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Open Letter To University Of Connecticut About Tuition

I have an option E, please take it seriously. I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I plan to craft it  even more in between my mid terms and finals this semester.

Let’s give our coaches like Geno Auriemma and Jim Calhoun the opportunity to make even more each year but risk making less too, by making each aspect of their income depend on the gross take each game spread over the year.

Three bad years in a row and they have to justify their salary just as eloquently as the President Hogans and Vice Provost Comprones of our campuses.

Then we can make proffesor salaries AND tuition amounts each semester more aggressively variable as well. We have all these computers and bandwidth, right? Why not put a few of them to work crunching all the numbers so we can see how much more we might be able pay our professors each semester too!

When our sports teams, and the annual Pow Wow, and the ROTC donations and nanotechnology grants give us a smaller amount one semester, my tuition goes up a little and Calhoun’s salary goes down a little.

When all those elements climb a little, my tuition goes down and Calhoun’s salary goes up.

Seriously, and don’t get me wrong, I honor athletics, but it really is quite surreal that Calhoun can command 1.6 million a year plus incentives, yet my best professors teaching me can only look forward to a smidgen higher than $111K a year!

Is your main roll in administration still doing whatever it takes to get me a quality education or had it become figuring out how the heck you’re going to get the Basketball coach his salary every time there’s a new contract negotiation?

Unfortunately I can answer that for you, I’ve been dropping out and returning to UConn as an undergrad since 1982.


Fellow students,

On March 10th, the UConn Board of Trustees will determine tuition for the
2009-2010 academic year. This decision will affect all students; therefore, we
want your voices to be heard.

Please consider the following information, which is a list of
options that the Board of Trustees will be reviewing regarding tuition

• Option A: would be no tuition increase. It would require cuts that would
likely result in approximately 290-310 layoffs. If tuition is not increased at all,
UConn will have to close programs and cut services to students. The hours at
the Library, Rec Center, Student Union, dining halls, museums and other
venues would be sharply reduced and many students working at these
facilities would lose their jobs. More classes would be moved to Fridays and
weekends, fewer classes would be offered and they would be larger. The
University would have to reduce financial aid and increase charges for things
like parking and ticket prices to events.

• Option B: would be a tuition increase of 6.0% (this is the standard amount
that tuition has increased by annually over the past few years). This would
amount to a $432 annual increase for resident students over the current
tuition rates. It would require cuts that would likely result in approximately
150-170 layoffs. Programs and services would still be curtailed. Student jobs
would still be lost. Classes would be fewer, bigger and offered at less
convenient times and financial aid would still be cut.

• Option C: would be a tuition increase of 8.67%. This would amount to a
$624 annual increase for resident students over the current tuition rates. It
would likely result in the equivalent of approximately 80-100 lay-offs. It would
save more jobs, programs and services. Financial aid would not have to be cut.

• Option D:  would be a tuition increase of 13.67%. This would amount to a
$984 annual increase for resident students over the current tuition rates. It
would not entail any lay-offs. This would avoid the need to close down
programs and services. Student jobs would not be eliminated. Financial aid
would not have to be cut.

President Hogan has recommended an 8.67% tuition increase (Option C,
shown above) in order to save as many UConn programs as possible, while still
keeping tuition affordable. He has asked for the support of the Student
Government in this recommendation.

However, we at USG do not feel that we can responsibly support a tuition
increase without first getting direct feedback from as many students as
possible. It is our job to represent you, and we need to make sure we are
doing what is in your best interest.

In order to get direct feedback on the options for next year’s tuition, we have
set up a poll, click the link below to take the poll:

Please complete the survey (it’s only ONE QUESTION) so that we can begin to
understand which of these four options you, the students, are most
comfortable with. We will be presenting the results of the poll to the
administration and Board of Trustee’s at the begining of next month so please
respond ASAP.

USG is also sponsoring a Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday night, February 24th
at 7p.m.-9p.m. in the Konover Auditorium (at the Dodd Center). President
Hogan, UConn’s Chief Operating Officer Barry Feldman, and Vice President for
Student Affairs John Saddlemire, along with other key figures will be on-hand
to discuss the recent budget cuts and tuition with anyone who would like to

This meeting will be a great opportunity to voice any opinions or questions you
might have about the potential tuition increase. Please try to attend.

I realize that these are difficult times for all of us, and I thank you all for your
time and effort.

Meredith L. Zaritheny
President of the Student Body
University of Connecticut
Undergraduate Student Government
2110 Hillside Road
Storrs, CT 06269
(860) 486-3708