Conservative group promotes open tuition meetings

Liz Farmer

The Young Conservatives of Texas called for the UT System Board of Regents to redo the current tuition-setting process at the University and ensure the Tuition Policy Advisory Committee will hold open meetings.

YCT also asked for the UT System regents to create a rule ending closed meetings of TPAC for future tuition-setting years in a press release issued Tuesday.

TPAC is a nine-member committee that includes a student representative of undergraduates who receives financial aid, three student leaders and five faculty members and administrators. TPAC hosted three student forums and held closed meetings most Tuesdays and Thursdays from Oct. 25 to the end of November.

President William Powers Jr. took the recommendation of TPAC to increase tuition by the largest tuition increase the UT System will allow for the next two academic years. The UT System Board of Regents can accept or decline Powers’ recommendation when they set tuition at an undetermined date later this semester.

Tony McDonald, YCT senior vice chairman, said the group is against the proposed tuition increases because it promoted excessive spending. He said YCT plans to put pressure on the regents to make the requested changes to the tuition recommendation process.

“It’s really sad that they don’t see how important it is that these meetings be open,” McDonald said.

McDonald said University officials and student leaders should be held to the same standards as representatives in state government.

“Universities have to be accountable to the people,” McDonald said. “You can’t be held accountable when behind closed doors.”

UT System spokesman Anthony de Bruyn said the System administration is aware of YCT’s correspondence and is currently reviewing applicable law.