VSC chancellor says tuition hike supports quality education


Kayla Friedrich

VSC Chancellor Tim Donovan

“The board had a good and healthy discourse on this important subject… and the outcome was fully considered,” said Tim Donovan, the Chancellor of Vermont State Colleges about the board of trustee’s decisions to vote down the resolution to freeze tuition increases for VSC students and amend his motion of a two-year 3 percent hike to a one-year plan.

The benefit of his original proposal, he said, was the two-year plan would have allowed colleges and students to predict their budgets and plan out better.

But, at least for the 2014-2015 year, the colleges will have an increase in revenue.

“In the absence [of a tuition hike] the colleges would have had to make some severe cuts in staffing. Eighty percent of the budget goes to staff… we try to pay our employees fairly,” but he added, “No one is getting rich here.”

Donovan said his proposal to increase the tuition was balanced, having an impact on the college but at the same time not too burdensome for the 60 percent of college-bound students going to a state college – and their parents – to bear.

He agreed with some students who said at the meeting they felt Vermont legislature was not in spirit with the promise of Vermont statute (16 V.S.A §2171(a)). This statute declares state colleges are to be “supported in whole or in substantial part with state funds.”

VSC’s board of trustees can’t make the state fund more, however. Donovan said the best way to get the Vermont legislature’s attention is for students and parents to make their needs known to their representatives and government officials and demand change.