Letter to the Editor 3/25

By Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

Kudos to Oliver Bateman for his column concerning integrating our universities… To the Editor,

Kudos to Oliver Bateman for his column concerning integrating our universities with the prison system to save money and streamline bureaucracy. In the midst of pushing for satire, he instead made a legitimate argument.

For example, at New York’s Bard College, they have a prison initiative, which saves inmates Bard’s $50,000 per-year tuition and provides them with degrees so that they can lead productive lives in society. Bard claims that college-in-prison programs have cut reincarceration rates from 60 percent to about 15 percent, but unfortunately most [programs] around the nation have been cut.

Providing a prisoner with an education saves the state much more money in the long run, considering an inmate’s room and board costs. That’s progress.

Bateman argues that Pennsylvania should raise taxes to compensate for budget cuts. Chancellor Mark Nordenberg has said that he’d like tuition increases to stay at a minimum too. Yet even with a larger-than-expected endowment during better economic conditions, no one at Pitt has ever prevented tuition increases. According to Pitt’s financial statements, the University took in $1.8 billion last year and carried an $88 million surplus. Even with the cuts, such levels would keep the University in the black next year.

Contrary to popular belief here, the sky isn’t falling. But with the fictional justification that we’re struggling, next year’s tuition will go up just because it can. Rather than point fingers at legislators, perhaps it’s time to take a look at what our own administration is doing.


Jacob Brown

School of Arts & Sciences, College of Business Administration