UM Tuition Increase


Last week, the Board of Regents voted to increase tuition at Montana State University (MSU) and University of Montana (UM).   As mentioned in my previous post, both schools wanted this increase.   It would impact all college students and families struggling in these tough economic times.

The University of Montana plans to cut about $2 million from its budget.  The university claims that these cuts will not directly affect the students.  

MSU keeps complaining about a $1 million in revenue losses.  They claim the cuts will cause reductions in staff, class sizes, and the number of classes.

George Dennison, President of University of Montana, says “We will concentrate those reductions in areas that won’t impact the classroom,” at least he tries to help the students out.  Unlike MSU President Geoffrey Gamble who cares about money and not the students.

Dennison goes on to say, “If not for the student advocacy, there would probably not be a tuition increase at all,” Dennison said. “So we have to protect students” from these cuts.   This is very important for the security of the students at UM.

An article in the Helena Independent Record stated that;

UM administrators plan to cut travel and training budgets.  These cuts will be for the use for nonacademic equipment and operating expenses, such as copy and fax machines and computers.  There will also be less money for the retention of faculty and professors, but Dennison doesn’t anticipate any layoffs.

 A few months ago, Treasure State Network (TSN) sent out a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to all state agencies and universities about the government contracting process.   Almost all of the entities responded to our request. 

MSU was the worst of the group and continues to spend money unwisely.  They decided not to provide information about the number of contracts awarded to private companies.   President Gamble needs to examine their spending habits instead of just whining about more money.  He would rather have his staff ignore the request than save tax dollars.   While the University of Montana and its affiliated universities fully complied with our request.

Still MSU told TSN that we must pay for the labor from a staff member to pull all the records for review and pay $.10 per page.  This is the direct opposite response from a large majority of state agencies and universities who submitted a list of contracts or the actual contracts themselves.

MSU does not care about transparency in their organization and will not examine where funds are being spent.  If they would respond taxpayers would be more able to trust the university with their dollars.

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