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posted: 7/12/2013 4:40 AM

Hold college trustees accountable

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Hold college trustees accountable

Excessive costs of a college education and resultant student debt represent the single biggest threat to the economic future of our country. Three generations are impacted.

The parents trying to help keep their children out of crippling debt are not putting as much aside for retirement, buying new cars or taking vacations. The students themselves struggle to pay off debt, putting off buying a house, a better car and having children. The children of those who don't wait are born into poverty.

It's great to see state Rep. Tom Cross and U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam suggesting steps to curtail this devastation. However, let's look back down the steady incline of college cost escalation and hold school trustees accountable. In a March, 2011 news brief, the Daily Herald reported a 6.9 percent increase in University of Illinois tuition approved by trustees saying they "have to pay the faculty and staff salaries necessary to maintain the University of Illinois as a world class school."

One year later we read in the Herald that U of I President Michael Hogan was forced to resign "under pressure from faculty unhappy with his leadership." and "He made $620,000 as president." The next sentence is: "Hogan's predecessor, B. Joseph White, has taught at the university since his resignation in 2009 and is paid $288,000 a year."

Where is any sense of "trust" in this? How can any of these people -- those awarding huge salaries or those accepting them -- sleep at night? Where is the responsibility at the U of I or any school for seeing that students get an affordable education? Prestige concerns need to take a back seat.

Patrick Walsh


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