After waiting in an agonizingly long line at the bookstore, paying for an expensive textbook is the last thing a student needs. Textbook prices seem to reach new heights every year, just like Temple’s tuition, a bill likely to make a student faint.
Then, I began looking at the numbers.
For a public university, Temple’s tuition rates seem a bit high.
Tuition is nowhere near that of a private university, like University of Pennsylvania’s tuition rate of $51,300 for the 2008-2009 academic year. Still, our school’s tuition is over-the-top compared to state schools like West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where full-time in-state undergraduates pay just $6,047.
For the 2008-2009 academic year, Temple cost most full-time in-state undergraduates $11,448 and out-of-state residents $20,468.
In fact, the price of tuition for Temple students who are out-of-state residents is driving some away.
Alex Roda, a sophomore education major and New Jersey native, applied to transfer to Rowan University, located near his home town.
At Rowan University, Roda will be paying roughly the same amount as Temple in-state-residents, $10,908 a year. Roda will also save money if he decides to live at home.
Roda is one of many students across the country who is resorting to transferring to in-state or community colleges as a way of shouldering the burden of higher education costs.
Because of the economic climate, I found it alarming when I heard that Arthur Hochner, president of the Temple Association of University Professionals, said it “makes no sense” that Temple cannot afford to give pay increases to faculty. But after speaking with Hochner, I realized he was not crazy for negotiating salary increases.
The human resource management professor mentioned that the state did not provide approximately $11 million out of the $190 million promised to Temple.
“That’s a chunk of the budget, but out of Temple University’s approximate $800 million budget for educational purposes, it’s a fairly small amount, and they’ve already said that they’ve accounted for it through a hiring freeze and a travel freeze,” Hochner said.
Hochner said TAUP spent time reviewing Temple’s annual financial statements, the analysis of the statements indicate that the university has a “healthy, robust budget.”
A healthy budget in the midst of this economic downturn makes it understandable that Hochner and TAUP are fighting for their share of the cherry and white budget pie.
TAUP has been in negotiations with Temple since Oct. 15, 2008. The latest offer made by TAUP regarding pay raises was offered in December 2008, to which Temple negotiators did not respond.
“Between the [faculty and students], we have the essence of a university,” Hochner said. “We’re not going to have a university without students, and you’re not going to have an education without the professors.”
The professors of this university are the ones educating us, guiding us in the field of study we choose. They deserve a decent increase in their salaries.
Joshua Fernandez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.