Senator Stuart addresses college costs

Senator Stuart address college costs
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Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Stafford. (Photo by Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Summary

A proposal from a Republican senator would require student approval before a public college or university approves a tuition raise.

Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Stafford, wants tuition hikes to go to the students who will have to pay for it before a governing board votes. His legislation, which he introduced last year too and calls “crazy,” calls for two-thirds of a school’s student body to approve the raise before formal adoption.

State Legislature

College Costs

A Republican senator wants students to approve tuition increases before governing boards do
By: Mechelle Hankerson
Virginia Mercury – December 24, 2019

Stuart wants to make other cost increases at public colleges more understandable. He filed separate legislation that requires university governing boards  to provide written notice of why they want to increase a president’s compensation and where the funding for the raise would come from. The boards must allow public comment on the change and the increase has to be voted on in an open meeting.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s database of state employee salaries, seven of the 10 highest paid state employees were university presidents this past year:

  • Michael Rao at VCU made $1 million
  • University of Virginia President James Ryan made $962,875
  • J.H. Binford Peay at Virginia Military Institute made $837,267
  • Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands made $775,000
  • Paul Trible at Christopher Newport made $771,287
  • Angel Cabrera, who left his position as president of George Mason this summer, made $763,226
  • John Broderick at Old Dominion made $638,217

Those amounts include housing, cell phone allowances, transportation, bonuses and other items that made up the presidents’ total compensation.

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