Ohio Gov. John Kasich remained adamant on his proposed tuition freeze for all public universities and colleges in the state while speaking at the Ohio Newspaper Association annual conference on Wednesday.
Kasich’s proposed plan was originally released on Jan. 31, however University President Michael Drake told The Lantern prior to its release that he could not, at this point, commit to a tuition freeze, though he didn’t rule it out either. OSU has frozen in-state, undergraduate tuition for five years in a row, with the Board of Trustees’ decision coming in the spring.
“It’s not (Drake’s) choice,” Kasich said.
It’s not technically Kasich’s choice, either, with his budget proposal being just that, a proposal. The Ohio Legislature will propose the state’s budget, which will then go to the governor’s desk for a signature, although a veto or line-item vetoes are possible.
Kasich also questioned how long college-aged students would continue to pay for a high-priced college education.
“How long do you think in the 21st century here — with the way our kids and grandkids gather information — how much longer do you think kids are going to want to pay $60,000, or whatever it is for some of these schools, a year to go to college,” Kasich said. “They can get the same college education provided online.”
He said he hopes universities realize that they must change their ways, or they will cease to exist in the future.
“Either the universities are going to change and implement cost-cutting and innovative ideas, or it’s not sustainable,” Kasich said.
Kasich also voiced support for OSU’s parking-privatization deal with CampusParc.
“(Critics of the deal) were out to get Gordon Gee over this thing,” he said. “You know what (OSU) leased it for? A half billion dollars. It shouldn’t have been given a second thought.”
He added that he thinks one way to ensure a lasting university is for universities and colleges to support and promote commercialized research by creating intellectual property policies.
Intellectual property policies govern ownership and disposition of research and creations like inventions, trademarks and copyrights created by college or university staff. Some universities, such as Harvard, have used them them as a way to regulate faculty work, while also promoting commercialized research.
“Do you know how much commercialized research comes out of our universities? … Next to nothing,” Kasich said. “They cannot even have a specific policy on a professor developing some great thing and being able to recoup some benefit if it goes commercial.”