One student’s letter to President Dunn

Murray State University has been my college of choice for nearly four years. Having transferred from a larger institution in 2008, I quickly found adequate resources to learn and create on Murray’s campus. Having invested years and thousands of tuition dollars in this school I am proposing your office or the Board of Regents educate the students even further.
Tell us exactly where our tuition dollars are going.
However disappointing an annual 5 percent tuition increase is, the Board has made it clear there is no intention to ease the financial burden on students.  This is not to overlook the very successful “Hold Thy Banner High” campaign which has raised a very impressive $60 million, supposedly for student scholarships and awards. With that in mind I became so upset when last semester I noticed the grand and complex design for a new library. I warrant a guess the school will need millions of dollars for this new addition to campus.  May I ask how many students have written to you asking for tuition increases in favor of a more expensive library?
If the University is implementing strategies to help increase funds for students you should have no qualms in showing us the figures.  Chances are the Board has for some time known just where those millions of dollars are going. But instead of boasting money strictly for student scholarships and tuition on the website, all we have is the looming $60 million mark.
This means nothing to me.  Show me what scholarships that money created.  Prove to the students that those dollars did not buy the blueprints of the new library or the shiny (and wholly unnecessary) “1922” sidewalk decoration in front of the new Biology and Chemistry building.
With the Kentucky Department of Education failing in many areas the question in my mind is why so many building projects?
Why do higher education officials believe a great education is subsequent to the aesthetic of the building in which it’s taught?
How the Board justified the ridiculously expensive iron gates at the intersection of 15th and Olive streets is beyond me.
But reigning in a new decade of financially burdened students for the sake of aesthetic should not be permitted on this campus. It is simply not in the best interest of the students.
I understand completely Murray State University is a lower-cost university compared to some private institutions. If we think of Ivy League schools or private institutions Murray seems to emulate, beautiful campuses and ornate buildings come to mind.
However, schools with beautiful campuses and ornate buildings are known to ask for upwards of $20,000 per semester. For that amount of money, I would expect beautification.
Here at Murray I am paying for an education, not beautification. If aesthetic were important to me I would not have transferred to this school.
As tuition payers we are entitled to know exactly where our money is going.  If we have such great increases in the student body every year why is the maximum tuition increase needed?
By annually enforcing higher tuition without proper explanation your office and the Board show no respect to students.  By keeping your financial gain and spending habits classified you are keeping secrets from the very people funding the campus face-lift.

Meredith Freeland
Senior from Murray