The politically touchy issue of tuition increases could become central to the budget discussions. O'Malley indicated last week that he might back off his tuition freeze after four years.
That would be a welcome change, though not a cure-all, Farvardin said.
"I believe we've reached the point where a modest increase would be fully justified," said the provost at College Park. "It's a very delicate issue, because many students are struggling with costs. But we could take some of the revenue and place it in a pool for financial aid. It would be best for everyone."