Thursday, June 3, 2004

NKU tuition hike needs a perspective


Around Northern Kentucky

Pat Crowley

When Northern Kentucky University raised tuition last month, much was made about how the nearly 17 percent increase was the largest in the region by percentage.

But in terms of actual dollars, NKU's hike was about the lowest.

Here is a comparison between NKU and the region's other major universities, with the percentage increase followed by how that translates into cash.

• NKU 16.7 percent, $624.

• University of Kentucky, 13.6 percent, $618 for freshmen and sophomores and 16.9 percent, $768 for juniors and seniors.

• Miami University, 8.5 percent, $753.

• University of Cincinnati, 8.5 percent, $756.

• Ohio State University, 13.4 percent, $891.

• College of Mount St. Joseph, 7 percent, $1,200.

• Xavier University, 6.6 percent, $1,250.

"A university president never enjoys raising tuition," said NKU President James Votruba. "(But) this is still a very attractive package. We are still quite competitive."

The "C" word. Among the many Kentuckians frustrated with the budget impasse in Frankfort is former House Democratic Caucus chairman Bill Donnermeyer of Bellevue.

Donnermeyer, 79, who retired from the General Assembly in 1994, said that during his 25 years in Frankfort, legislators certainly battled over the budget. But they always passed one.

"We compromised, and that's what you don't see now in Frankfort," Donnermeyer said. "But you don't hear much talk about that. It's like they're afraid of using the word 'compromise.' But that's what you have to do in government. You can't have a 'take it or leave it' attitude.

"That's what's going on now, but that obviously doesn't work or we would have a budget by now," he said.

Donnermeyer did applaud fellow Campbell County Democrat Jim Callahan - who succeeded Donnermeyer in House leadership - for calling on both sides to get back to the bargaining table before the new fiscal year begins July 1.

"That's a step in the right direction," Donnermeyer said, "but both sides need to do more compromising."

A he, not a she. In a story last week I referred to Campbell County statehouse candidate Mark Hayden, a Wilder Republican, as "Mary."

Thanks to Joan - I mean John - Hengelbrok, a member of Hayden's campaign team, for pointing out my mistake.

Hayden is running against Wilder Democrat Dennis Keene in November's 67th District House race. Keene upset Campbell County Commissioner Ken Rechtin in the May 18 Democratic primary. Hayden was unopposed.

E-mail pcrowley@enquirer.com. Crowley interviews Kenton County Democrats Jeff Groob and Vicki Prichard this week on ICN6's "On The Record," broadcast daily on Insight Comm. Channel 6.




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