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John Steinmetz Deserves the Support of the Texas Tech and Angelo State Communities

Last week, the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents approved tuition and fee increases for both Texas Tech and Angelo State Universities.

The TTU System Board of Regents consists of nine members and last week only one member voted against the increase- John Steinmetz of Lubbock.

Now, the rationale given for the increases is that the state is reducing funding to all public universities and the shortfall had to be made up in the 2012 FY Budget. However, I take the position that the governor and many other people across the state have espoused: All state agencies must make the tough cuts to live within their means.

The Texas Tech Regents, at least publicly, didn’t even try to make the tough decisions.  Instead, they passed on the pain of another tuition hike to the students.

Common sense and basic political knowledge would tell you that Regent Steinmetz has probably received some heat, behind the scenes, for not voting in-line with the rest of the regents.  Instead of pressure he should be receiving public praise.  Praise for taking stand for the students and parents that struggle to pay for higher education.  Praise for standing out alone among the crowd.

Granted Steinmetz’s stand didn’t result in the tuition increases being defeated, but at the very least it should continue the public discourse about near-annual tuition and fee increases from Texas Tech and other university systems.

Unfortunately, the larger issue at hand, tuition deregulation, probably won’t be fixed within the next decade or two.  So Texas college students, and parents, will be at the mercy of university systems for ever-increasing costs.

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