Editorial: Floyd saves students from harsh cuts

UM system President Elson Floyd might not be the messiah, but after Wednesday, many students, faculty and staff may consider him their savior.

Before he accepted the position of UM system president, Floyd already had a myriad of student and faculty hopes and wishes waiting for him ' and deservedly so.

But even with his previous accomplishments, no one knew whether the current budget situation would allow him to do the same at the UM system.

Floyd took an impressive and surprising stand Wednesday, refusing to raise tuition above inflationary levels even when faced with substantial state cuts. And as the collective jaws of UM system students, faculty and staff dropped, so did the possibility that Floyd may have bitten off more than he could chew. It was easy to believe that, with all of the high expectations surrounding his arrival, Floyd was poised to be a huge disappointment. Floyd's move this week, however, was an important step toward living up to his reputation.

To ease the hurt of a $9.6 million cut to the UM system, Floyd will take 55 percent of the total withholding from UM system-level administrative cuts. Instead of a repeat of the 8.4 percent tuition increase approved last March, students should expect their fees to increase by about 3.2 percent. But who cares about the math? Floyd acknowledged his commitment to academics from the start, which is nothing new among system presidents. But unlike many of his predecessors, he didn't act utterly helpless to live up to this commitment in the face of budget cuts.

No, students should not break out their, "Elson is God" shirts just yet. But if Wednesday is any indication, that day may not be a long way off.

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