18 April 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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UNITED STATES
University heads slam Obama's cost-control plans
“Fuzzy math”, Illinois State University's president called it. “Political theatre of the worst sort,” said the University of Washington's head. US President Barack Obama's new plan to force colleges and universities to contain tuition or face losing federal dollars is raising alarm among education leaders, who worry about the threat of government overreach, reports Associated Press.

Particularly sharp words came from the presidents of public universities: they are already frustrated by increasing state budget cuts.

The reality, said Illinois State's Al Bowman, is that simple changes cannot easily overcome deficits at many public schools. He said he was happy to hear Obama urge state-level support of public universities. But, Bowman said, given the decreases in state aid, tying federal support to tuition prices is a product of fuzzy math. “Most people, including the president, assume if universities were simply more efficient they would be able to operate with much smaller state subsidies, and I believe there are certainly efficiency gains that can be realised,” Bowman said. “But they pale in comparison to the loss in state support.”
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