweet deal……get rid of the triple dippers now

Ignorant legislators

February 24th, 2010
3:08 pm

I thought Balfour’s son was stationed in Afghanistan. http://www.peachpundit.com/2009/08/20/trey-balfour-reports-for-duty

But I can see how a Waffle House executive would want an undereducated population. It’s hard to convince college grads to work for minimum wage. Bet he’ll get a bonus for that one.

General Sherman

February 24th, 2010
3:10 pm

1 AT GSU,I AT UGA. Think about it a democrat can not get elected in Gwinnett,so you take the best of the worse and hope for the best. That is not being part of the problem.People need to get out and vote come november.

Another University Employee

February 24th, 2010
3:13 pm

You’ve got me all wrong Rik – I’m not a teacher. I’m just a lowly staff member who doesn’t have his head up his own @$$ and can appreciate what faculty do. I don’t complain about my job – I’m grateful to have it and love what I do. I spent 15 years working in the private sector and have a true appreciation for what goes on there and the differences between public and private. I’m just sick of eejits like you who feel we’re on some kind of gravy train here when we’re not. And my point about doing the comment at lunch obviiously fired way over your too busy, entrepreneurial head. I was letting my fellow taxpayers know I wasn’t on the net on their dime.

Shar

February 24th, 2010
3:15 pm

If legislators want to restructure HOPE in a hurry, they could add a requirement that students who fail to maintain a GPA within 50% of the required B average have to pay back the tuition for the failed semester. Right now there are floods of students, particularly at the research universities, who qualify for HOPE courtesy of grade inflation and who fall flat on their surprised faces their first or second semester of college. Most of these kids lack the ability to pay tuition and leave the campus, which explains Georgia Tech’s large influx of high-paying international students in their sophomore year. The HOPE funds are squandered paying tuition for kids who are simply not ready, and the kids are shocked and must scramble to find alternative options.

Kids with poor SATs or other strong indicators of weak college preparation would be better served by attending two year schools, at far less cost, to strengthen skills before makign the jump to the four year, more demanding universities. Financial penalties might be sufficient incentive to put pragmatism ahead of optimism with the end result of more efficient use of HOPE funds.

open.georgia.gov

February 24th, 2010
3:23 pm

Use the open.georgia.gov site … quite revealing.

Georgia Tech has 1,300 employees making over $100 k per year. Add that up across the system.

open.georgia.gov

February 24th, 2010
3:25 pm

Shar

February 24th, 2010
3:28 pm

Georgia Tech, of course, has a far higher percentage of math/science experts who could make far more money in the private sector than they do as faculty members. It is reasonable that they would carry many, many employees making six figures, but those numbers are not projectable across the system.

The galling numbers are the highly paid administrators, whose ranks have mushroomed in the last decade while budgets were flush. Now they are embedded in the administrative structure, and no one wants to point fingers at the over paid, under used ones for fear that fingers will point right back. There are massive savings that could be realized if the administrative creep of the last ten years was scaled back.

[...] his boss was at the Legislature today with even more dire warnings: It would take a 77 percent tuition increase at Georgia’s colleges [...]

the prof

February 24th, 2010
3:45 pm

It’s about damn time the real problem is discussed….the “embarassingly” low cost of tuition in this state. You bet I’m a GA prof and here is how I’m handling the “furlough” days. Every day they take pay from me is costing YOU, the parent/consumer/student. We are being forced to take these so-called furlough days on “non-instructional” days, so I have decided to match those with INSTRUCTIONAL days. I have cancelled classes on 6 days this fiscal year and cost students that instructional time. I will continue to do so for every future furlough day. So, continue to dock my pay….I’ll continue to take those days when I, yes I, want to take them!

college girl

February 24th, 2010
3:49 pm

to me it seems like every time there are money problems education is the first thing that gets the short end of the stick. more tution means less students learning and more students making bad decisions.

Tom

February 24th, 2010
3:49 pm

University presidents make entirely too much $. Salary cuts of the big whigs are the answer. Tuition in this state is very cheap compared to other states. But really, where is the incentive to go to college? I finished my degree in 2008 and have yet to find a stable job.

What about all the stimulus money? Either the stimulus worked and nobody is saying anything, or it simply hasn’t.

Why is the legislature taking two weeks off to cut more out of the budget? Wasn’t the stimulus supposed to fill the gap???

College Student

February 24th, 2010
3:50 pm

What about the students that currently have a cap on their tuition? Is that up for consideration too? I do not think that raising the out of state tuition is a smart idea, since the people paying it are already paying four times as much. It is not a very welcoming experience, when they could go to a Division I school in their own state cheaper.

College Student

February 24th, 2010
3:50 pm

“if we have to break the promise of locking in tuition, we have to break the promise.”
I’m in fixed for 4 years. I rely on this promise, that’s how I am able to go to school. If you raise tuition your dumbing down society. I’m one year away from graduation. if this ‘breaking of the Promise’ happens it may take me decades to graduate. Others wont even be able to afford the first semester of College. Did you ever think of the future of the students your ripping off?

Student

February 24th, 2010
3:50 pm

Embarassingly cheap? Everything is beig cut, are there other places that can be cut besides education. Students need affordable tutition and for a family thats already struggling with the “recession”, the job market, and handling basic bills; higher tuition could be the final straw

UWG college student

February 24th, 2010
3:50 pm

I think it is pretty ridulous to raise the already outrageous prices that we pay to attend college. We are only trying to better ourselves in order to put more back into society and yet it is being made harder on us to do so. There are other ways to lower the deficit than to hinder the education of thousands of hopeful students.

College Student

February 24th, 2010
3:50 pm

We should find better ways to use our money. Like fixing pot holes in Clayton County!!!!!!!!

university staff

February 24th, 2010
3:51 pm

Everyday I drive to my university job, I thank God for employment. Not because it’s cushy, or the salary is high or even adequate or the working conditions ideal. Many of us take pride in the fact that we provide a service — directly or indirectly — to students of all ages, races and ethnicities and economic backgrounds. Bottomline, that service is education, a commodity for which there is proven value for individuals and for society at large. Please remember that universities are employers, and cuts on the order of what the legislature is calling for are sure to cause more job cuts and ultimately, impact the quality of the services students, their parents and the state receive. It takes faculty to teach and staff to process applications, keep offices that support the academic functions operating, to operate libraries, cafeterias, labs and dormitories, to maintain the facilties and to make sure all are safe. (I hope I haven’t left any out.) The system has made sacrifices to meet the 11 per cent reduction called for through fiscal 2009. To comply, individual universities have frozen hiring, cut positions, eliminated travel, cut expenses, implemented furloughs and looked for every possible way to acheive the target cuts. My institution even asked all staff to take a week of their paid vacation the week after Christmas so the university could shut down completely to save energy and other costs. Though not officially a furlough,the mandate takes away the staff’s ability to determine when they will take those vacation days. So everyone is making sacrifices. Are there more expense-saving opportunities in the system? You bet. Modest tax and tuition increases may be called for too, but certainly not by 77 percent. No one tier of our system could sustain that. Now’s the time for the state to stand for quality education across the board and put its money where its mouth is. And if there’s not enough money for education, then let’s all agree to pay more for what we say we want. It might mean a few less sodas, beers, snacks, movie tickets or rentals, lottery tickets, wine, cigarettes, and other expendable purchases. In the end, it will be worth it. It should be a shared sacrifice for a shared benefit.

Ga College Student

February 24th, 2010
3:52 pm

“If we have to break the promise of locking in tuition, we have to break the promise.” How does this look? The government wants to be trusted, but statemnets such as these make it difficult for citizens to trust the government. College students already have it hard enough to pay their tuition and afford other expenses, raising tuition will only further hurt the students. This is a decision that needs to be thought of from another perspective.

Margaret

February 24th, 2010
3:52 pm

For Balfour to say “that tuition ‘is embarrassingly cheap,’” is a slap in the face. Not all of us, especially college students like myself, make the kind of money Senators do.
I’d also like to point out that our education system is already worse than other nations, which has produced and is producing a population not able to compete. Raising tuition by so much would discourage higher education, something we as a nation can ill-afford.

College Student

February 24th, 2010
3:53 pm

I am a concerned University Student in the state of Georgia and I think that the Senator along with other gov. officials should revisit the decision about increasing tuition. There are many students struggling to pay the current tuition & fees especially during these difficult economic times. Please consider reviewing the decision and have town meetings, univ. visits etc. to get feedback from university & college students.

D.V. student REAL

February 24th, 2010
3:53 pm

There should be no reason to raise college tuition. If anything it should be lowered. Raising tuition is going to do nothing but deter students from wanting to go at all. If the state of Georgia is hurting that much they should think about cutting some of the people in office funds such as the chancellor who makes almost a half of million…COME ON MAN!!

Bob

February 24th, 2010
3:54 pm

Before we begin to trash the technical colleges we may want to take note of the fact that they are producing graduates for jobs that are in demand and doing it on 2% of the budget. My son-in-law graduated from one and works in a great job as a result.
How is the 2011 General budget allocated?
• 44% $7 billion K-12
• 14% $2.2 billion Community Health
• 12% $1.9 billion University System of Georgia
• 8% $1.2 billion Bond payments
• 6% $1 billion Corrections
• 5% $800 million Behavioral Health
• 3% $500 million Human Services
• 2% $320 million Technical Colleges
• 6% $1.1 billion EVERYTHING ELSE

Key

February 24th, 2010
3:55 pm

I think it’s unfair to refer to tuition being “embarrassingly cheap” because for some families paying for a college education can be extremely difficult. I attend The University of West Georgia and I can say that the tuition here is not that bad, but for other colleges/universities, the tuition is ridiculous.

Also, the issue of breaking the promise of a locked in tuition rate is totally unfair. I understand that we are experiencing budget cuts and furloughs, but increasing the tuition could cause prospective college students to become hesitant when deciding to attend college all together.

East Cobb Mom

February 24th, 2010
3:56 pm

I wonder if anyone has factored in the number of people who will not be able to afford the tuition hike and drop out? If fewer people are paying more – don’t those things cancel each other out? At a time when getting loans to pay for school is more difficult, and parents are struggling to find work, this drastic of a tuition increase is ill advised. I think a 1% pay cut is not unreasonable, coupled with a 5% tuition increase (or something modest on both sides.)

And why is it that every time we talk about SERVICES – public education, health care, police and fire – as things we VALUE and don’t want to lose we are labeled SOCIALISTS? I think folks are a little too quick on “S-word-trigger” here. I don’t want to pay extremely high taxes, but I’m willing to pay taxes for government provided services, including university education and other public education. I VALIE these services, but I’m not a socialist. Gimme a break!

College Student

February 24th, 2010
3:56 pm

I’m a college student and I don’t want to pay more in college tuition. Money management is something that is not taught in required fields of study and students already leave college with more debt than they come into. So raising the tuition is not the solution to the problem because you don’t solve money problems with money.

College Student 101

February 24th, 2010
3:57 pm

I do not agree of the raise of tution. I feel that it is already to much to attend college if you cannot afford loans, get scholarships, or grants. Better yet buying books EVERY SEMESTER is a burden on a lot of people. I feel as though the goverment needs to keep their promise. I am on a locked TUTION plan, meaning that the government said that my tutuion will stay the same while i am at school. AND now this article is telling me that if they have to break the promise then so be it. HOW now can i believe anything else we are told when it comes to my education and the cost of it. This is ridiclous!!!

UWGSenior

February 24th, 2010
4:00 pm

“Embarrassingly cheap”? What college is he talking about?

I’m a senior in college and I don’t think this is the best route. A 77% percent increase in tuition? Really? Keep increasing tuition and hardly anybody will be able to afford college (except legislator’s offspring of course). I understand that even with the economy, financial times are hard, but this is a bit extreme.

tc

February 24th, 2010
4:01 pm

keep in mind the great pension system they have too. seems like some of these regents folks are getting their cake and eating it too. big salaries that turn into big pensions. seems like a fair trade off would be moderate salaries, good pension (retire early, get 2d job or get social security)….the market ought to dictate prof salaries…but for admin types it seems to have really gotten out of kilter…think Shar is correct

Just a taxpayer

February 24th, 2010
4:22 pm

You want to save some money in the higther education. Get rid of the Regents system. These are political appointments who benefit financially through back room deals. They keep Georgia in the dark ages in our primary and secondary education systems. These folks set the education school agendas for teachers in our state.

Change the higher education system. Do not force liberal arts majors to take core education classes they will never use. This is a waste of their time and money. Shorten the time it takes for students to earn a degree in their area of study by eliminating unnecessary core requirements. Science and technology majors don’t need literature courses. It may make for a more well rounded individual, but this isn’t one of the obligations of a higher education. This can be accomplished on one’s own.

www.open.georgia.gov

February 24th, 2010
4:23 pm

Shar, agreed, Pay the talent Get ready of the legions of associate, assistant .

Keep in mind that Georgia Tech draws an abnormally high number of out of state students for a state institution (46%) which means more tuition dollars in their coffers.

1 at GSU and 1 at UGA

February 24th, 2010
4:27 pm

General Sherman – I don’t want to vote strictlly by the initial next to someone’s name. That’s linear thinking. But this should be reserved for a different blog.

I’d like to reiterate my earlier point; that the purpose of education is to make sure that the best and the brightest get afforded the chance to make something of themselves, because that generation will be taking care of my generation. If we want to produce a quality crop of graduates, this will require sacrafice, in the form of tax increases and probably higher tuition. I am not in favor of further reducing the quality of education our children are receiving.

1 at GSU and 1 at UGA

February 24th, 2010
4:35 pm

Just a taxpayer – I couldn’t disagree more.
I was a liberal arts graduate. I got my degree in economics, but still, 30 years later, I still appreciate taking my classes in Shakespere and astronomy. My french is probably so poor that I couldn’t order in a restaurant but I’m a more well-rounded person for having took it. Do I use any of that in my present occupation? No. But I’m very glad that I took them, and have encouraged both my children to “step outside their boundaries” and take a class in something different.

I see people writing about cutting their pensions and other types of reducing benefits to the professors, and if that happens, these people (especially the most qualified) might take positions in Tennessee or Florida and leave us with less qualified teachers.

Again, you get what you pay for. Do we want education on the cheap or do we want quality education? What will we be better off with in 20 years?

struggling student

February 24th, 2010
4:47 pm

I wonder if the USG has considered its tuition reimbursement program as a possible area to cut? This program grants full tuition reimbursement to any USG employee attending classes within the system. As much as I would support such a program in spirit, it’s hard to justify a free ride for tution when the rest of us are being asked to pay more each semester.

General Sherman

February 24th, 2010
4:59 pm

1 GSU and 1 UGA..The problem is THE professors children get a free ride if they attend school in Ga.The politicians want the money for PORK projects such as the college football hall of fame.They could care less about you,your children or any thing as long as they receive the PORK!

Tom

February 24th, 2010
5:11 pm

An economics observation:

Whether tuition is cheap or expensive is relative to how much it costs to provide the education. Considering that modest, unexceptional private colleges charge in excess of $10,000 per semester for tuition (obviously there are many other expenses but the purpose of tuition is to fund the running of the college), the current tuition rates for USG institutions are low. Please though don’t assume tuition charges are “high” because they are expensive for you–expenses have to be covered one way or another and what isn’t paid for by tuition is largely borne by the state budget. Some services are expensive to provide and you have to make judgments as to the relative value of that service; maybe we’re reaching the point where the cost to go to school isn’t worth it anymore?

1 at GSU and 1 at UGA

February 24th, 2010
5:12 pm

General Sherman – I don’t begrudge the professor’s children going to the school; that’s a perk that’s part of their benefits package, like vacation or healthcare.

With regards to PORK, that’s an apolitical problem. It comes from the left & the right, and all I can say is VOTE THE BUMS OUT!!!

I do agree that we shouldn’t be building the college football HOF right now, or starting the football program at GSU (even though my son goes there) and several other projects which we really can’t afford. GSU hopes to generate revenue from a football program, but there are small school programs which are money black holes. Now is not the time to experiment.

Have a good evening, my friend.

Random Dude

February 24th, 2010
5:17 pm

The students saying they are broke so we shouldn’t raise tuition are hilarious. This country is filled with people with their hand out, looking for a blank check that SOMEONE ELSE has to pay. Just because you are broke, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be asked to pay more. The taxpayers of this entire state are broke, too, you know. The country is going down the tubes because so many people only see their own needs instead of considering the entire population’s needs. So freaking depressing.

1 at GSU and 1 at UGA

February 24th, 2010
5:18 pm

Tom – an interesting observation. I’m not sure I agree with “maybe we’re reaching the point where the cost to go to school isn’t worth it anymore?”. We import a large number of H1-B visas from India, China and other countries in large part because we are not producing people that are qualified to do the work. In other words, these countries are producing better, more educated workers than we are. Which is exactly why it is so important for us to rectify our educational system.

It is even more important that we send our children to higher educational systems that produce quality workers.

Man-up

February 24th, 2010
6:05 pm

Man-up and stop whining. I’m sorry but the economy has tanked and we have to suck it up. The education received at most GA institutions is a VERY good value for the $, (I believe that was meant by Balfour’s “embarrassingly cheap” comment). As for parents currently struggling to pay their children’s tuition—you had 18 yrs to prepare for this event saving no more than $15-$20/wk. What happened? And now you expect me as a taxpayer to bail you out due to your lack of planning?

For college students struggling to pay their current tuition—you can do it. I put myself through undergraduate and graduate school by working and scholarship $s. It was not easy, but it prepared me for the real world. Don’t play the victim. If you want the education, you will find a way to make it happen

Ideas for Board of Regents

February 24th, 2010
6:11 pm

Do not cut the technical colleges who work hard to work with the budget and manage their money. Also, be thankful if you only have furlough days. You have a job and a good one at that. We can start requiring the 2 and 4 year professors to put in 40 hour weeks and teach 25 hours a week–like technical college instructors. I am sick of this research they talk about doing. Let’s publish it and check the overall value of this research they are doing. Many times you go to the campus and they have their schedule posted and if you notice the class and office hours do not add up to 40 hours a week. Let’s pay them for the hours they work in the office. They should not be allowed office hours at home as no other state agency can do that. If they do research it should be done on the job. Let them prove themselves. Don’t rate that you do work at home because you know all teachers do and you should be treated no different than any other state employee.

James

February 24th, 2010
6:32 pm

@Chip – We’re in violent agreement, I too would take option #2 (Increase the subsidy from taxpayers to fund education) but fact is the state, like the national economy is in the tank. They are talking about up to 5K in layoffs for the state that does not include the education system.

Rock Hardplace

the prof

February 24th, 2010
6:51 pm

Idea…..sorry I went to school longer than you, am smarter than you, and make more money than you. My research will live on well beyond you……

Ann Spencer

February 24th, 2010
8:11 pm

Maybe the Universtiy System of Georgia should take some lessons on how to manage money from the Technical College System. The Technical College System reports that enrollment is up at all colleges. They are merging colleges and yes to offer the same courses at the campuses of the merged colleges because they have the student and the space is used. It is still cheap to attend a Techncial College and most of the people graduating from a TC get a job much faster than someone with a four year degree and you know why because they are educated in a certain area. I know people who work for the Techncial Colleges and some are doing three and four peoples jobs while not receiving an increase in pay. When someone retires or leaves someone else takes on those responsibilities. Yes, a pay raise would be great, however they value there jobs.

General Sherman

February 24th, 2010
8:11 pm

1 at GSU and 1 UGA…. We finally agree to disagree. HAVE a great week.

An "overpaid" college employee

February 24th, 2010
8:11 pm

I work for a small community college in north Georgia. I am a staff member that has teaching responsibilities in the labs. I work with 20+ students for 2 hours at a time, 9-10 times a week. I also have to manage a budget for supplies for 5 campus locations, maintain equipment, grade papers, and field student questions. I average about 200-250 students a semester. I work 50-60 hours a week, yes in a climate-controlled building, on my feet for most of my work day. I do not really get a lunch break and I do not sit in my office on my computer surfing the web, as I do not have the time. I make $34,000 a year, which is about 3 grand less than a high school teacher makes. I am sure most of you think that is what I am worth, and you are entitled to your opinion. However, consider this: those students that I am teaching are going on to be your nurses, doctors, physical therapists, etc. So no, I am not directly saving lives, but the knowledge that I pass on is enabling those that you depend on for that task to be able to do their jobs. I have taken the furloughs in stride. I went and got a second job, which is probably 2 more than most of the folks that are commenting on this thread holds down. I cannot afford another pay cut. If this continues, these high-quality teachers that some of you are so quick to throw under the bus as over paid will leave the state and Georgia will sink lower in the ranks of the nation in education. You think that jobs are scarce now, wait until no corporations will relocate to Georgia because all those “work-ready” citizens do not meet the education levels to sustain there business.

middle class

February 24th, 2010
8:45 pm

Please everyone call Rep. Baulfour tomorrow and shame him about that comment. How dare he! We are struggling and taking it day by day whether or not our child can stay at GA southern. We LOVE that school but could not afford it another semester if it went up even 1% . Please call!

Wally

February 24th, 2010
8:54 pm

You are all missing the big picture here. Regardless of how we got to this point, we’re here. State revenues will never get better – just someday they’ll stop getting worse and then it’ll stay there. This thing with college tuition is just the beginning. ALL state expenditures are in the same boat. You know that sucking sound made when a sink full of water is draining? That’s our Georgia state’s, counties’, cities’, school boards’ economies. And there is NOTHING that can be done about it. So quitcherbellyachin’.

Advocate

February 24th, 2010
9:52 pm

I was curious about Mr. Balfour’s statement, so I went and did some research and went to the following school’s web sites and pulled their costs for just tuition & fees for Fall 2009.

School In State/Out of State

Ga Tech 3753 12858
UGA 3765 12870
Ga State 3035 12140
Univ of Alabama 3500 9600
Florida State U. 4154 18958
Auburn 3462 9702
Clemson 5739 12894
Univ of SC 4378 11666
NC State 2764 9006
NC Univ 2812 11757
Tennessee 6850 20946
Miss State 5151 13021
LSU 2608 7198

So, the 3 big Ga schools appear to be on the cusp of the cheapest schools on the list. I had no idea that Mississippi State Univ would be more expensive than GT, UGA, or GSU.

There’s been a lot of Ga Tech bashing as well, some of it is probably deserved, so I went to US News & World Report and looked up the comparison for top engineering schools. I omitted the Foreign schools as I felt that would be comparing apples and oranges with regards to costs. They are ranked below in order of “best school” on down.

MIT 18195
U of Ca: Berkley 11914
Stanford 16472
Cal Tech 14970
Carnegie Mellon 18475
Georgia Tech 11683
UCLA 9534
Harvard 15728
Princeton 17145
Cornell 18977

Georgia Tech is the 2nd cheapest school on the list with a very well respected Engineering degree. The only other public colleges to make the list are in California which is also struggling with its costs and budget shortfalls and instituted a significant tuition hike on their students which led to student protests. So it isn’t like these problems are limited to the State of Georgia.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/11/18/california.tuition.protest/index.html

As to the HOPE Scholarship issue. Yes, it is a problem. When HOPE started it had an income cap of about $70,000 for a couple to help middle-class and lower economically disadvantaged students go to school and earn a degree. The income cap went away when the lottery became fat and happy and in studies online you can see how these lottery for scholarship programs turn into individuals not so advantaged are paying for advantaged students to go to college. Admittedly, no one puts a gun to someone’s head and tells them to play Lucky 7’s, however to some of these people this is a possible ticket out of abject poverty. It’s impossible to say that there is not some compulsion there and the word HOPE works both ways.

I have friends who do work for the University System of Georgia. Is there waste? Yes, but it has been severely reduced over the past years. Is there an underlying problem with morale? Yes, from the professors, to staff, to the students. They have been cut to the bone with regards to the state budget. My friends no longer refer to their school as state supported, but rather state located. The profs take it out on the staff and students. The staff turn on the students and the parents. The students give it back to the staff and the profs. It’s a never ending cycle of gnashing teeth right now.

One part-time instructor friend of mine said things got so difficult that he had to include in his course syllabus that if a student mentioned “losing HOPE scholarship” to him as a reason for a grade change that it would merit an automatic grade deduction. Students and their parents see HOPE not as something to be earned but as something to be given. I draw this conclusion from the news reports I see every year this time when the legislature starts dillying with HOPE.

My solutions: Place the income cap back on the HOPE Scholarship program. Parents making over $100,000 should not be asking the state to support their child in school regardless of how hot their grades are, which with all this grade fixing, is severely up for debate.

Reduce the pay of all USG employees making absolutely ludicrous amounts of money. Most of the “grunt” workers make ridiculously low wages and have been under increasing stress and morale destroying years with no raises, pay reductions, increases in pay outs for benefits.. and to see this leader of the Board of Regents making $500K in this day and age while the Univ System takes a huge hit makes my blood boil. He is making 80-90% more than the average employee at his University System. He reminds me of the very worst of the Banking industry. Unwilling to take the hit while letting everyone let it roll down hill.

A moderate tuition rate hike is inevitable. Students should start thinking about how to deal with that now. Applying for private scholarships, getting student loans, or even considering not going to a school on a non traditional schedule. I know that is hard because I had to do it. I had no support from my family to go to school. I worked 40+ hrs a week 5 days a week and spent the other two days at Ga State Univ to earn my degree. It took double the amount of time I had planned on, but I did it. If you want the paper bad enough, you’ll do what you need to in order to get it.

The other thing, the opposite of Socialism, and a lot of people may not want to hear this. Your child can’t afford to go to school? Well.. that’s called CAPITALISM. It’s funny how that argument when it works for folks insanely crazed over Health Care suddenly do not like it when it’s turned to their issues.

My hat goes off to those students who are industrious and apply themselves to improve themselves for that education. It’s a shame that the generation in power does not seem to give a rat’s behind about helping you get there.

Lee

February 24th, 2010
10:14 pm

Did ANYONE pay attention to Jordan’s comment about adding a dedicated 1% sales tax for education?? That is really a good idea so long as old people on fixed incomes are exempt. It is my understanding that it would raise more than 600 M. (some of which would come from those who manage to avoid state income taxes and others who visit here but don’t live here).

Also, there was another comment about the effect of raising tuition much…that students who are already struggling financially will not be able to pay at all. Then GA would suffer from lack of trained/educated workforce and businesses would not be attracted here and our next generation would be even further behind.

Finally, average salaries in the USG are so low that a family of 4 cannot survive ( we aren’t talking golf club living here, but survival) on it unless 2 adults are working. Consider that university profs have to have at least 2 degrees(generally the PhD is preferred) and at the 4 year schools they have to have a PhD. Then they work for salaries that wouldn’t attract anyone to a private industry job??? And they do it because they LIKE what they do and the like working with students.

It is truly a shame that a university system faculty member who has 3 degrees can’t afford to pay for one degree for his children who are now college age. It is also a shame that administrative job salaries are so inflated.

Think about that 1% sales tax. It begins to sound good compared to other solutions. Think about what a steep raise in tuition will do to GA students who can’t afford much more than what they are already paying. Think about how far behind the whole system will be if we have to start letting faculty go when we already serve more than 40,000 more students than we did 2 years ago with much less money.

LaughsAtIdiots

February 24th, 2010
10:33 pm

I have to laugh at some of the “arguments” made in this thread by drooling half-wits. Just the incoherence alone is breath-taking–that on the one hand, professors should take their medicine and shut up because they CHOSE a profession funded by tax dollars–but then we’re mocked for working in “climate controlled” environments?

Yes, I CHOSE to become an academic because among other reasons I didn’t want to dig ditches in hundred-degree weather or wash cars when it’s below freezing. But now for some reason I’m supposed to apologize for that? Really? That’s your argument? That’s why I deserve to have my salary cut? Would you feel better if I taught classes outdoors? Is that your logic? If only the work of academia occurred OUTSIDE a climate-controlled environment, it would be worthwhile?

Look, if any of you made other choices, or never completed your educations and thus must work outside in jobs you don’t like, hey, that’s “on you,” not me. I have NO idea what that even has to do with this discussion.

And then there’s Rik–who notes that advising students and working on committees is what people in HIS world (which is apparently “more real” than any other world, although he never explains why) call “part of the job.”

Well, duh! Who ever said it wasn’t? I mean, how stupid can you get? The poster who talked about advising was responding to the idiot who claimed college professors teach three hours a day, four days a week, and then leave campus. No professor would EVER say that advising students is NOT part of his job. Try to read a little more carefully. And by the way, I seriously doubt that you are in any position to judge whether a professor is good or bad, as you so casually claim. You wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to even begin.

Many of the posters here seem to have a view of academia formed not through personal experience but second-hand, by listening to the screeds of seriously addled, anti-intellectual drug addicts like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

If you want to argue that college professors deserve to have their salaries cut, fine–but come up with a reasoned, rational argument instead of screeching like a bunch of angry, embittered chimpanzees on cocaine.

katz

February 24th, 2010
10:53 pm

Tuition has already been raised. Two semesters ago the minimum number of hours for full time was increased from 12 to 16. Students taking 6 or more hours are now required to pay for 16 instead of 12. That’s a 32% increase we’ve just recently absorbed. If there’s another increase there is a good chance we will be going on strike. Yep. NO TUITION! Consider how that’s gonna budget…You want some politically involved students? Wait and see what we’ll be doing while we’re on strike.

Ace

February 24th, 2010
11:06 pm

Where are all the jobs after forking over all this money for a “higher” education?

Judge Smails

February 24th, 2010
11:37 pm

Can’t afford to go to college? The world needs ditch diggers too.

Ace

February 24th, 2010
11:46 pm

Can’t afford to go to college? The world needs ditch diggers too-

Very true, but those jobs normally go to illegals or undocumented workers if you will.

Lothar

February 25th, 2010
12:42 am

Balfour and the other commenters here who think just like him made me so angry, I threw my laptop against the wall and destroyed it. I hate you all, and hope you die a horrible death.

Jaye

February 25th, 2010
8:10 am

NO to tuition hikes. University System personnel – teaching and admin. – should feel fortunate to have jobs and benefits and accept salary cuts. Many of their fellow Georgians have had to do this. As a taxpayer, I prefer they have their salary cuts to having my nephew’s tuition go up. His family members have had to take salary cuts this past year.

Doc

February 25th, 2010
8:27 am

.I sometimes wonder if anyone has actually stopped to look at how much this thing called The Georgia Lottery has cost the tax payers. You know when they came up with the Hope Grant to be funded by the lottery no one ever stopped to think how will we pay for the Billions of dollars in buildings, staff and upkeep to these new bldgs. From the onset of the Hope Grant all of our schools, University’s & Tech schools have recorded record enrollments and so the flood gates were opened to let the building begin. In the early years of the Hope Grant the record first quarter enrollments filtered down to the normal amount of students within the first two months but the original reported enrollment is what stood for the need for new classrooms and buildings. Take for instance KSU, there is a new science building being constructed at the cost of around 70 million dollars and once it is completed the cost of upkeep and utilities will probably be around 2.5 million a year and then we have the salaries of the staff dome individuals as much as $500,000.00 a year but as an average let’s say 3 million a year in salaries. Now with that said my point is that all this immediate and future cost is not paid by the Lottery but in fact is paid with tax dollars. But the justification for this building is due to the record enrollment caused by the Hope Grants free pass into college. It is not difficult to see in any of our communities how many new buildings have been built on Technical and University properties since the onset of the Hope Grant. One example take once again KSU, it has grown tenfold since the Hope Grant went into effect, and the justification for funding of new buildings is the first quarter enrollments which is fueled by the Hope Grant. Tuitions have to be raised.

yet another college employee

February 25th, 2010
9:48 am

Regarding the HOPE scholarship, I have to ask why it pays for students to repeat high school work if these students are, in fact, “the best and the brightest” our state has to offer. Students can graduate high school with a B average and then go to the access institutions (2 year and some 4 year) where they test into Learning Support classes. These LS classes are PAID FOR by HOPE. Learning Support classes teach the skills that you were supposed to learn in high school. At many of the access schools, as many as 50% or more students place into Learning Support. And many of these students graduated from high school with a B average and still can read, write or do simple math – (not trig or calculus – but Algebra. They learned this stuff in 8th and 9th grade for cryin out loud.)

Even worse, the students who couldn’t manage to scrape by in high school with a B average go to their local Technical Colleges and get the HOPE GRANT – no GPA requirement for that – you just walk in and sign up for any certificate program and your tuition is paid for by the HOPE grant.

If we fix these stupidities, then we’ll have enough money to continue HOPE – even with a large tuition increase.

yet another college employee

February 25th, 2010
9:49 am

And many of these students graduated from high school with a B average and still can read, write or do simple math – (not trig or calculus – but Algebra. They learned this stuff in 8th and 9th grade for cryin out loud.)

Sorry — that should be CAN’T (got so mad – I couldn’t type straight)

Rich Bodycombe

February 25th, 2010
9:51 am

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution
“We’re becoming a socialist society when we say that you shouldn’t raise tuition at all,” Balfour said, adding that his son attends college in Georgia and that tuition “is embarrassingly cheap.”

“I don’t want a commitment from you you’re not going to raise tuition,” Balfour said. “I’d rather have a commitment from you that you are.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislators:
(state Senator Balfour, A Republican, Sen. Balfour is Chairman of the powerful Senate Rules Committee. In addition, he serves on the Senate Appropriations, Education and Youth, and the Health and Human Services committees. He is on the board of both the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce, and represents Georgia on the Executive Committee of the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee (RLCC). He also is an appointee to the Executive Committee, the governing board of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC)….He is an executive with the Waffle House, Inc., and has been with them for over 25 years.

Sen. Balfour is a graduate of Bob Jones University. He and his wife, Ginny, are the parents of a son, Trey. They attend Grace Fellowship Church.

From the state’s web site:
2312 Waterscape Trail; Snellville, GA 30078; Phone: (770) 729-5764 (office phone)* Email: don.balfour@senate.ga.gov

According to followthemoney.org:
Total accepted contributions to date :$32,740,088.
Top contributors in 2008 alone: Finance, real estate and insurance $4,592,396. The Republican Party itself 4,147,697. “Health” lobby, $3,928,557. Lawyers and lobbyists $2,996,556. ….et alia

In my opinion:
Another charter member of the of the “Just Us League”. Limiting educational opportunities for the poor in order to protect the elite status of big contributors. I highly recommend the website “followthemoney.org”

Ann Spencer

February 25th, 2010
9:59 am

For those of you that do not know the following colleges are NOT part of the BOARD OF REGENTS but make up the TECHNICAL COLLEGE SYSTEM OF GEORGIA which is totally seperate for REGENTS. These colleges are:
Albany Tech, Altamaha Tech, Atlanta Tech, Augusta Tech, Dekalb Tech, Griffin Tech, Flint River Tech, Chattahoochee Tech, Georgia Northwestern Tech,, Athens Tech, Moultrie Tech, Valdosta Tech, Southwest Georgia Tech, Southeastern Tech, West Georgia Tech, Central Georgia Tech, Columbus Tech, East Central Tech, Gwinnett Tech, Heart of Georgia Tech, Savannah Tech, Lanier Tech, Middle Georgia Tech, Ogeechee Tech, Okefenokee Tech, Sandersville Tech, South Georgia Tech.

Michael

February 25th, 2010
10:14 am

Alright I am currently a student attending a university that is part of the Georgia university system. This proposal is ridiculous!! Yeah for those students who get the pell grant this will barely affect them but for those who only have hope scholarship and are not eligible for the pell grant, even though their parents make around the same salary as those who have pell, this will ruin their college experience. Attendance would drop dramatically and this would only increase the amount of uneducated Americans. This is not a reasonable proposal what so ever. I for one am wondering where this money will go instead. I highly doubt it will just disappear. It is time to stop punishing my generation for the inability of our government to budget the money correctly. Oh and since this article has asked for a proposal on what to do, I will give you one. There has to be a new source of tax revenue in this state, not raised taxes but a new source of taxation. I believe it is time to seriously consider the taxation of marijuana. This is a real problem that needs a lasting solution. Like the lottery, taxation of marijuana can be another fund for the universities and scholarship programs. The ignorance of our government is the only thing stopping this from happening. I highly doubt the majority of the public is against this idea and those who are have most likely been fed a bunch of lies.

Doc

February 25th, 2010
10:26 am

Let the Lottery bailout the shortfall. Raise the tuitions and let the hope grant cover it. And let it also cover the cost of future construction of new buildings to house these students.

Doc

February 25th, 2010
11:08 am

To the Board of Arrogant Regents. You need to overcome a shortfall of 385 million and you supposedly well educated folks just cannot figure this thing out. But you now have in construction over 400 million in buildings that you cannot afford to staff or maintain & you have another 500 million in planning also. Duh!! Maybe you need to confer with the folks at TCSG to help you guys with basic math.

Higher Education

February 25th, 2010
11:10 am

Check the salaries at all State Universities and State Agencies at http://www.open.Georgia.Gov. You will see the overpaid personnel and management.I hope the legislators review this before they make any increase to tuitions.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution reports on the University of Georgia system Chancellor Erroll Davis that states it would take a 77 [...]

Just Saying

February 25th, 2010
12:49 pm

Tuition and matriculation fees at my university for the past 6 years:

Fall/Spring 2004 – $1446
Fall/Spring 2005 – $1587
Fall/Spring 2006 – $1701
Fall/Spring 2007 – $1789
Fall/Spring/Summer 2008 – $1310 (Part-time Student)*
Fall 2009 – $2300
Spring 2009 – $2642

Comparing my first year of college to the current year – I have paid in increase of 54% in tuition and matriculation fees averaging 13 credits per semester. Students cannot afford to pay a random 77% increase in tuition. Many people tend to forget that there are other fees involved such as room and board. Due to the economy, some students do not have the luxury of moving back home with their parents to save money because their parents no longer have a home. This is the case for my mom and me. My mother is not paying for my tuition, housing, books, school supplies, grocery bills, phone bills, utility bill, etc … I am … I’m providing her with the money to pay for those bills. I’m a full-time student working a part-time job trying to survive in this economy too. Yes my mom saved for her children’s education, but guess what, she was laid-off. The “college education” money then became the “we need to survive” funds after the savings was spent. After reviewing my accounts, I find that there is no room in my budget for a 77% tuition increase.

*Please note during the semesters I was a part time student, I was working full-time in a co-op program.

I am thankful and appreciative of the fact that I am on the fixed-by-four program because current freshmen students pay a little above $3000 (full-time) per semester for their education. $6000-$6400 is enough money to be paid on tuition for both fall and spring semesters.

Base

February 25th, 2010
1:29 pm

Balfour and Harp do not want to pay for anything,they want to reduce state spending to nothing and then line their pockets.

Support Staff

February 25th, 2010
2:09 pm

Sadly, there is no Right or Wrong way to fix our budget crisis. Everyone has been affected, and everyone should carry what they can of the financial burden. Pointing fingers and blaming will get us no where.

We must work together, as a unified state, to survive!

When asked “Who will help?” I hope The Little Red Hen gets LOTS of help!

Concerned Citizen

February 25th, 2010
2:19 pm

Our education system is being cut to the bone why our politicians enjoy lush and extravagant lifestyles. If we were to take all of the money they lose in mismanagement we would have no worries. When will the populist stand up when it comes time to vote. Some of these politicians as stated have no idea about the needs in education. Most don’t have the knowledge or sense to be dog catchers much less make public policy. People need to know that knowledge is power so many times our politicians only give lip service to education. I think their ultimate goal is to keep everyone dumbed down in order to maintain their power. If they want to cut money somewhere, then lets start first with their salaries. Remember politicians are public servants. This means they should volunteer to serve for free. I would.

UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEE

February 25th, 2010
2:49 pm

I currently work for a college in the USG system and I can tell you that our institution cannot afford anymore pay cuts or budget cuts. Our professors are well qualified but not paid nearly enough for what they do. I am not a professor but can tell you that I also feel underpaid for my position. Campus wide there has been an all over belt-tightening effort but enough is enough. Professors are already teaching well over a full load. Other employees are overloaded as well carrying the work load of what 2 or 3 employees used to carry. I agree that some areas need to see cuts but evaluate it on a campus to campus basis not an across the board cut. I also think with pay cuts and furloughs you need to look at the income of these employees because some are already at borderline poverty pay rates.

UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEE

February 25th, 2010
2:54 pm

One more thing if you’d like a solution to the budget crisis here it is: CUT THE TECHNICAL COLLEGE BUDGET!!!

Captain P-Card

February 25th, 2010
3:01 pm

I’m glad to see all the comments in this blog. These are huge issues and have been soundly ignored by govt. and USG officials for years. I teach at a two-year college in the metro ATL area, and I have seen massive waste in the system for years, and it is still growing. I have seen whole new layers of bureaucracy added to the college adding millions in salary expense but contributing nothing to the academic mission of the college. We are still adding very expensive new programs that offer very little to students and are tangential to our academic mission at best. Over the years, upper administrators have created programs and positions specifically for favored faculty members who wish to escape the classroom and make more money. I could easily point out 3-4 million in annual waste, but the people who run the executive and financial divisions of the college protect these positions and programs and keep adding more–while I write! It’s like watching kudzu growing in the summertime. I have also seen many huge building and renovation projects going forward throughout the recession. I have also wondered for years why a two-year college would spend millions on sports programs–and much of that money does come from student fees. But most of our students have never attended a single sporting event and don’t even know what teams we have. They are too busy working, tending families, and doing their schoolwork. At times over the years, I have also been downtown to the office complex where USG officials work. It’s like a giant beehive filled with bureuacrats, many making six-figure salaries. Yet in times of dire need, I have seen little or no guidance and oversight coming from these administrators. What were the USG and institutional auditors doing while employees were abusing purchasing cards for years? The significant erosion of oversight and quality control began here in the mid 1990’s and has only gotten worse since then. That’s when the focus of many college administrations shifted from quality education to making large amounts of money, marketing, hiring colleagues, and dishing out huge contracts to favored firms. USG officials and system wide administrators could certainly find many millions of dollars of waste to cut, but instead they furlough employees and raise tuition–always the quick and easy “solutions.” I have worked in the USG for the past 20 years and have seen these things with my own eyes and have often fought against them. But the USG and its member institutions are run by powerful bureaucracts, not by faculty and employees. Those bureaucrats have close connections with politicians, are even hand picked by them in some cases, and close ties with corporate and business interests. Read Rich Witt’s book Behind the Hedges and you’ll get a good view of this complex web of interconnections and how it has operated in GA for years. And where have our governors and legislators been all this time? Why haven’t they stepped up and demanded reform before now? I guess it takes an economic tidal wave to get them moving. I see the current crisis as a systemic failure of planning, management, oversight, and ethics at every level of govt. and USG administration. Many of those those currently pointing their fingers know the role they have played in this grand mess, and I hope that responsibility for it will at some point land where it should–directly on them.

Working Hard

February 25th, 2010
3:01 pm

To Kingfish and everyone else who believes what he wrote: I teach at a community college for VERY little pay. I work long hours, have heavy course loads and have more and more students in my classes each semester. I have 10 years of college education and could surely make more money but I am here because I love to teach. So, I take great offense Kingfish’s comment’s. I have no teaching assistant for class or lab. I have never taken a sabbatical. I was “furloughed” this year but never missed a minute of work. This is true for every professor I have ever talk to at a community college. Please don’t Blog about things you know nothing about.

Jane Capps

February 25th, 2010
3:46 pm

Let’s be clear on a few points: First, most university faculty in Georgia make less than public school teachers. Check it out media types. University faculty have not had merit raises beyond 3% in a number of years so no matter how much work we do, we get squat. How about a novel idea? Have lawmakers cut their salaries and stay home more days so they don’t continue to foul up the state with their ignorance, politicking, and buffoonery. Also require members of our legislative bodies and their hangers-on to pay their taxes like the rest of us slubs. How about having the legislature account to Georgians for every penny spent over the past five years–especially for the pork and under- the-table deals. University faculty and students were not in charge of the state or its budget nor were public school teachers and the children who are Georgia’s future. Yet education is the first to feel the hard hit. Why should the university system’s chancellor show up offering to cut the budget? The universities did cut as asked and even furloughed faculty and staff. Oh yes, those “big” insurance packages that just got reduced significantly by the way and for which faculty pay hefty chunks along with the contributions to retirement for faculty–those were given to us in lieu of the level of salaries that faculty should be earning based on our skill sets, education, and experience. We got no say in that matter. If we’d had a real union maybe we would have faired better. Unions–what a laugh! Are our legislators completely clueless about the state’s university system and how it works? By the way, academics gets no money from athletics and vice versa. Perhaps it is time to ask our legislators the tough question. Where will you be when the lights go out in Georgia? Still fiddling in the dark? Maybe some of us university and public school folks should run for office. At least we know how to do our homework. Sadly, some of us university types are looking elsewhere. Numerous searches for vitally needed faculty are getting no interest from folks outside or even inside this state. If you are suspicious of education and believe it’s A-Okay to cut away at it, then you are about to understand the awful price of ignorance. Enjoy.

NO WAY

February 25th, 2010
4:22 pm

From the Dalton Citizen “The Georgia Pre-K Program was established in 1993 to provide four-year-old children with high quality preschool experiences” Seventeen years later and we’re still #49. Too much emphasis on buying votes with free daycare. The annual waste in the education system is mind numbing but the answer seems to be more administrators. What a waste.

Former grad student

February 25th, 2010
4:34 pm

I picked the wrong field in grad school. Higher Education Admin

I am kind of disgusted with the Board of Regents. Most of them make close to $100,000. Is this state funded? Why not cut that out first.

Plus I’m disgusted to think the lottery committee is making huge bonuses off of lottery funds because it should go back to schools and to the people who fund it in the first place, the lower class.

I’m not sure if the school pays professor during their sabbaticals. I think schools should still allow them but professors should perhaps depend on the research organizations such as the NSF and NIH that fund them to do the research, especially if someone is hired in their absence to teach their course in their place. Have the school pay a portion of their salary instead of 100% depending on what salary funding they’ll receive from a research funding agency.

Hire less adjunct faculty to teach intro courses and hire more TA’s to work. I know there are alot of brilliant students that would appreciate the work and experience.

I don’t think there should be any concerns with money going into athletic programs but I do think that coach’s salaries should be evaluated. You can go to the state’s website and see that alot of them clear 100,000 a year in salaries.

There are alot of professors that don’t make much under contract and then some who make a heck of a lot more. I mean I understand he is being awarded for research and such but where’s the cap on that? And the higher they make, the less they’re available to students in a physical and emotional sense. It’s like they’re all of a sudden too good to deal with the students.

I don’t understand the pay grade at all for schools. There is no even distribution what so ever.

We are one of few states that receive as much state funding as we do. Many institutions have cut state influence altogether, relying on tuition and other fees. Look at how private colleges run successfully. The spike in a year’s time is quite drastic but some schools have managed those kinds of changes with success. There’s literature on it out there.

And if the state just decides that education is so low priority then I say get rid of the board of regents all together. Late the schools govern themselves and quit requiring so much accountability from school administrators. Most of them have to work until 10pm every night during the week, working stupid state mandated reports that aren’t really helping our funding anyway.

Former Georgia Student

February 25th, 2010
5:27 pm

I went to college at AASU in Savannah. I did so partly through the old Montgomery GI Bill, partly through Hope Scholarships, and partly Pell Grants. I STILL had to work more than 60 hours per week average on top of classes to be able to survive, and yet even then I had to take out student loans of over 15K (which is so much less than most people I know, including all those faculty most of you are dissing on.)

I work at a prestigious university on the West coast. I can’t afford to work at any university in Georgia–the salary rates are not enough to even support my family of two–soon to be three. Those of you screaming about cutting more salaries, why don’t you offer to take 6 furlough days + a pay cut and donate your company savings to the Regents? You clearly are certain that they make so much more money than you, you really should look at how little they make. I’m making 70K+ at my job here, I’d be making maybe 35K in a VERY GOOD YEAR with no furloughs if I was working there.

And add on the fact that Armstrong just decided to require Freshmen to live on-campus–you’re talking about thousands more per year that families just can’t afford.

Sign me off as an educated former Georgian who just can’t stomach watching the education system there go directly down the crapper.

Professor's Wife

February 25th, 2010
6:22 pm

For those of you who think professors are privileged do-nothings who can afford any kind of salary cut, let me break the reality down for you: My husband makes about $40,000 per year after teaching in Georgia for 8 years. He works at least 50 hours a week teaching his classes, reading and preparing for class, and grading endless quizzes, papers, and tests. Most years he has had no cost-of-living raise, and has already lost about $1,000 in wages from the furlough days thus far. I am not sure how you think people become professors, but the way my husband did it was by working his rear off and getting student loans. He has over $120,000 in student loans – loans he got so he can do a job that he loves, teaching a subject that he loves to students that he respects and for whom he works very hard. I’m not sure if you can do the math, but his student loan payment is huge – more than our house payment each month. I am sure that many of his colleagues across the state are in a very similar situation.

Everyone is always quick to say that our K-12 teachers are overworked and underpaid. The irony is that in our town, the college loses good teachers every year to the K-12 system because they actually get paid MORE teaching high-school than they do teaching college. Movie professors have perfect lives, work 2 hours a day, wear tweed jackets, and smoke pipes in the library of their mini-mansion. For a huge majority of professors THAT IS JUST NOT REAL!!

I do not know what the solution to the state’s budget crisis is, but I do know that the $19 mil they would “save” by cutting everyone’s salary by 1% doesn’t come close to the over $300 mil the state demands be cut. What it will do, however, is completely demoralize the people who are working so hard to educate the children for whom you are all so very concerned. Long-term the result of lowering the already pitiful salaries in the state university system is that the good professors will leave. It may take time, but eventually they will find jobs in places that pay them what they are worth, and, at the very least, do not throw them under the bus when tough times hit. Then Georgia will be stuck with what they can get – average professors who have no nope of producing anything other than an average worker.

And in case you all have forgotten what average is because of the bloated grading caused by the HOPE scholarship system – average is a C. Good luck advancing Georgia’s economic situation with entire work force of C students.

A Student

February 25th, 2010
6:24 pm

We didn’t cause this financial mess but we are paying for it. Call it socialism for the rich. I’ll also have Mr. Balfour know that everything the government pays for is socialism, roads, police and fire, military, its all socialism.

Instead of doing the hard (right) thing and makings cuts to unnecessary crap they are coming after students and their parents, because they need to finish college, and its not like they can go out of state to finish either, so they are forced to pay.

Charlie Horse

February 25th, 2010
6:30 pm

The ignorance here is amazing, but I guess it goes right along with the ignorance seen across the entire nation. Do you all realize what an international joke the USA has become, firstly when you guys re-elected George W (who actually got you into all of this mess) and now as you hold your tea parties. None of you have a clue! As the rest of the world gets more intelligent the USA slips into the educational abyss. How many of you would be in the positions you are in today without your education? I doubt many. Have y’all heard the term “PAY PEANUTS GET MONKEYS” well my suggestion is that you get used to training monkeys my friends cos without a decent educational system that is all you are going to be left with.

Higher Education

February 25th, 2010
6:31 pm

Former Georgia Student you need to do research on salaries for university personnel-www.open.ga.gov.

Firejade

February 25th, 2010
6:31 pm

In response to Kingfish, you might want to do research before jumping to conclusions. I work for Georgia Southern as an instructor and my colleagues and I are some of the lowest paid in our field. I only make 30,000 with a Master’s degree. We have teaching and writing intensive courses in our department, and our work involves, on average 50 hours a week when it is all said and done. Recommendations from experts in our field are to teach 60 students per time for entry level composition writing courses, and next year due to five workload increases in the last three years, we will be teaching 120 students. I cannot give my students what they need, and I can’t pay off my student loans on what I make. We have been furloughed again and again, so if you think we should cut professor’s pay, maybe you should go do my job and then say that.

Firejade

February 25th, 2010
6:34 pm

By the way, to Professor’s wife, thank you. I agree with everything you said. I have received five workload increases in three years and have gotten no pay increases for it. On the contrary, with increases in costs of living, I have gotten pay cuts, including furloughs, along with my colleagues who are in similar situations.

Higher Education

February 25th, 2010
6:49 pm

Firejade are you kidding,you must be part -time.Look at Georgia Southern University Salaries at http://www.open.ga.gov. Do all the Professor’s salaries and average it out.Also with a masters degree you can make a higher salary working in high schools or middle schools.Please do research before making a statement on salaries

You have got to be kidding

February 25th, 2010
7:15 pm

Higher education these figures are an average of what faculty are paid. You should note that most Assistant professors in business schools earn upto 3 times more than science, arts or humanities faculty most Science Assistant professors earn between $42,000 and $48,000K as year work 60-70 hours a week minimum. Many of us work 12 months a year to ensure we can conduct high quality research that enable us to bring overhead monies into the University (funding the university get of our backs) so do the math Pal we work 12 months they only pay us 9 months. We dont tell our Grad students sorry we only work 9 months I am not going to assist you until I am on the clock again. No we work late nights we work weekends WE do not take vacations.
Our job is to teach, mentor, advise educate, also to gain external funding to conduct world class research, publish, perform administrative duties out the wazoo.
So before you make grand standing statements GET YOUR FACTS right I am living this I know how much money I get and how many hours I work. YOU HAVE NOT A CLUE

Former Georgia Student

February 25th, 2010
7:22 pm

Higher Education, you really need to look at the salary for your average college professor–not the average salary state-wide for all educators. Perhaps if your educational system had treated you better, you’d know how to research.

Higher Education

February 25th, 2010
8:01 pm

Firejade- and former student -You have not done your assignment. as of Dec 31,2009 they were 18 instructor positions at Georgia Southern. Average salary is 47,000.00 Range from 25000.00 to 64000.00.www.open.gov.ga shows persons name and salary plus any travel or misc expenses that person spent for the past year.Type professors in advance search and you will be amazed at the salaries 80,000.to 250,000. this is one university. Look at UGA.!!!

You have got to be kidding

February 25th, 2010
8:11 pm

Oh Dear Higher Education Universities ARE NOT A LEVEL PLAYING field again let me reiterate that Business ASSISTANT professors often get paid 6 figure salaries (100,000.00 starting salaries) whilst the rest of us who apparently are not as special get paid between $42,000.00 to $48,000.00. Trust me I get a pay check once a month I know also I have not had a pay rise in a number of years now, in fact I have had pay cuts with NO cut in the amount of work in fact I have faced increased work loads. I ask you this question do you in fact work in Higher Education? Perhaps I should be looking for your job as you seem to be very comfortable and very quick to point your finger. Do you have a university education? Do you VALUE education?

Higher Education

February 25th, 2010
8:31 pm

FireJade, Please be aware I am retired from the State of Georgia. I retired at the age of 48. Yes I do have a higher education from GA State University and I was the youngest director in the state of GA during my earlier years. I am now 58 and the proud father of 6 children of which 5 have attended and graduated from various University Systems of GA. Two graduated from GA Southern, of which one received a Master Degree. Yes I value education, but also value the truth of facts and research instead of emotional displays when it effects the person and not the problem. Again I request you to look at http://www.open.ga.gov and verify the salary range of all positions in the University System. As stated I have sent 5 children for higher education. The majority of their diploma was bought and not taught. I have been in meetings and discussions with University personnel and was not impressed at all by their knowledge or their work ethics. Also for your information my spouse is a state employee and has not had a raise in three years, taking a furlough day each month and added responsibilities due to decreased staff. So you see, I do know what I’m talking about since I was in state government for over 30 years and still have connections in legislature/political areas of the state.

Dear Prof,

February 25th, 2010
8:42 pm

This workload I am reading about is amazing. In Technical Education we teach 25 hours a week and many of us have 150 to 200 students in our classes. We love what we do. It appears those at the 2-4 year colleges do not have as many students as we do and have fewer teaching hours. See how we can save more money. Have them teach more hours and increase their student load. This issue has always bothered me, because when I was in college I could never find my prof on campus. By the way I have gone to school all my life in order to earn my education. By the way Prof, how do you know you have a higher degree than me, make more money, and how do you know I do not have research that will out live you and guess what, I probably work more than you.

You have got to be kidding

February 25th, 2010
9:41 pm

I am sure Higher Education whilst being a retiree (obviously being able to do it at 48 you earn’t a fair salary) I am sure your children would be thrilled to hear you talk as if they did not do anything to earn their diplomas “The majority of their diploma was bought and not taught” . Also I am sure their graduate schools or employers would be interested to know the details of their qualifications. Also while you point out your wife has had to TAKE furlough, lets just say that current faculty DONT TAKE THE HOURS OFF WE JUST WORK! So the days of the gentleman or woman professor are gone perhaps those are the days you remember.

You have got to be kidding

February 25th, 2010
9:53 pm

By the way Higher Education: I am not at Georgia Southern but I am sure my fellow academics there will enjoy reading your comments

Higher Education

February 25th, 2010
10:04 pm

To set the record straight, the “bought not taught” was that the “Professors” / Instructors would not show up for class and when they did show up, they didn’t teach. Just read the book is what the majority of the professors/instructors were stating. If that wasn’t taking place, they were assigned group projects with other students and those students would slack off and give the work to the student that was smartest or dedicated to accomplish the task. Also concerning their qualifications, all of them received the “HOPE” scholarship throughout their four (4) years. In addition, the oldest graduated Cum Laude and the third oldest graduated Sum Cum Laude at their attending Universitis. Both have gone into distinguished careers. One is a High School Teacher and was in the running for Teacher of the Year for State of Georgia. By your writing in caps in you comments, my spouse works weekends and nights sometimes to manage her workload even though her pay is being cut. I can tell you are a very angry and upset employee of the University System. I suggest you discuss your problem with your immediate supervisor. Hopefully this will resolve your issues. If you get no response from your supervisor-guess what, this is what I’ve been talking about. Hang in there, hopefully it will get better for your generation.

Glockenspiel

February 25th, 2010
10:07 pm

The main issue that everyone in this state is going to have to grapple with is that you get what you pay for. You can talk about anecdotes of inefficiencies in the education system, the unfairness of some people’s pay, but for the most part, Universities function in a marketplace for talent. If a faculty member makes $100k, I will bet that this person brings in well in excess of that in federal grant dollars or provides some other very high value service. If there are exceptions, they are not very common. Cutting faculty pay will lead the ones that have options (e.g., the ones that can get hired elsewhere) to go to other states, and you will have left overall less qualified, less productive faculty. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to attract quality faculty. Good researchers and scientists do not want to go to a place and be surrounded by low quality peers. The problem that we are in is very much analogous to maintenance on a house. You can let things slide, don’t fix things, don’t do the upkeep and you will find that down the road, your home is in shambles and its expensive and time consuming to turn things around. California is losing a world class university system and Georgia seems set on leveling theirs. What a shame.

The University Phantom

February 25th, 2010
10:24 pm

I’ve worked for the University System for 25 years-covering two of the flagship Universities, a state college as well as for the Board of Regents, and let me tell you there is WASTE that you would not believe. I’ve seen a half million dollars wasted so quickly it could have been flushed down a toilet. I’ve seen items costing hundreds of thousands of dollars purchased and never taken out of the box. I’ve seen MID LEVEL administrators pulling 150k, and 200k salaries are not at all uncommon.

I don’t relish it but the University System has had it coming for a long time. Errol Davis is an idiot who has run rough-shod over the entire system and he and Purdue have presided over the biggest disaster in the history of state government and the University System. Thanks a lot, Errol. What has your ridiculous Lean Six Sigma done for us now? You can’t even answer basic questions about your own budget

[...] Breakdown of Tuition Increase and Univ. System of Ga [...]

Ga College Student

February 26th, 2010
12:39 am

Wow, attack our professors! I agree some professors in the System do make too much money, but not all of them. My professors do not have easy, 4 hour a week jobs. As others have said they are professors to 2-3 different courses, involved in research at the university, are advisers to students, host office hours and most are continuing their academics by writing books. Despite all of this many of my professors would bend over backwards to help their students, so immediately assuming that they have the easy jobs is cruel. It would seem that a closer look to how the state got so drastically under budget (where exactly is excess money going to) and then fixing the problem from that perspective would be the best thing to do.
It’s idiotic to see a financial problem with a state and immediately think “Hey! Let’s raise the price of tuition! Because access to a higher education for the young people who voted for us is no longer of concern!” Great idea Representatives, see if we’ll vote for any of you next time.
Oh, and to Representative Balfour as many have already stated but I’ll happily reiterate, whenever you start writing the check for the “embarrassingly cheap” tuition let me know and I’ll gladly give you my information. Thanks!

Degree Candidate

February 26th, 2010
12:44 am

The state can easily cut the salaries of a lot of these ivory tower professors and not miss a beat. A lot of them make hundreds of thousands and do very little teaching and a bunch of worthless “research” on some obscure issue for an even more obscure journal that no one reads except other academics–a total waste of money. Make all faculty teach 5 classes per semester and cut their salaries by 30%, ASAP!

Ga College Student

February 26th, 2010
1:03 am

Degree Candidate-
5 classes per semester? Are you serious? If they’re higher division courses there will be around 40-55 students in each class. If they’re lower division courses they’re going to have well over 100 in each class. You try maintaining that many students, their ever demanding needs and grading all of those papers and tests. Good luck!
Oh, and these academic journals our professors write that only other academics read are sometimes surprisingly interesting. I know this because most of the time the students do read them for our courses (or some students just read them to check that their professors are actually intelligent). Maybe you should check them out sometime.

UGA student

February 26th, 2010
1:08 am

@Another USG employee
in response to:
“Also, for you people who don’t know squat about public universities, there is NO SUCH THING as a Sabbatical!…you either work or you don’t get paid!!! State law!”

I am a student at UGA and my mom and stepmom both work for the University. I know for a fact that there are professors at UGA that take sabbaticals because there is one in my mom’s department right now on a one year sabbatical. There have been other professors in the past in her department on sabbatical as well. Maybe at USG they don’t have them, but at UGA they do and I’m almost 100% sure they are getting paid for them at UGA.

SystemFAIL

February 26th, 2010
4:35 am

Here’s what I see, every day, and have seen for the past decade:

1. Universities catering to freshmen because they come with HOPE “scholarship” dollars attached, Granted, some recipients actually have earned this scholarship. Many have had it handed to them through grade inflation.

2. University students (not all, but many) who not only enter but also GRADUATE without basic skills in spelling, grammar, critical thinking, calculation, reading for content, and library use. We are cleaning up the mess that thousands of “standards”-happy “educators” and anti-intellectual legislators have created.

3. Many of Georgia’s fine “scholars” using taxpayer-funded university libraries and computer labs for sleeping, eating, making loud cell-phone calls, watching YouTube videos, playing multi-player online games, and the usual ostentatious adolescent social blather. The stink of dirty socks and meatball sandwiches pervades every floor. (I’ll let the undergrads explain what goes on in the dorms–not sleeping and certainly not studying.)

4. Nasty, self-important, consumeristic, capital-A Attitude towards professors, staff, and other students. The less well-prepared a student is, the more ‘tude he or she feels the need to project in order to make up for the inability to accept criticism, delay gratification, and take responsibility.

5. Demoralized, bitter faculty who are continually targeted by yobs and yeehaws as some “elite” society dispensing “useless” information, yet who keep coming in, grading papers, giving lectures, advising students, and somehow managing to do their own research, all for far less than they would be paid in, say, any state north of the Mason-Dixon line.

6. Stop averaging professors’ salaries and start looking at them by department if you want to get the REAL picture. You might also consider that some of the higher-paid faculty–not administrators–hold chairs endowed by private donors. Those are few and far between, and probably account for fewer than 1% of all faculty. Look VERY closely at those profs who have quit teaching and disappeared into dubious research “centers” of their own creation.

7. Graduate students, already overburdened by the dual curse and blessing of teaching undergraduates (it’s how one enters the profession, yet it’s also how the very best graduate students pay their way through grad school), being assigned additional clerical, advisement, make-work, scut-work duties. Graduate students do most of the teaching and most of the support work in some departments, leaving them almost no time for research–the main purpose of postbaccalaureate study. Yes, they are paid to think on the taxpayer’s nickel. They also pay taxes out of their tiny salaries, which are 1/3 to 1/2 of a Waffle House manager’s. Yes, Georgia does value education:

http://www.whcareers.com/man_benifits.asp

7. If you want to know where Georgia’s best and brightest are, find out how many professors and graduate students have left prestigious, well-paying jobs because they felt it was important to help students develop into thoughtful, well-informed, cultured adults capable of lifting Georgia out of the 19th century.

8. Pork for every Chamber of Commerce/country club numb-nut who happens to be pals with the governor. Want a cool $100K? Write a specious “consulting report” suggesting such brilliant uses of taxpayer money as creating a football practice field atop a campus building in one of the country’s worst-polluted cities. Want to make really big bucks? Sell the entire system a sweetheart-deal insurance/equipment/maintenance contract.

I could go on and on about the inability of some posters to see the value in anything other than the business school. Instead, I suggest that all University System of Georgia students, faculty, staff, and parents of students in USG institutions BOYCOTT WAFFLE HOUSE. Better yet, mail a waffle to your state rep/senator along with a copy of your (or your adult child’s) last tuition bill.

kennesaw state university student

February 26th, 2010
5:19 am

as a student in college at a university that is wasting money on new fields and a hurried exspansion of the school it breaks my heart to think that tuition could be raised by 77% as well all over georgia. who do they think can afford this madness? how many students will have to drop out before they realize this will be a bad idea. college for anyone is exspensive even for those who have h.o.p.e….i weep when i think of my friends who pay out of state fees and i am pissed for the ones who pay international fees….this will affect so many students whowork to pay for school and even the students who have parents that pay for college where do these legislatures think this money is suppose to come from? seriously this is madness!!

Student

February 26th, 2010
10:20 am

“1 percent cut to the systems’ teaching budget, the overwhelming majority of which goes to salaries, would save $19 million. A Regents spokesman later said a 1 percent cut to all University System employees would save $10.4 million.”
- How about our wonderful lawmakers to whom “tuition “is embarrassingly cheap.”” will sacrifice 1% of their incomes, I think that would save much more money, without HURTING thousands of families!

Confused

February 26th, 2010
11:48 am

Education cuts is what killed this country sense the Restoration. I know we are in a hard economic situation but education should be the last thing to be cut.

yankee prof

February 26th, 2010
1:07 pm

I’m a tenured professor at a small state college. I chose to teach at the small school that employs me because our freshman/sophomore classes are taught by professors, not TAs and only a small number of adjuncts. I’ve published two books and more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles; if I was at a research institution, your kids would never see me, but I choose to be in the classroom because I come from a working class background and want to emulate the great teachers who inspired me. I believe in the value of a college education and have remained here for a decade, even though I’ve seen my colleagues in other states earn much higher salaries for much less work. But I’ve witnessed three years of slashed budgets (never mind my own lack of a raise; I’ve seen great and valuable educational programs cancelled due to lack of funding). And now this obscene proposal. I’ve given ten years of my professional life to this state and had intended to give twenty more, teaching your kids. But I can’t in good conscience raise my own children in a state that so devalues higher education. I’m going to begin actively seeking a position back in the North. Some of you may say, “Fine, Yankee go home!” But know I’ll be leaving with a heavy heart. I loved this place.

Peter Krull

February 26th, 2010
1:13 pm

Georgia’s legislators are so worried about losing their jobs and power and would never even think of suggesting increasing taxes to pay for education and other necessities. But, of course, it’s ok that they suggest UGA raise tuition rates. Is it just me, or is this simply passing on the buck to those who can least afford it and in a sense, taxing college students?

FatCats

February 26th, 2010
1:27 pm

Georgia just needs to raise the income tax rate and the sales tax rate to keep from cutting the college education budget. The income tax rate is only 6% — it can easily go to 10% with no big effects. Impose a special 2% additional sales tax for a few years, which will generate billions to keep the budgets where they are. Taxes have to be paid so this will work!

A Tired, Underpaid, Angry Professor

February 26th, 2010
1:41 pm

To the person who finds that $400 out of pocket expenses is too much for college tuition: I suggest you review what you pay for your car, which depreciates in value, your gas money, your cell phone, your cable, your car insurance which will drop you as soon as you have an accident, what it costs to go camping, taking a yoga class, or a cleaning at the dentist. Then tell me that you’re paying too much for your son’s or daughter’s future and please, look your son and daughter in the eye when you say that.

A Tired, Underpaid, Angry Professor

February 26th, 2010
1:45 pm

A 1% cut to the salaries of professors sounds great. Except when you take into consideration that professors’ salaries has gone DOWN with the cost of living, not up; that multiple administrative positions have proliferated in direct proportion to the decrease in teaching positions; that teaching positions require expensive graduate degrees; that salaries have been depressed in the state of Georgia for teachers for at least the past decade; that comparably to other professions teachers/professors earn about 50% less than others in positions that require professional degrees.

Also, please consider what 1% salary deduction will do to the local economies of University towns where the vast majority of families are employed by the University system, which has already implemented furloush, salary freezes, and reductions of benefit contribution payments (while the premiums and expenses have exponentially grown).

The myth that faculty makes so much money that a 1% reduction is hardly felt is one that attests only to the ignorance of the public, who likes to offer lip service to education but cannot bring itself to look publicly available records that will readily debunk any of these now offensive and dangerous myths.

America/Georgia: do you, or do you not want an education? If you think that education is worth nothing, how do you expect your politicians to act?

GA Prof

February 26th, 2010
2:10 pm

Auggie and Rik (and anyone else who made such ridiculous comments), I am a university professor, and I work an average of 60-80 hours per week because I, and my colleagues, care about the education our students (i.e. you, your children, your neighbors…) receive. We are grossly underpaid, we do not get fat cat perks or fancy offices (I spent this entire week meeting with 3-4 students at a time in my windowless 10×10 office), and we have worked long and hard (try having our student loan payments) to get the necessary education. I have a daughter in the Ga University system, my husband is a contractor and I spent many years working as a waitress and a secretary to get thorugh graduate school. Don’t tell me I don’t understand the real world.

Get your facts straight before you run your mouth.

Tony

February 26th, 2010
2:22 pm

KSU gave Vince Dooley over $1,000,000.00 to be an “adviser” to the schools aspirations to play NCAA football. All of my instructors have been “sick” twice each in this semester alone. Put this football dream on hold, stop buying up land in other counties, more efficiently structure classes, lower some of the bloated salaries and perks of the administration and then after that, consider an 18-27% increase in tuition but only after some of these things are done! Every organization needs to change the way they spend money especially a certain school in the northeast part of the state.

Frightened College Prof

February 26th, 2010
3:15 pm

This is a dire situation. We are already stripped to the bone and have to make an additional millions in cuts at my institution.

During the Purdue years, faculty have only received a few cost of living raises. (2.5%) For most of the years there have been no raises, and this current year we are giving back 3% of our salary in furloughs — but of course we don’t really get any days off as the work must be done. Also, we pay more of our medical insurance than every before. Some of you sound like all professors are rich. In reality, I could earn $20,000 more as a K-12 teacher than I can teaching college. But until yesterday, I was doing what I loved. Today, I am so depressed I can barely answers student questions.

Most USG faculty do not earn high salaries and there are no unions.

I have already had to distribute some of my retirement saving, and my credit cards are maxed. My contractor husband has no work because of the economy. And with any more cuts in my salary and we are headed toward bankruptcy. That being said, I could try and manage another 1% on top of the 3%. There are additional cuts, you know, not just 1%. So that would be a 4% pay cut on pay which is already diminished by not having any cost of living raises.

Even with a 1% pay cut on top the the 3% — I think that we would still have to lay off many faculty and staff, and cut the number of classes offered in order to get anywhere near the additional $3.5 cuts. Students won’t be able to complete degrees on time because the classes can’t be offered.

After 40 years of working hard all my live, and yes some of it was outside working on other people’s houses, I and others are looking for weekend jobs to make ends meet. Problem is, there are no part-time jobs available.

But you do know that some of those making the budget decisions for all of us refused to take their furlough days or cuts in pay this year for themselves!

There is no way to cut what they are asking with raising tuition too after laying off lots of people and cutting the number of students as well. There is nothing left to cut. We are already bled out.

I am so frightened, sad, and angry all at once that I can hardly do my job. My students need me, so I have to have cope — migrain headache or not. It is ultimately the students who will suffer with us.

Sonny

February 26th, 2010
4:02 pm

why are you complaining; I have funded billons to capital outlay at all universities. I know the Board of Regents should have not requested these funds if they could not maintain the operating cost of these very nice projects.Look around campus at all locations see the pretty buildings.Oh well maybe i should have funded something else,like a go fish program across the state.

FatCat

February 26th, 2010
4:38 pm

Joe

February 26th, 2010
5:37 pm

18 of the 20 highest paid profs at UGA got large raises last year. These salaries are a disgrace. AND, I am a professor in the university system. Take a look at this link and call your representative!
http://www.redandblack.com/2010/02/08/pay-day-eighteen-of-the-20-highest-paid-univ-employees-received-raises-in-2009/

Christie

February 26th, 2010
5:43 pm

Southern Polytechnic State University held a meeting today to inform students and staff of the impending budget cuts. Students chose to make the meeting a rally and voice their opinions. If the tuition increase does not occur, there are rumors that 23 or the 35 public colleges may be forced to close their doors, or they could just shut down UGA. No likely though. Please visit the Facebook Group “Students Against Georgia Higher Education Budget Cuts” for more information, links to state representatives, and current news. Students will not stand for this. We need higher education in order to move forward. Our government is about to cause us to move backward.

Sonny

February 26th, 2010
6:03 pm

I love the scare tactic-I told all univ.presidents to inform students of this rumor. My buddy Davis at the Board of Regents thinks this might work also.I know the guys at the capital have no idea whats going on-oh i am talking about myself.

red

February 26th, 2010
6:28 pm

in response to mike on page one.

are you kidding me? do u live in a poor area? im from albany, ga 4th poorest city in the nation. why is it so wrong for middle class families that are being financially tightened every single day, who pay for every poor entitlement, to be able to see some tax money/expendable lottery money go towards something for them… let alone education?

The University Phantom

February 26th, 2010
6:53 pm

ok, someone is getting it now. “Sonny”, you know the inside. In my 25 years I have seen governors come and go, along with University System Chancellors. The USG is its own constitutional entity, yet it depends on the legislature to fund its efforts. There’s a natural divide that occurs when lawyers from Hahira and businessmen/women from Savannah and Waycross come together at the Capitol and they are expected to fund the largest line item in the State Budget, yet they have little actual control over it-and its suppose to be that way.

That’s where a Chancellor earns his pay. He SELLS the University System to these part time legislators who gather for a few months per year in Atlanta. He also has to have a governor committed to the value of education and who is honest and upright.

The Stephen Portch partnership with Zell Miller and the legislature of the nineties produced the glory days of the USG.

One year into the Sonny Purdue Experience, and the insiders at the Capitol said that State Government had become a train wreck. All trust and partnerships were either dying or gone. Seven years later nothing has changed, just the situation has steamrolled and gotten far worse.

Then Sonny brings his buddy Errol in who doesn’t even own a doctorate-nor does he have one whit of experience in higher education and the first thing he does is try to get everyone to do Lean Six Sigma. Then he spends TWENTY TWO MILLION DOLLARS (documented, my friends) on “shared services” to hand the entire payroll of the USG to his old buddies at ADP. Not one cent has been saved, the entire cost is a drain. The benefit column posts a big zero while the cost-is still running. And when asked to demonstrate the cost benefit by a University President, Errol says “I don’t have to answer that question.”

Sonny has destroyed state government over the last seven years, and he taught his buddy Errol to do the same. Errol, it is STUPID to piss off and refuse to answer simple questions for the men and women from all over the state who fund your gig.

Sonny and Errol-I hope you both enjoy the rest of your charmed lives, you have broken thousands and done future damage which won’t be totaled for years to come.

Nostradamus

February 26th, 2010
6:55 pm

Here is a prediction:

Cut the education budgets any further and the colleges wil have to cut programs, run off good faculty, close some departments and lay off staff and faculty. The end result will be lower enrollments resulting less revenues for coleges and thus more cuts. The cycle will destroy traditional education Georgia. The only surviving universities will be diploma mill on-line universities.

Want to avoid all this? Eliminate all Education Schools and Departments in the University System! This will Save huge amounts of money and you will be doing a great service to the state and the nation by eliminating the production of K-12 teachers who neither have the domain knowledge of the subjects the are teaching nor do they care much (with a few exceptions of course. Is this posiibel? Of Course Not! Just ask any politician!

Out of State Parent

February 26th, 2010
7:13 pm

A 77% increase would make my daughter’s tuition at GT without fees and room and board $40K while in state students pay $10K. With the room and board, etc we’re talking over $50K. Frankly, this is a burden and NOT by any stretch of the imagination CHEAP! That’s not a couple thousand increase like in-state students it’s another $12,000!

Frankly, what are parents supposed to do? Financial Aid doesn’t exist for many parents in the middle class, while my wife and I make a good living, we’re not rich by any standard and we would have to pull her out of school to transfer somewhere else. A fairer assessment to out the out-of-state students is needed and perhaps, reevaluation of the ‘out-of-state’ wavers for foreign nationals.

Disheartened

February 26th, 2010
7:44 pm

Some of these comments are disturbing to me. I am disheartened that many Georgians think little of mine, my husband’s, and my colleague’s work as college professors. Please do not lump all college professors into one group. There are outliers in every profession, and public opinion should not be based on these extreme cases. Most of us are making less than the college graduates we produce and work more hours throughout a seven day work week than the average person. I do recognize that I (and most of my colleagues) give up a higher salary to teach my students. I sometimes question why I chose to work this hard (14 years of college education) to work this hard. However, I REALLY love my job and my students.

I don’t know what the answer is. I hate to see folks throw any particular group under the bus. At the end of the day, we’re all people, and the choices made in the short term will affect us all for a very long time. Thanks to those who presented a more balanced argument.

Sonny

February 26th, 2010
7:59 pm

The University Phantom,It made may day that someone knows what is going on.I was there from 1972 to2000. Worked in one department -Budget office.Have meet and been in meetings with all of them on the Hill.Green door budget hearings to overview with the Speaker.What a mess this administration has made. 8 years of total confusion

The University Phantom

February 26th, 2010
8:16 pm

Sonny, I picked up right away you know what you’re talking about! Do you agree with my assessment that Portch/Zell was the best? Every president in the system despises Davis as far as I know. Love to hear your thoughts.

Sonny

February 26th, 2010
8:25 pm

I knew Zell when he was Director of Personnel for the Department of Corrections and a member of the Parole Board. Yes the year’s of the early 90’s was golden for the university system. Portch was the best!

[...] of Regents, stop bleeding us dry! I’m on a roll tonight. I wrote this about the proposal to raise Georgia college tuition by 77%. (I did some calculation and that would make my tuition about $8,000 a year. Holy smokes. I really [...]

James

February 26th, 2010
11:20 pm

“Still, Davis could not immediately answer some questions, such as when Rep. Austin Scott (R-Tifton) asked how many employees of the system have total compensation packages of more than $500,000. A quick check of state salary data at opengeorgia.gov, however, shows a handful of university system employees making that much, including Davis himself and UGA President Michael Adams.”

Aaron, I didn’t search every school, but I did check Georgia Tech, UGA, Georgia State, and MCG. No one at GaTech makes $500K and only the president of UGA makes $500k. I was a bit surprised to see that one professor at Georgia State makes $500k. I think MCG is the culprit here as it has 11 faculty members listed over $500k. The MCG faculty include the neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, cardiologists, and obstetrics/gynecologists.

Nathan Argroves

February 27th, 2010
2:02 am

I’m a college student at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta and I can say without a doubt that if these cuts go through, the school populations will drop dramatically. The reason I chose SPSU in the first place is because I DON’T have the money to go to a school like Georgia Tech right now, and I’m saving up to go there for my Graduate degree. I have the HOPE scholarship right now, but most people I know have lost it or are close to losing it and have around a 2.5 – 2.8 GPA. Also, everyone I’ve talked to has said that if tuition is raised that much and they don’t have HOPE (or HOPE doesn’t cover the increase), they will just drop out. I can’t see these cuts benefiting the state much because if they double tuition but half of the students drop out, they haven’t made any money at all.
Even worse, I heard today that if the cuts go through, my major, Software Engineering, will be cut from our schools curriculum. This means that all the classes I have taken for the past 2 years will be worthless unless I transfer schools.
I have begun looking at out of state colleges because if I have to pay $10,000 a year to go to school, I might as well get away from this government that obviously doesn’t care about its students. I’m not going to fund something that I don’t support.

Tiffany

February 27th, 2010
9:16 am

This is ridiculous. Most degrees that people pursue are not worth the cost of education that it takes to receive them now and this will only make it worse!

The University Phantom

February 27th, 2010
12:08 pm

500k is rare, but 200-300k is not, except like you said at MCG. It’s halfway understandable when you have to hire the best surgeons in the world away from a private practice that would yield them a couple million a year.

What I see as a problem (based on 25 years experience in accounting/finance at thee different schools)-is the inflation in administration. 150-200k for mid level admins is not uncommon. Many of these people would never cut it in industry. I could name some at Georgia State University who have less than ten direct reports who are pulling 120-150. Double-dipping is rampant-one retires on 130k, and then comes back half time, drawing their TRS and a part time salary making more than they were ever worth to start with.

Departments at large Universities spend tens of thousands ADVERTISING themselves to the rest of the University and promoting their own agenda-to other University Departments! These people are not selling to the outside world, generating revenue-they are simply spending money on their own internal survival!

For years I wondered when the legislature would catch on. Now what will happen is E-Roll and his fellow stooges will engineer it to punish physical plant employees making 35k a year and Admin Secretaries who are single moms trying to make it on 25k.

That’s the way it works folks-from the inside. I’m still there and I hate it-but we are screwed, and the USG has brought it on themselves. Sonny has sold us-and these legislators are NOT stupid.

Me

February 27th, 2010
12:09 pm

why dont the legislators take a pay cut? Im out of state at Georgia tech. 77% will make it unaffordable. I’ll transfer if I have to. I dont want to, but I cant afford it…so the legislators move makes sense. lets cut funds and raise tuition. good idea geniuses. why is it students that have to pay?!

take a cut to your own fat wallets you fat cats.

The University Phantom

February 27th, 2010
12:14 pm

someone ask E-Roll…what is the cost of your first segment of “Shared Services?”

Someone ask E-Roll and the BoR what is the cost of the miserably failed PeopleSoft project-that STILL does not work right and is fraught with problems, and has been going now since 2000 as a black hole of spending. Someone ask what they spent on Oracle and Peoplesoft Consultants for YEARS. Someone ask what was the cost of the PeopleSoft Upgrade, where half the functionality of the product is not even being used. You could cut at least half the short-fall out of the BOR’s Washington Street operation and never touch a school. If it was done fairly and equitably, the system could absorb the entire shortfall and never miss a lick. It’s that fat folks.

The University Phantom

February 27th, 2010
12:18 pm

Nathan Argroves, you are right my young friend. They spin this tuition thing as though we can compete with anyone in the country. The fact is, they can go up substantially on tuition and they will find out what competition is all about. There will be a massive sucking sound as students flock to places like Auburn, Alabama, UNC Chapel Hill and other places with much better reputations-when cost is no longer a deciding factor.

The University Phantom

February 27th, 2010
12:48 pm

another stupid thing from E-Roll was the comment about a 77percent increase. That’s not going to happen. It has induced hysteria around the state and further pissed off the legislature. It was about the stupidest thing that could have been said at the moment and has caused a firestorm of controversy. In other words, typical.

A college student

February 27th, 2010
5:21 pm

A rich republican saying college is dirt cheap, so the poor students and parents get weeded out of the “growing socialist system” he fears so much.

What a jerk, I hope he gets robbed by a college dropout for his Mercedes

No Gravy Train

February 27th, 2010
9:39 pm

The bloated salaries exist, to be sure, but only at the highest levels. Many USG faculty teach for far less (my base salary, before overloads and summer school, is about $41,000, and my student debt is about $170,000 – also from a state school, by the way), at institutions where the student populations have kids, work extremely hard for meager increases in their wages, and desire, and deserve, the best we can provide. The notion that if we don’t like this situation we should seek employment elsewhere is preposterous. We love the communities in which we live and work, and want nothing more than to see them succeed. We’ve seen years of minimal or no raises, serious budget cuts, and so on. We as Georgians may have to realign our priorities if we intend to keep providing high-quality education to our citizens. This may cost some money. The public education system should not be expected to turn a profit, or perhaps even to “break even” in the parlance of market-driven types.

Very Unhappy Taxpayer

February 28th, 2010
10:25 am

A college student said:
“A rich republican saying college is dirt cheap, so the poor students and parents get weeded out of the “growing socialist system” he fears so much.

What a jerk, I hope he gets robbed by a college dropout for his Mercedes”

Well, college student, I hope that the citizens of Georgia rise up and vote out all these incumbant Republicans, nationally and statewide, that have brought us to this disaster. It is time for Georgia to return to being a rational, moderate Blue State.

Colleges are the prime training and re-training institutions producing tax paying systems. In times of bad economy, enrollments rise.

Such cuts will not only lay off professors and staff (making the recession into a depression in Georgia with a much higher unemployment rate), but it will also have to raise tuition and cut salaries of the workers remaining and cut programs and degrees. Students who need an education will be turned away for lack of seats in classrooms. Remaining faculty will be so stressed about paying bills (after pay cuts) that they will only be able to operate at 50-75% of what they could do one week ago.

Just think, either current students will be dismissed or there can be no new Freshmen this year. So much for an educated, productive Georgia.

Georgia is down the tubes. Thanks Republicans.

Screw it - raise taxes and tuition

February 28th, 2010
12:49 pm

And wait for the revolt.

Please tell me you didn't say that!!

February 28th, 2010
12:53 pm

Very Unhappy Taxpayer – I’m not a repugnant or am I a democrook – both parties have screwed the country royally while the peasents dig for scraps! Your dear polusi is filthy rich of government deals – while her registered voters in California file bankrupcy! It’s time for a tax revolt, put the state and federal government on limits and watch these fat cats squirm like a slug in salt!!!!

bob johnson

February 28th, 2010
4:33 pm

Why two colleges systems with two sets of everything…put them together now…

Out of State Student

February 28th, 2010
5:10 pm

I am a Tech student and a Florida state resident. I currently pay $12,140 a semester in TUITION ALONE. Not counting fees, housing, books, etc. A 77% increase would be $9,347 resulting in a grand total of $21,487 A SEMESTER!!! I will not be able to afford this in any way, and will have to drop out to find another, cheaper school. 77%? Tech forecasts yearly costs of $36,540 a year for an out of state freshman. RIGHT NOW. 77% will be OVER $50000 A YEAR. And I have in-state friends complaining when they are on HOPE? How about maybe adding a $1000 to an instate person before jacking my tuition rate up to an even more obscene amount. Something has to be done, but 77% increase is not it.

Joshua Masdon

February 28th, 2010
5:32 pm

Great, just what those of us already struggling to make ends meet. All this will do is remove the opportunity for many of us to pursue higher education.

Joshua Masdon

February 28th, 2010
5:33 pm

meet need **

Georgia tech student

February 28th, 2010
5:35 pm

This is ridiculously stupid. All this will do is make sure that everyone leaves the state of Georgia to go to other universities. Why pay an extra 77% a year when we can leave the state and pay less money for a competitive out of state tuition.

Out Of State

February 28th, 2010
5:50 pm

As an out of state student, I’m already paying an arm and a leg and even a lung to go to the school I thought suited me most. Jordan (STUDENT) hit the nail on the head with this one. Lowering tuition would make higher education a more obtainable goal and increase productivity as well as bring in a more diverse student base. There has to be a better way than tuition increase…

Out Of State

February 28th, 2010
5:52 pm

I just saw the post by Out of State Student (from Tech) and that’s where I go too. There wasn’t much of a choice of schools with my major in my home state (NJ) and hiking my tuition isn’t fair. If I can’t afford tuition here and I can’t go home, what am I supposed to do?

Kiersten

February 28th, 2010
7:34 pm

About the Hope Scholarship, I think that it might not cover the tuition if it is raised that much because according to Harp, above he says, “If we have to break the promise of locking in tuition, we have to break the promise. It’s not something we wanted but I cannot emphasize enough we do not have the money.” So, Hope is essentially ‘locked in, but if they have to ‘break that promise,’ then they will, he says.

A college student

February 28th, 2010
8:44 pm

Out of state student,

Its easy, you drop out of college , like about 25% of the students and get a 8$ an hour job and try to refrain from a life of crime,

By the way think of the crime increase and unemployment, its going to be ridiculous.

I wonder when this jerk is up for re-election

A college student

February 28th, 2010
8:54 pm

“With teachers being furloughed, health programs being slashed and state government in a fiscal free-fall, Gov. Sonny Perdue’s budget plan includes this $9 million priority:

Finishing a horse show complex expansion at the state fairgrounds and agricenter in his home county.

Student

February 28th, 2010
11:10 pm

Maybe they need to look at some of the staff (VP-s, etc) at the various USG colleges and Universities on payroll that has retired only to be rehired 30-60 days later. They come back still making mega bucks doing even less work than before they retired. They should be removed from the payroll and not allowed to double dip.

George P.

March 1st, 2010
1:48 am

Where is the 77% number coming from?
With a total USG enrollment of 301,892 as of November of last year, that would distribute the 380mil. evenly across students at $1,258.73 per enrolled student. At GT, that’s closer to 41% for an in-state student, and 10% for out-of-state; still a grossly unreasonable increase, but not 77%.

UGA Student

March 1st, 2010
9:22 am

All of this, and Michael Adams STILL got a pay raise of almost $12,000 from 2008 to 2009. That’s over $607,000 a year now.

enough is enough

March 1st, 2010
12:38 pm

This whole mess is the result of Bush/Republican era tax cuts and deregulation, and bobbing head Democrats who sat by listening to Nero fiddle and Rome started to burn. Higher education in Georgia has been under attack for a number of years; a high school education is all anyone needs anyway; such people are more easily be convinced to vote for tax cuts for the rich. People will support billions, even trillions now, for wars to supposedly keep us safe from another 3000 fatality terrorist attack like in New York, while 40,000 of their neighbors die each year from inadequate health care. Healthcare should be a privilege we are told by the zealous conservatives who remember Jesus saying “Before you do unto the least of these my brethern, do unto me!” When will we see who is at fault? and whose selfish philosophies are bankrupting this country?

Quoc Le

March 1st, 2010
1:47 pm

if there is 77% increase in tuition, there would be a huge chaos occur. There would be definitely a huge drop-out from college students due to having inadequate finances to cover increased tuition. In a short-run, these drop-out students in return will be wandering around to ask for jobs. However, looking at the current job market, it is really doubtful to me that they could find one for themselves after a so-called “77% cut plan” from the politicians in the A-town. These unfortunate students would add more negative impacts on the already crippled economy market. In addition to the impact of cutting plan, there would be serious problems taking place in a long-run. There would be a shortage in high quality labor as a result of the cut. The U.S education will go backward which goes against the longtime-rooted tradition in term of American education. The U.S has been placed as number one country in the world for so many years is because of the aid from intellectuals. To finish up, I think the increase in tuition will definitely damage America in both short-run and long-run.

Ben Mckeeman, Georgia Southern University

March 1st, 2010
2:51 pm

“The most significant characteristic of modern society is the sacrifice of the future for the present.”
-William James

Georgia, please do not toss us aside! Though 77% is outrageous, a more moderate tuition increase would go a long way in keeping the system afloat. I for one would gladly pay more for tuition to continue to receive a quality education.

Yet another university employee

March 1st, 2010
10:45 pm

A lot of people are pulling out open.georgia.gov figures and saying that it’s ridiculous that professors get paid so much and on and on. Those figures include benefits, so gross take home pay is probably about 75% percent of the number you’re trotting out. Perhaps if healthcare costs were lower…but that’s a comment for another article, I’m sure.

UGA prof

March 2nd, 2010
10:00 am

It is posts like the following that really worry me! (see bottom of this post)

This is why the University System is facing this crisis. Many people in Georgia (ie. those that elect guys like Balfour to the state Senate) have no idea what a University professor does or what his or her impact is on the state economy. Without the University System, there is no state economy, PERIOD. I am a new assistant professor at UGA, and I can assure you I don’t work 4 hours a day, 3 days a week. Professors doing research at UGA could be making 3 times as much and work half as often if they had chosen to pursue careers in industry. However, these fine people have dedicated their lives to educate the people of Georgia so that they could have some semblance of intellectual freedom in their fields of research. Furthermore, a UGA professor does not typically make six figures; these salaries are only typical of a select few internationally distinguished professors and the top administrators, like Michael Adams. Cutting the University Systems budget by 500 million over three years is extremely counterproductive to the states economy, and this will back fire on Balfour and others in Atlanta. Good luck Balfour, your drivel regarding the “embarrassingly cheap” tuition is the proverbial nail in the coffin of your political career.

Here is the post from above that really worries me:

“I know it’s hard for these brilliant educated people to understand, but they are not above taking a pay cut. Just look around you will see pay cuts occuring all over the United States. It is really odd that Davis only real answer is a tuition hike. professors do live in a steril world. They teach theories and feel as if they should not be touched by happenings in the real out outside of academia, yet they always tend to forget it is the real world that pays their salaries and allows them to work 4 hours, three days a week.”

[...] of Georgia as of fiscal year ‘11 (which begins July 1, 2010). A demand has been made to cut $300M from the state’s higher education budget, $14.1M of which falls on KSU’s shoulders, and now the question is, “Where do these [...]

SystemFAIL

March 2nd, 2010
3:02 pm

The public (mis)perception is that college professors do the same things that K12 teachers do. We teach, but we are not “teachers” in that sense.

First, we teach adults to think for themselves, not train children to repeat material by rote for external rewards like “Caught Doing Good” stickers, DVD players, or the promise of AYP funding (erase, erase). Second, we engage in intellectual inquiry (meaning we think deeply and seriously and read deeply and widely) about a single area of expertise. Third, when we’re really doing well, we reach across disciplines to those in different areas of expertise to help our fellow citizens/human beings progress. Do you enjoy programs like the Decatur Book Festival? Margaret Mitchell House? Atlanta History Center? You local library? Georgia Extension Service? Any number of theaters, medical centers, businesses around Georgia? Thank a professor.

No, thank many professors.

No matter our field of study, our often-intangible processes lead to useful and necessary “products.” The “product” may be the result of many years of smaller studies which all add up to a cure for some disease, or it may be the creation of a new and vital work of art, or it may be a book that clarifies some topic of confusion and misinformation (hey, anyone want to fund a grant to study psychology of the current Georgia Assembly?!…).

Cutting off one program to save another is like cutting off one finger to save another. As the whole hand is diminished, so shall Georgia’s intellectual life grow weaker under the current scenario.

Some people are jackasses

March 2nd, 2010
4:11 pm

Anyone who thinks HOPE doesn’t apply equally to low income families, after the salary cap proposals its clear that it isn’t meant for higher class citizens. And its funded through the lottery do you’re an idiot if you think it’s expensive to the state. Getting rid of it would be robbing opportunities from all those on HOPE. Its purpose is to make college affordable for those who can’t otherwise go. So shut up and rethink what you said.

Voter and parent of college student

March 2nd, 2010
4:31 pm

I believe that Mr. Harp and Mr. Balfour need to hear from us directly. Who exactly are they representing? Clearly not the working middle class, cash-strapped parents, or struggling college students.

seth.harp@senate.ga.gov
Capitol office phone: 404 463-3931
Fax: 404 651-6767
District office phone 706 323-2761

don.balfour@senate.ga.gov
Capitol Office phone: 404 656-0095
Fax; 404 656-6581
District office phone 770 729-5764

Aspinwall KSU Senior.

March 2nd, 2010
4:35 pm

I beat Georgia tuition is “embarrassingly cheap” for a Senators son. Kennesaw State University is predominately a working class school. My peers and theirr families cannot afford 77% increase. If a percentage increase is absolutely the last option, than yes, I believe we the students should share that burden. Not 77% of the burden. Of course they would raise our cost before cutting their own. Many students here at KSU are wanting to organize and March on the capital. I would love to see all the Universities organize and come together for this one cause. We are the 20% of the population that are educated. It is up to us, the collegiates, to make the change.

[...] ironic that Chancellor Davis estimates a 77% tuition increase just to maintian the status quo when roughly 72% of all courses at my institution in recent years [...]

[...] his boss was at the Legislature today with even more dire warnings: It would take a 77 percent tuition increase at Georgia’s colleges [...]

[...] Here is what I know he has said: “We’re becoming a socialist society when we say that you shouldn’t raise tuition at all,” Balfour said, adding that his son attends college in Georgia and that tuition “is embarrassingly cheap.” [...]

John Bristor

March 6th, 2010
11:15 am

When the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia is sitting on $ 50 billion dollars and the investment staffers get incredible raises and an average of $ 16,000 in bonuses in a year when they lost 13% of the fund’s value. Tuition is not the first place to look to make up budget shortfalls.

This obnoxious above private industry level of benefits was built on the backs of Georgia taxpayers and the college students’ tuition. Maybe it is time for them to invest a little in the future of higher education rather than the stock market.

Marine wife and GA college student

March 16th, 2010
6:03 pm

I’m a military spouse and a full time college student. Not everyone has the salary of Mr. Balfour. My husband risks his life as an ACTIVE DUTY marine! We don’t bring home the kind of money as other young couples. And I know everyone is thinking, oh the military gives you money…well as everyone else they have cut as well. We were guaranteed $6000 but they stopped the program due to the economy and my husband isn’t eligible to get his GI bill yet. We are stuck and I’m a senior with one semester left till graduation and the only way out people are telling me is to get in debt. And in this economy the smart people know that’s not the best idea. I would like to know if Mr. Balfour has done the math? If you take what you are paying now (tuition, fees, etc.) and multiply that by 1.77, that would equal what you would be paying!!!!!!!!! I am a full time student at North Georgia College & State University the tuition for this past semester was $1937 and fees $581. While that might not be a lot for some, for others if you increase that drastically we can’t afford it! $4,456.86 will have to come out of my pocket this August if they raise tuition. It’s NGCSU people…not Emory…it’s a public university. Have all these politicians taken a pay cut???

Student

May 27th, 2010
6:01 pm

I am going to GaTech part time and my tuition has already TRIPLED in the last year. I am already paying about $2800 for one class. I just got a letter saying there will be another $500 fee next semester. It seems that they are actively trying to destroy part time students like me. I am starting to have doubts that I will even be able to finish, but am already a senior so I will probably be able to push through. A new student looking to start part time at these rates would be looking at a price tag north of $150,000 for a simple Bachelor’s degree assuming no further increases in tuition. I think we are already at the point where a college diploma cost more than it is worth at least for part timers like me. A college degree will no longer be proof of education and intelligence, but merely proof of moneyed parents and pedigree.