Doubled tuition at SIUE not from lack of state funding, policy writers contend
Tuition and fees have nearly doubled at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE) since 2006, which the Illinois Policy Institute contends is part of a growing higher education crisis spurred by increasing administrative costs and out-of-control pension costs, not a lack of state funding.
Ted Dabrowski, the institute's vice president of policy, and policy analyst John Klingner said that a majority of Illinois funding for higher education now goes toward retirement costs rather than operational budgets. In addition to high pension benefits, the State Universities Retirement System also provides annual 3 percent cost-of-living increases.
Operational budgets at the state’s universities have also swelled because of increases in administrative staff. In 2011 the ratio of administrative staff to students at public universities hit 1 to 45, and more than half of those administrators have a base salary of $100,000 or higher, the writers said.
SIUE tuition went from $5,209 in 2006 to $10,247 in 2016, a jump of 97 percent in just 10 years.
“The higher-education crisis has not resulted from Illinois’ budget gridlock,” Dabrowski and Klingner wrote. “Rather, skyrocketing pensions, bloated administrative costs and soaring tuition and fees for students have caused it. These are all self-inflicted wounds.”
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