05 February 2010

Higher Ed Faces Funding Crunch

The Associated Press reports that "pressured by Gov. Joe Manchin to keep tuition rates in check this year, West Virginia's public colleges and universities are warning lawmakers that a funding crisis is near."

Officials told the House Finance Committee that federal stimulus funds will help them comply with the one-year freeze sought by Manchin. But Higher Education Policy Commission Chancellor Brian Noland said "the funding issue is particularly critical given the record-setting enrollment of 93,712 students in West Virginia's four- and two-year institutions," the article said.

"If we continue to increase enrollment but something does not move with revenues, and here I'm talking fees, it's a lot like trying to eat soup," Noland was quoted as saying. "I can thin the soup and thin the soup and thin the soup, but sooner or later there's not going to be any meat, not going to be any noodles."

Some lawmakers object to Manchin's freeze, including Senate Education Chairman Robert Plymale. "The Wayne County Democrat argued that such decisions should be left with the two commissions that oversee the four- and two-year schools," AP reports.

Others with coverage include The Charleston Gazette.

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