Max Page: Criticizes medicine offered by UMass president

  • jacoblund

Monday, March 12, 2018
Criticizes medicine offered by UMass president

I am surprised the Gazette editors (“Emphasis on affordability at UMass,” March 9) could not recognize the stunning mismatch between University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan’s diagnosis and his medicine for the affordability crisis at UMass.

Meehan correctly described the disease — a decline in state spending of 32 percent over the past 20 years, making Massachusetts one of the most expensive and debt-inducing states in the nation.

But then he proscribed the wrong medicine, a toxic concoction of more online courses and prostration before the biggest corporations in the state for scholarships, among other more benign proposals.

Glaringly absent was the obvious strategy, being implemented in various ways by our neighbors in Rhode Island and New York, not to mention a dozen other states and cities around the nation, and supported by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders: state-funded debt-free public higher education.

Fortunately, earlier in the day in the Statehouse, 30 floors below the UMass Club where Meehan’s speech was held, 500 students and their allies demanded exactly that — state-funded, debt-free public higher education for all of our residents, funded by the “fair share amendment” to the Massachusetts Constitution the voters will pass in November. Now more than ever, I am glad to follow the lead of our students.

Max Page