PHENOM Board Member Max Page in a Letter to the Editor of the Herald News:
If Jim Stergios and Greg Sullivan (“Time for UMass to implement needed fiscal reforms“) wrote an analysis about Shakespeare’s play Hamlet they’d figure out a way to leave out the Danish prince. Their op-ed on UMass’s budget pretends to be a serious analysis, but deliberately ignores the central development of the past 30 years — the shameful disinvestment in our public university by state leaders. UMass is not “largely funded by taxpayers.”
In fact, only 19 percent of UMass’s budget is paid for by state appropriation. Once upon a time we had a true public university, where the state paid for the buildings and their upkeep (the state pays for only a tiny percentage today), and the state paid about 85 percent of the annual budget of the university, with the remaining 15 percent paid through tuition and fees. Because of the state’s flight from its responsibilities, our flagship campus relies on ever-rising tuition and fees that is putting more of our students into long-term debt.
A “think tank” worth that name would present real facts, and not manipulated critique. What we really need is a discussion about how much money we need to invest back into UMass, so that it can compete with the best universities in California, North Carolina, and Texas while allowing Massachusetts students to graduate debt free.
PHENOM – The Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts