Les Cochran Blog

Fiction Author

Universities Have a Spending Problem

| 1 Comment

Hello Blog Friends,
I know I’ve posted about the high cost of college in the past, but this critical issue must be kept at the forefront.  It is just one of many education concerns we need to address as we try to improve education in our nation.  In the past the quality of education in the United States was the best in the world; today we rank twenty-sixth (26th)!

YES – twenty-five (25) other countries have surpassed us! So, so sad.
Recently there was an article in the Asheville, NC paper indicating the University of North Carolina Board of Governor’s was seeking permission to increase the percentage of out-of-state students as a way to generate more money for operation.  Of course, I had to share my thoughts about that “cop out” approach and suggest a few solutions of my own.  Please be assured that these solutions aren’t fictional (even though I am currently an author of fiction.)  Rather, they are examples of actual monetary management techniques my administrative team and I have successfully implemented.  With that introduction, here is my Letter to the Editor: Citizen-Times, Asheville, NC, published May 8, 2016.
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John Boyle’s story, “Is a college education really worth the costs?” in the May 1 edition of the Citizen-Times was right on target. He accurately portrayed the problem faced by most families across the nation — paying for a college education.

Over the past 35 years, public college tuition skyrocketed 12 times, doubling the rate of medical cost increases and quadrupling the rate of inflation. There were no legislative hearings on controlling costs, no action taken by state boards to reduce spending, and no changes in the way universities were managed.graph

The results were catastrophic — a $1.3 trillion student-loan debt — college access limited for millions, their daily spending ability curtailed, and their capability to make major purchases delayed. The suggestion by Lou Bissette, chairman of University of North Carolina Board of Governors, for the state to raise the limit on the percentage of out-of-state students won’t solve the problem.

Universities don’t need more money; they have a spending problem. The Board of Governors needs to face reality and force universities to spend less — change the way they do business, reduce administrative costs, eliminate deadwood faculty, and cut frivolous courses — without affecting the quality of education. It can and must be done!!  Students can no longer afford business as usual.

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Please feel free to share your ideas on ways universities can better manage and/or reduce operational costs without reducing quality.  It can be done and it is past time for them focus on cost reductions.  Otherwise we will have fewer and fewer citizens able to obtain a college education!

One Comment

  1. Les, You and I were at ground zero when the tuition snowball began to roll. We didn’t realize it at the time, but it began with the implementation of what we called “rational planning systems” for the allocation of increasingly scarce resources. The intentions were of the best, even idealistic; but

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