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Statement of the Associated Students of Lewis-Clark Sate College
Regarding Student Fee Increases - As Presented to the Idaho State Board of Education by
Mr. Tate Smith, ASLCSC President, November 14, 2001
The forecasted 11 percent decrease in Idaho State Revenues has left a large hole in the
budgets of Higher Education institutions. Cutting programs and positions seems to be the
answer unless students are willing to raise their fees 30%. An 11% cut in state revenues
means roughly a 1.5 million-dollar cut to the budget of LCSC. If we took that cut out of
faculty and staff positions alone, we would look at a loss of 30 to 40 jobs. Because LCSC
provides many services and programs but on a smaller scale than other Idaho institutions,
a cut such as this will be detrimental. The question before this State Board of Education
whether to maintain the (10%) cap or allow the institutions to request an increase of fees
above the 10% level.
Dr. Thomas will be proposing a fee increase above the 10% level. The only way that the
students will support a fee increase above the 10% level is after all other options have
been exhausted and if there exists no other method to protect our instructional programs.
The students of LCSC do not support any increase over the 10% cap. We do not support
cutting programs and/or positions because of a decrease in state revenues. If the mission
and strategic plan of LCSC includes modifying programs or positions then we will work with
the institution to do so.
The following challenges that LCSC is facing are:
1.) A lean institution with no fat to cut
2.) An institution with a unique economy of scale
3.) A possible loss of quality education and instructors
4.) A possible loss of benefits and access to the campus
(Activities, Security, Computer Labs, Library)
5.) Conserving utilities and other resources
Some service offices on campus consist of two people, the director and the secretary.
By eliminating the secretary it is virtually terminating an office.
Lewis-Clark State College has a personal connection within its campus and local community.
Our faculty are more than professors to us, they are our mentors. We don't look at them as
instructors; we embrace them as friends and colleagues. That is what makes L-C so special
and unique. Now the students have been put in a position to decide whether their friends
(faculty, staff) and their programs are to be terminated. Some may look at this issue as
strictly business, but LCSC takes it personally when we are put in the position to hand
out pink slips.
The students are outraged that a 30% student fee increase can even be considered. It isn't
the students' responsibility to take care of a decrease in state revenues and tax cuts in
education. That is what the elected officials are supposed to be doing. It isn't our
responsibility to decide whether or not programs and/or positions are terminated. It is
our responsibility to take a message from students and citizens to the Idaho state
legislators to let them know the impact that these tax cuts and the decrease of state
revenues have put us in.
Idaho students will notice, not only as students but also as voters, an increase over the
I believe U of I said it best in their response to the first of the fee increase questions
in this SBOE agenda. The first sentence states, "First, let me outline the enormity
of the financial challenge we are facing."
A "challenge" is exactly what we are facing. Challenges are not easy. A simple
and easy solution would be raising student fees 30% to cover the deficit; there is no
challenge in that. In defense of our own institution and its administrators we realize
that this is not their only solution, but nevertheless it must be made clear that students
must not be considered the easy way out. We respect President Thomas in her position as
she respects us in ours. We have had many discussions and are eager to work on this
In conclusion, the students of Lewis-Clark are not in support of raising student fees
above the 10% cap. The students are also not in support of cutting programs and positions
unless it is the will of the strategic plan. What the students are in support of is a
repeal on those tax cuts and holding Higher Education exempt from economic downturns.
We would appeal to the institutions and the State Board to look at this on a larger and a
more long-term scale. A 30% fee increase is an unacceptable amount in one year but 10%
over the next three years would be far more acceptable. A formula must be found so that in
the future we are not left in a situation such as this. The institutions are looking to be
more comparative to their peers and this would be a step towards that direction. If that
is the appropriate direction we encourage the board to address it so that ultimately we
benefit those in the future. We are confident that the board will make a decision that is
in the best interest of the students.
The students will be taking the issue of state appropriations to education to the state