Friday, July 27, 2012

I value my education and so should you

It has become clear to everyone that during these difficult economic times, sacrifices have to be made, and people need to be held accountable for their spending. With that in mind, it needs to be said that Governor Rick Perry is making a monumental error by cutting funding for higher education in the state of Texas. The University of Texas at Austin has made a name for itself in recent rankings (ranking 29th by renown British magazine Times Higher Education in this article) , and it is unfair to its students for Governor Perry to decrease the value of our degrees by cutting funding to Texas public universities.

In the past two years alone, Governor Perry has cut 17.5 percent of UT's budget. This amounts to a whopping $92 million dollar loss over that two year span (these facts can be verified here). Texas is able to maintain its status as a top tier research institute because of funding from the state government. Governor Perry recently proposed even more cuts to funding in a year when UT's incoming freshman class is the largest its ever been. He also vowed to not allow tuition increases, despite the desperate pleas of President William Powers Jr. Powers wanted to increase tuition 2.6 percent, and was shot down by Perry's appointees on the Board of Regents (source). Without this source of revenue to help fund groundbreaking research, the overall quality of the university will get worse. Brilliant researchers will stop applying for jobs at UT, which will cause the quality of professors and of research to decrease dramatically.

 In my opinion, Texas should fund UT because at the end of the day, money is what brings people to the university and what helps make UT one of the best public universities in the nation. We need to invest more in our state's future by funding a new generations education. Governor Perry needs to find other areas to introduce cuts to, because frankly, our state's higher education system is one of the most important assets we have.

1 comment:

  1. While searching through our class blog roll, I ran across Rohan Adiga’s interesting commentary on the recent funding decreases for Texas’s secondary institutions, particularly the University of Texas at Austin. As a student of UT, and especially one invested in the quality of its faculty, research, and reputation, he expresses particular disappointment in Governor Perry’s recent cuts in funding to the University – policy costing a “whopping” $92 million to UT over the next two years. With such cuts, one would think hikes in tuition could help pick up the slack. However, thanks to the Governor, frozen tuition rates leave the University in a deep hole – a predicament Adiga feels will cost the University the prestige it has worked so hard to achieve. Without the money to fund such groundbreaking research, why should brilliant scientists even think about coming to UT? A great question indeed, Rohan.

    As a fellow science and University of Texas student, I agree with his argument. Rick Perry has continued to champion his conservative ways, preventing tax or tuition increases without providing a means to pick up the slack. This well written commentary provides insight into how such policies will hurt the diverse and innovative researchers of the University of Texas – chemists, psychologists, political scientists, and more that have worked to help put UT on the world map. Though the Governor may champion the University’s success, he can’t realistically expect such groundbreaking (and subsequently expensive) research to continue without the appropriate funding. The cake may be tasty, but who’s going to keep baking it?