As a Harvard graduate (technically, the name of the institution is Itawamba Junior College, but it is affectionately referred to as "Harvard on the Bigbee’’ by us Old Grads), I am encouraged with the course Arizona State University President Michael Crow has plotted for higher education in Arizona.
The current system caters too much to the middle-class riffraff that is such a nuisance to its superiors in the world of academia. These common people are always complaining about such trivial matters as tuition costs. We are at a loss to explain this. After all, it is only several hundreds of dollars every year.
Mr. Crow’s arrival in Tempe is a godsend, indeed. Crow, after all, came to us from Columbia and was certain to bring his Ivy League perspective to Arizona. I was further encouraged by Crow’s plans for hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements that will certainly enhance the school’s reputation in academic circles even if it doesn’t do all that much to improve the state of that bothersome middle class, which would like to send its children to school to get degrees in elementary education, business, accounting and other mundane pursuits.
Just this week, we witnessed another example of Crow’s inspired leadership in the form of a proposed 8.5 percent hike for in-state tuition. That is an increase of 78.7 percent in five years.
It is an encouraging trend, indeed! At this rate, in another five years we are not likely to ever again see the grounds of our hallowed institution sullied by the presence of a Honda Civic.
One endearing aspect of this most recent tuition hike is that part of it will go toward financial aid for poor students, who we rather like to view as the pets father would never permit us to have as children.
Brilliant! The tuition increases will neither affect the poor nor trouble the rich.
And what of the middle class? Oh, they will mutter and complain. But ultimately, they will do what the middle class always does: They will sacrifice a little more, work a little harder, borrow a little more. And they will pay. It’s not as though they have a choice, after all.
Sadly, we must endure the middle class until we can have our way with an even more wretched source — taxpayers. The Legislature seems particularly obstinate at this juncture. We are vaguely aware that there has been some sort of economic recession in recent years, although we cannot fathom how that should be of any concern to us. Surely, the university cannot be expected to abide by so coarse a concept as austerity.
In the meantime, the middle class is easily appeased by simply assuring them that tuition in Arizona remains comparable to what you will find in other states.
But be patient.
President Crow will remedy that.