Letter to the editor: Tuition increases are not ‘necessary’

Alexander Riccio

Oregon State University officials, such as Vice President Steve Clark, assume the ignorance of students when making false claims that tuition increases are necessary at OSU.

In a recent Barometer article Clark claimed, “for tuition to go down, an increase in state funding would need to be provided.” In the same article, Clark and other university officials encouraged students to pressure state legislatures in order to receive increased state funding and mitigate the pain of pending tuition hikes.

I agree that students should place pressure on those with the capacity to improve access to higher education, which is why students would be wise to take Clark and his cohort to task over their disingenuous statements. Increased state funding is obviously beneficial for students, yet by no means necessary to reduce tuition costs at OSU. Clark neglects to mention that students currently contribute toward a 20 percent subsidy for Oregon State athletic programs (primarily football) through our tuition and fees. He also neglects to note the nearly 7 percent decrease in student aid over the past eight years in conjunction with the near identical 7 percent increase in administration salaries over the same period of time. Nor did officials highlight that seven athletic coaches are well on their way to becoming multi-millionaires thanks to their OSU salaries. Finally, Clark and officials seem to take for granted that students will believe that the university is strapped for money, but this is a flat lie which even contradicts President Ed Ray’s recent State of the University address wherein he praised the fiscal health of OSU.

Tuition will be increased not because of a lack of state funding, but because of university officials consistently valuing sports over education, and their own salaries over student access. Let’s put pressure where it is needed indeed.

Alexander Riccio

Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies

Member of Allied Students for Another Politics