UW-Madison's Nicholas Hillman was quoted in a report from the Chronicle of Higher Education
about Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to make certain student fees optional across the University of Wisconsin System.
Hillman is an associate professor with the School of Education's Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
who researches higher education finance and policy. Hillman also is a faculty affiliate with UW-Madison's La Follette School of Public Affairs, and is a Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE)
In Gov. Walker's proposed budget for the 2018-19 academic year, students would be able to opt out of paying allocable student fees that largely fund student services such as a buss pass for non-campus bus routes, student groups and student government.
Hillman examined the proposed changes in one of his graduate classes, and told the Chronicle of Higher Education that he and the class found the current policy of using student fees for bulk purchases is effective.
"It’s actually a really smart move, at least financially, for student fees to be required because it helps colleges run leaner and be more efficient," Hillman told the Chronicle.
Additionally, Hillman said the university would not be as equipped to promote "high impact practices," such as volunteering and extracurricular student involvement.
"If our student organizations suddenly dry up in terms of membership because fewer students participate or they are not financially viable to operate, well, then that’s going to have implications on whether or not these students get those high-impact practices," Hillman tells the Chronicle.