The University of Maryland Board of Regents today approved a $1.5 billion operating budget for 1993 that includes a 16 percent tuition surcharge for next fall and a call for higher state taxes to end the "crisis" in state higher education.
The regents adopted the budget after somber stories by UM presidents detailing how $95 million in recent state budget cuts have derailed a drive for increased academic quality.
"We're letting our very best students get away from us," said William Kirwan, president of the University of Maryland at College Park.
"This is a moment of truth for the state of Maryland. Does it care about its future? Does it care about its bright young minds? If something doesn't happen in the General Assembly, I really do worry about the state in the 21st century," Kirwan said.
The regents originally had proposed a permanent 16 percent tuition increase. But in response to a student outcry, they agreed to make it temporary, and said they would reconsider a permanent increase next fall.
Kirwan's plea to state lawmakers to increase taxes for higher education was shared by UM Chancellor Donald Langenberg, who declared the University of Maryland system in a "state of crisis" because of the fiscal dilemma.
ZTC "Programs will be streamlined, people will be laid off and our system institutions will charge substantially higher prices to our students," Langenberg said. "A solution lies with the Maryland General Assembly to recognize the crisis."
College Park senior Scott Palmer urged the regents to reconsider raising tuition for next fall.
Palmer, chairman of the UM system Student Council, said he has heard from 1,000 students in the past two weeks who are concerned that they will not be able to afford to finish their education.