Governor John Kasich’s proposed budget bill presents public universities with the option of becoming “charter universities.” Miami University is currently a public university, but if it becomes a charter university, it would see a decrease in Ohio state funding in exchange for less government regulation. There has already been opposition to Miami becoming a charter university from members of the community.
The editorial board of The Miami Student sees both sides of the argument for and against Miami becoming a charter school, but believes in the long run being a charter school would negatively impact many aspects of the university. Although, Miami is notably described as a “Public Ivy,” this would change.
In addition, the board is afraid standards would be lowered if state regulations are taken away. Miami is currently ranked No. 2 for undergraduate teaching and this statistic is very fragile, it can easily slip. Miami needs to make sure it continues to attract the best and brightest students and also retains the best faculty. If Miami becomes a charter school, the administration may raise tuition in order to offset funding that was previously received from the state. Increasing tuition would turn away many students who can’t afford raised costs.
Furthermore, Miami shares the public university classification with 13 other Ohio universities. By remaining in the public sector, Miami would be protecting its legacy as being a well-ranked school that attracts students from a wide demographic spectrum.
However, if the University of Cincinnati becomes a charter school, Miami would be the dominant public university in the Cincinnati area. This would be beneficial for Miami because with fewer schools under the public university name, Ohio may have more money to give out to the university. Miami becoming a charter university would be a shortsighted solution to the current budget crisis. Transforming in to a charter university is a decision with long-term ramifications that should not be based on short-term budget constraints. Once the money that Ohio gives to Miami is taken away, it will be difficult to have it given back.