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False Prophet?
Evan Dobelle, president of the University of Hawaii, has some big promises to keep

  In This Issue

The University of Oregon (above) and the state's other public colleges and universities face double-digit tuition increases and cuts in academic programs as the state reduces its support for higher education.
( more)

False Prophet?
Evan Dobelle, president of the University of Hawaii, has some big promises to keep

Crunch Time
Tuition soars as financially strapped states cut into higher education spending

Cause for Alarm
Oregon's budget crisis leads to tuition hikes and academic program cuts

An Unfriendly Debate
Huge housing project and a proposed biolab rankle some Davis "townies"

News From The Center
  -National Center Program Associates
  -New National Center Program

Other Voices
Changing Admissions Policies
Recent Supreme Court decisions impact affirmative action programs

The Anti-Test Backlash
What kinds of changes would make assessment programs more acceptable?

Message in a Bottle
Why a 19th century critique of higher education remains timely

By Kathy Witkowsky

Evan Dobelle began his public life as the 27-year-old self-described "kid mayor" of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and later served as White House chief of protocol under President Jimmy Carter, so it's not surprising that he frames university presidencies in political terms.

"Presidencies are like campaigns without elections," said Dobelle, who had been at the helm of three different institutions of higher education before taking on his current presidency at the University of Hawaii. "You're one point ahead but there's two weeks to go."

That is a pretty apt description of Dobelle's situation these days. Hawaii may look like a paradise in travel brochures, but the educational and political landscape there is a minefield. And Dobelle-whom supporters consider an unorthodox visionary, and whom detractors suspect is nothing more than a smooth-talking politician-has not been treading lightly. Few people dispute his intellect or eloquence, but his unfulfilled fund-raising promises, his spending and hiring practices, and his impatient, arguably arrogant, nature have alienated some legislators and others in the community, and have put him on shaky ground with the board of regents. (continue)


Crunch Time
Tuition soars as financially strapped states cut into higher education spending

By William Trombley and Lori Valigra

At the height of the worst financial crunch public colleges and universities have experienced in at least a decade, officials at Virginia Tech, a campus with more than 25,000 students in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia, are doing their best to make lemonade from lemons.

Photo by Todd Buchanan, Black Star, for CrossTalk

Except for Missouri, Virginia suffered the deepest state appropriation cuts for higher education of any of the 46 states that responded to a late-summer survey by the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO)-13.2 percent between the 2002 and 2003 fiscal years. In the last two years, Virginia's support for higher education has declined by more than 20 percent.

At Virginia Tech, the cuts amounted to $72 million, or 28 percent, over a 16-month period that began in fall 2002.

The university has responded by persuading 130 tenured professors and researchers-about ten percent of the faculty-to take early retirement, raising undergraduate tuition almost 38 percent (to $4,190) in the last two years, eliminating some academic programs, merging others and dropping hundreds of class sections.


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