The University System of New Hampshire’s board of trustees is requesting that the legislature restore its state funding. At a board meeting Tuesday they approved a budget request for the near-$50 million that was cut last year. In exchange for the funds, the USNH is offering to freeze tuition for two years.
University chancellor Ed MacKay says that New Hampshire’s tuition costs are among the nation’s highest not because of inefficiencies, but because of a lack of funding from the state.
New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien says the University of New Hampshire and its workers need to be more efficient. O’Brien, while speaking on NHPR’s the Exchange, defended lawmaker’s nearly fifty percent cut to higher ed funding, the largest in the nation. The Speaker also criticized UNH for increasing its tuition and, he says, not making the cuts necessary to become efficient.
“Its union is seeking a 16 percent increase in its pay. Its workers are inefficient and unproductive. They don’t teach as many hours as they can.”
For some perspective, the Mariana Trench, a 2500 kilometer-long gash along the floor of the South Pacific, is as deep as Mount Everest is tall. Recently, oceanographers from the University of New Hampshire discovered some new architecture lining the floor of the planet. With great precision, they’ve mapped vast bridges spanning the immense gap…and detected significant shifts in the walls of the trench.
The New Hampshire House today voted to eliminate the Chancellor’s Office within the University System. The bill calls for many of the responsibilities of the Office to be shifted to the Board of Trustees and to school presidents. Created in 1974, the Chancellor’s duties include government relations, purchasing and audits.
We sit down with UNH President Mark Huddleston. He’s spent months responding to an unprecedented state budget cut, announcing layoffs and reductions, but also new ways to bring in revenue. We’ll find out more, and ask Huddleston about continuing pressure to lower college costs…especially since New Hampshire students now have the nation’s highest level of student debt.
Mark Huddleston - President of the University of New Hampshire