Chicoine proposes hiking tuition statewide, sending money to SDSU, BHSUDepending upon the plan, the tuition would rise annually through at least 2016 and up through 2018, until the six universities came into general balance, so that their percentages of base funding are approximately equal to their percentages of students.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
PIERRE – South Dakota State University president David Chicoine plans a public presentation next week regarding the funding levels for SDSU and Black Hills State University, in comparison to the proportionately larger shares of state support and student tuition that the four other state universities get.
SDSU budget and finance coordinator Michael Holbeck and Chicoine co-wrote an academic paper that was published in November about that topic.
They outlined how the different levels came about, and they suggested three approaches to curing the inequities by increasing tuition and transferring some of the additional revenue to SDSU at Brookings and Black Hills State at Spearfish.
That would mean taking a portion of the tuition paid by students at Northern State University in Aberdeen, the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, Dakota State University at Madison and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City.
Depending upon the plan, the tuition would rise annually through at least 2016 and up through 2018, until the six universities came into general balance, so that their percentages of base funding are approximately equal to their percentages of students.
The target amount per student in one approach is $12,454 in 2018. All six schools would increase, but some would go up much more. Their 2012 base funding levels per full-time student were Black Hills State $7,255; Dakota State $11,112; Northern State $10,259; School of Mines $10,789; SDSU $8,038; and USD $9,387.
Chicoine and Holbeck are scheduled to publicly discuss their proposal Thursday, April 19, at SDSU’s Tompkins Alumni Center. The presentation starts at 4 p.m. The two men are economics graduates from SDSU.
The public universities are governed by the state Board of Regents.
The board recently adopted a new method for charging tuition, with students at SDSU, USD and the School of Mines and Technology paying more per credit-hour because their campuses have research missions.
The board also shifted $500,000 of general support to Black Hills State by taking $100,000 apiece from the five other universities.
Regents president Kathryn Johnson of Hill City and other members of the board emphasized the transfer was the start of a longer process to adjust financial support among the universities.
The Holbeck-Chicoine proposals haven’t come up in public at regents meetings.
“I have seen the paper and it has not been discussed or endorsed by the regents,” Jack Warner, the university system’s executive director, said.
Chicoine described the paper as “a couple of economists doing what economists do: Using publically available secondary source data to do studies.
The Department of Economics holds seminars routinely where faculty and students present their work.”
He said the first draft of the paper was reviewed last summer with the other university presidents and the executive director.
He said the final version was presented to them last fall, followed by an addendum in February that used fresher numbers.
He said the general results of the simulations still held true.
“I have not discussed the paper with any regent individually or the regents collectively,” Chicoine said.