Letter to the editor

Jessie Hellmann

As I write this letter, Indiana Governor Mike Pence is speaking to a class in the College of Business and will be touring the university after. USI is fortunate to have Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, former director of the Center of Applied Research at USI, in the highest levels of state government advocating on our behalf. The most contentious issue for USI students should be the amount of funding USI receives per student compared to other state universities. USI is the most affordable four-year institution in a seven-state area, yet we receive the lowest amount per student from the state.

Purdue University receives the most per student at $10,404. Indiana State University is next at $8,156, followed by Indiana University with $7,839, Ball State University with $6,232, and the University of Southern Indiana with $4,603. Purdue University receives $5,801 more per student than USI. I’m not one to compare USI to Purdue because we are different institutions that serve different purposes.  One thing that is completely unacceptable is when ISU receives nearly twice the funding per student that USI does. For all intents and purposes, we are similar institutions that serve similar students with similar facilities – some would even call USI and ISU sister institutions.

Economically speaking, the distribution of scarce resources (i.e. the state budget) is an evaluation of the importance and value placed upon the institution by the state. I am stunned by the figures I have read, and I feel that more students need to be aware of this injustice. If I attended ISU (I would never do that… I love USI too much!) I would be more valuable to the state, and ISU would receive more money for me than USI currently does. This, simply, is nonsense.

I have been to the Board of Trustees meetings with state officials when President Bennett and board members were fighting for more funding for USI. The administration of the university is doing everything possible to get more funding, but that is not enough. We need more students to speak up, be active and push for more funding from the state. Once state legislators see the quality of students that USI has and all the opportunities we provide for the region, they will come around. As always, GO EAGLES!



Jordan M. Whitledge