The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 3, 2005 - 7A
Continued from page 1
University's recent tuition increases have been
attributed to declining state funding.
"Why is our state not focused on making
sure that all of our people have access to infor-
mation?" University Regent Kathryn White
said. "Everything's kind of falling apart. We
have to get back to being the innovators."
A major focus of the conference was find-
ing a way to fortify the midwestern workforce
by making a university education accessible
for people at all income levels - an issue that
has plagued educators and legislators alike.
"We cannot afford to waste talent," said
state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, a Democrat
from Ypsilanti. "You can't afford to assign
people to lower incomes because they don't
have access to higher education. ... We're
telling young people how important higher
education is for them at the same time we're
making (it) less affordable. What kind of
game are we playing?"
Efforts to address the accessibility issue
may actually include higher tuition, said for-
mer University Provost Paul Courant, who
also spoke at the conference.
"There's no question that what the universi-
ties are up to is increasing tuition and turn-
ing around and putting that money back into
financial aid," Courant said. "It's the right
thing to do." Courant said that while the tag
price of college is increasing, the net price for
individuals may actually be decreasing.
Duderstadt's speech was well received at
the conference, although some h-d lingering
questions about returns on state investments
in higher education.
Richard Vedder, a professor at the Univer-
sity of Ohio, offered a different view from
what he called the "higher education love-
fest." Vedder said his research had led him to
believe that states that dedicate large amounts
of money to higher education actually fare
worse economically than states that do not.
"The inefficiencies of the higher education
community are legion - they're pervasive.
The neglect of students is legion and perva-
sive," Vedder said. He added that unnecessary
spending at universities creates a drain on state
funds that outweighs the benefits it would gain
from higher education.
Vedder contended that funding cuts would
actually benefit the universities and the nation
in the long run by forcing the institutions to
trim unnecessary spending.
Jack McCue, a legal researcher for the
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, also had
concerns about state investment in univer-
sities. He said his chief concern about state
investment in universities is that talent follows
employment opportunities. If Michigan keeps
its taxes low to attract businesses, he said, other
universities could supply the talent pool.
But other legislators said the benefits of
higher taxes - like a strong public university
system - are more important for attracting
businesses than low taxes.
"We cannot offer new businesses anything
more important than an educated and skilled
workforce," Smith said. "We won't get that
without higher education."
Lou Anna Simon, president of Michigan
State University, said although concerns about
Duderstadt's plan may be legitimate, she hopes
to see critics come up with viable alternatives.
"(Vedder) reflects viewpoints that we don't
like, but they're still real," Simon said. "(But)
if you don't like the Duderstadt answer, then
what other answer?"
Neal McCluskey, an education expert at the
Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, is an
advocate of a dramatically different position
- the complete elimination of state funding
for public universities.
"How do you justify people who didn't
have access or just didn't go ... paying for
other people to go to college so that these other
people can get that extra million dollars (in
income that comes from higher education)?"
But Vedder said it would not be feasible for
universities to privatize, at least not within the
next decade. He added, however, that he did see
it as a possible long-term goal.
University President Mary Sue Coleman
has expressed vehement opposition to the idea
of privatizing the University. Coleman wrote in
a guest column in Crain's Detroit Business that
privatization would make tuition skyrocket.
Democratic state Rep. Smith also voiced
opposition to privitzation of universities.
"You're going to leave school with a 20,000-
dollar debt; at a private school, that's the first
year tuition," Smith said. "I think it would be a
terrible direction to go." She added that it would
tear apart previous efforts toward making higher
education more accessible to underprivileged
But Wick Sloane, a visiting fellow at the Fed-
eral Reserve Bank of Chicago, said that as high-
er education funding continues to dwindle, some
universities are effectively privatized already.
Sloane noted that today the state funds a rela-
tively small percent of universities' costs to edu-
cate a student.
"If you can afford to go to college, you will
still go - it's the poor students who are just
as smart as you who won't go," Sloane said.
"They'll end up on welfare and Medicaid. It's
a public investment to give them an education
and let them live a fulfilling life, just like you
want to live."
Continued from page 1
allow students more time to decide whom they want to live with
and whether they want to live in the residence halls or off-cam-
pus - a choice that many say freshmen are ill-prepared to make
just a month or two into their University careers, when many of
them sign their leases for the next year.
But Hood said it would create a stampede effect in early
December on the day when students could first sign leases or
view the living spaces.
"It's going to create this herd mentality," he said.
Woods disagreed. "We already have a herd mentality" she
said. "It just takes place in September."
The candidates spoke on a number of other issues involv-
ing student-City Council relations, including the prospect of
redrawing ward lines so students would have better represen-
tation when voting for Council members. Currently, the wards
are drawn in five pie-shaped slices that meet near the center of
campus, dividing students' votes among the wards and diluting
their collective voting power.
Proponents of redrawing the wards have suggested a new
ward in the center of the city that would encompass University
residence halls and most student housing. Opponents of the idea
say it would leave wards with nondiverse populations, such as
all single-family houses or all students. The city charter requires
the wards to be rough cross-sections of the city.
Five of the candidates - Hood, Higgins, Birkett, Bourque
and Rapundalo - said they think redrawing the wards is worth
considering, while the other three - Greden, Johnson and
Woods - said it should not be a possibility.
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For Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005
(March 21 to April 19)
Try to do anything different today.
Break with your routine. Shake it up a
little. Today you want to learn something
new, and you want adventure!
(April 20 to May 20)
You're the financial wizard of the
zodiac. (Many people who work in
banks have Taurus in their charts.) Today
is a good day to get on top of your
finances. Check out money details.
(May 21 to June 20)
Today's Moon opposes your sign. This
means you're focused on partners, close
friends and members of the general pub-
lic because your attention is directed.
away from yourself. (You might learn
(June 21 to July 22)
Act on your impulse to get better
organized today. Sort out messy areas.
Throw away or recycle whatever you no
(July 23 to Aug. 22)
This is a playful, flirtatious day! Enjoy
entertaining diversions if you can.
Relations with children will be upbeat
and positive. Be a kid again yourself.
(Oct. 23 to Nov. 21)
Make friends with your bank account
today. Find out how much money you
don't have. However, guard against
(Nov. 22 to Dec. 21)
You feel restless and independent
today. You don't want anyone telling you
what to do. Since the Moon is in your
sign, it's a pretty lucky day for you.
(Dec. 22 to Jan. 19)
Try and work by yourself today if you
can. You need some solitude. Your abil-
ity to do research is excellent now. You
might also deal with the government or
large institutions today.
(Jan. 20 to Feb. 18)
This is an excellent day to talk to
friends, groups, conferences, clubs and
organizations. You're in the mood to net-
work. A female friend in particular might
be helpful to you.
(Feb. 19 to March 20)
You'll do something today that briefly
calls attention to you. People will notice
you. Knowing this, be aware of how you
look and speak.
YOU BORN TODAY You have strong
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