Biz school takes a hike
By Kevin Gale
Big bucks! big bucks! No worries?
Despite concerns about its effect on the rest of the school, the proposed tuition hike for Western's masters of business administration program from $3,186 to $18,000 over the next four years passed overwhelmingly through Senate yesterday.
Sociology professor Doug Baer questioned how the privatization would affect the level of government funding to the school.
The grant Western receives from the provincial government is a set amount of money per student, called basic income units. Since the MBA program has proposed to go private, students in the program will not be counted in the calculation.
As a result, the university will have to make up additional BIUs over the next four years to replace the loss of the 400 students enrolled in the MBA program, in order to stay within the government-specified range of enrollment to maintain the current level of funding.
However, Western's VP-academic Greg Moran said the four-year time frame is adequate. "We don't have to necessarily recruit the exact numbers," he said. "Our plan will be to attract more-qualified [undergraduate] students."
Rebecca Coulter, associate dean of education, said she was concerned about the ability of students to repay loans who get MBA degrees to pursue lower paying community-oriented jobs.
Some of the $6 million in scholarship monies generated by the Richard Ivey School of Business Administration will be put towards those students, said Lawrence Tapp, dean of the business school. "Accessibility is very important to us," he added.
Lawrence Weiner, MBA student senator, said he was worried about the effect the decision would have on current MBA students. "Students already in year one don't care about BIU's. The 60 students in my section want to know what it will cost next year."
Moran said students currently enrolled in the program will only be subject to regular tuition increases set by the university.