Several state representatives and senators visited Northern Kentucky University Feb. 7 to participate in a forum where constituents could voice their concerns. It’s ironic that state politicians chose NKU, considering how much they’ve’ ignored our university in our past. Northern Kentucky is one of the biggest areas in the state. Boone County alone is ‘one of the fastest growing counties in the Commonwealth of Kentucky’ according to the county’s Web site. With a new Student Union and a fresh sports arena, NKU is one of the fastest growing colleges in Kentucky. Yet it remains the most underfunded. Within the past year, the commonwealth cut six percent, or $3.2 million, from the original $55 million it gave to NKU. While it receives less than other public institutions, NKU was hit the hardest compared to other colleges in the commonwealth. Already deeply underfunded (it would take five Landrum Academic Buildings to adequately supply space for the current student population), NKU hit its students with a 9.68 percent tuition hike, the only full increase the state approved. Adding to the six percent already in place, NKU is now facing a 6.7 percent cut. The university has already cut beyond Governor Steve Beshear’s $2.1 million asked of NKU. With less funding come increased tuition and fees. Raising tuition is needed to fill in budget holes during bad economic times. Students will complain about the university hitting their pocketbooks, but they forget that NKU’s own wallet is being lightened by Kentucky. If you’d just lost 13 percent of your income from your parents or job, how would you manage? Probably cutting spending and finding ways to make more money. Yet, as legislators cut funding, they are cutting off the nose, to spite the face. As NKU suffers decrease after decrease, the ambitious Vision 2015 will become nothing more than a pipe dream. ‘Imagine if you will’hellip;. A booming regional economy based on targeted industry clusters that have generated 50,000 new high-wage jobs,’ the Vision 2015 report reads. Creating 50,000 high wage jobs isn’t worth $2.1 million in the upcoming year for one of the poorest states in the union? If NKU students worry about tuition going up and funding going down, and perhaps having jobs down the line, then they must contact their legislators. Explain to them how important public universities are, especially NKU. Otherwise, Vision 2015, along with the jobs it could create, won’t materialize.