Thanks, Mustang Daily, for your article on the Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) fee referendum that will take place on February 22 and 23. Even though the proposed fee increase is only $10 per quarter, it is obviously important for students to be well-informed about the consequences of voting for or against. They should know, for example, that students will play a key role in deciding how the funds will be spent: some of the decisions will be made in the colleges, with input from the student councils, while others will be made by the IRA Advisory Council, which is co-chaired by a student and whose voting membership consists of an equal number of students and non-students. The quote in the article about the cost of education “spiraling out-of-control” fails to take into account the Governor’s budget for the coming year, which provides for elimination of the previously proposed increase (of $204 per year) in the State University Fee. If approved by the legislature, which seems likely, this fee will remain unchanged for 2006-07. For more information about the referendum, please check out the website at

W. David Conn

Vice Provost for Academic Programs & Undergraduate Education

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