CUNY Votes to Pass Cost of Ineffective Leadership On to Students

11/29/2011 3:31 PM |

CUNY used to be free.
  • NYT
  • CUNY used to be free.

While hundreds of students protested outside, the trustees of the City University of New York voted yesterday to raise tuition $300 a year for the next five years. Students enrolling in the fall of 2015 will have to pay $6,330 in annual tuition, plus another $500 in fees. The vote came a week after a public hearing that attracted similar numbers of protesters, who were moved on by police; fifteen were arrested. (Students retaliated by throwing books at cops, which is such a perfect metaphor.)

The first increase already took place for this term; CUNY raised the price after its bills were already due, forcing students who had already paid up to pay a little bit extra if they still wanted to attend classes.

“The trustees and the CUNY chancellor, Matthew Goldstein, said they had little choice but to raise tuition,” the Times reports, “to compensate for sharply lowered support from the state in recent years.” One could fairly ask, though, where Goldstein and the trustees have been “in recent years” while their budgets have been slashed. Or, for example, this year, when Gov. Cuomo said he would allow the “millionaire’s tax” to lapse. Hey, you know what you could do with a millionaire’s tax? Pay for higher education!

Many cast their arguments in terms of race or class, arguing that the trustees were out of touch with the student body, which is heavily made up of low-income and minority students.

“The board of trustees are mostly successful business people, and they’re basically trying to run a public institution as a business, which it is not,” said Jamie Yancovitz, 23, a student at CUNY’s Graduate Center in Manhattan. “They don’t get what it’s like for us.”

More from the Wall Street Journal.