Monday, December 9, 2019

Layoffs begin at U of C, Mount Royal following provincial budget cuts - SAMMY HUDES, Calgary Herald

The university says 150 employees are losing their jobs, starting with the first phase of layoffs that will be complete by the end of this week. The second group will be laid off in mid-January. All of those affected are professional employees and support staff of the university.

U Idaho lays out retirement, separation incentives - Scott Jackson Daily News

UI Communications Director Jodi Walker said about 700 employees are eligible for one or both measures, which will help the university deal with cuts related to a shortfall expected to balloon to $22 million by fiscal year 2022. To deal with the deficit, UI President Scott Green said in a memo late last month that the school will seek an additional $8 million in budget cuts over the next two years in addition to $14 million in budget reductions UI imposed earlier this year, which will become permanent.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Lengthy budget impasse taking toll on services in Michigan - David Eggert, Associated Press

Sheriff’s offices, jails, charter schools, private colleges, hospitals, local governments and nonprofits also are casualties of the much-longer-than-expected standoff in Michigan — one of a handful of states, including Wisconsin, with a newly split government following the 2018 elections. Whitmer and lawmakers want to reverse the vetoes but are at odds over Republicans’ push to curtail her budget powers.

Southwestern College Announces Plans To Cut Staff, Administrative Positions - BRADY BAUMAN, News Cow

Southwestern College President Brad Andrews has announced recent adjustments to the college’s operations and staffing, according to a press release. Southwestern College will begin next fall with 13 fewer staff and administrative positions. In the media release, Andrews shared that the adjustments are necessary in order for the college to reach a balanced budget and to achieve the financial latitude for future investment in the college.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Students, faculty to rally against potential budget cuts at Ohio University by Geoff Redick, ABC 6

Pointing to a "significant budget crisis" at Ohio University, the OU faculty organization is planning to be part of a rally with students on Monday, railing against potential budget cuts across a swath of academic programs. The University did not refer to its financial situation a "crisis," instead on Sunday calling itself "well poised to address the changing landscape of higher education." The dueling opinions on OU's financial situation come amidst a nationwide enrollment challenge for colleges and universities, with fewer 18-year-olds signing up for higher education. The situation does not show signs of improvement in the near future, according to OU officials.

Hampshire College retains accreditation following key review - Ray Kelly, MassLive

The New England Commission of Higher Education has voted to continue the accreditation of Hampshire College, which has been working to regain its footing in tough financial times. Hampshire College is actively recruiting new students for 2020 — its 50th anniversary year. Its plans for the future include: Eliminating traditional departments, but emphasizing entrepreneurship and problem solving. A 2019-2020 budget that is 20% lower than 2018-2019, and 30% lower than 2015-2016.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Our Turn: Here’s why the announcement of NHTI layoffs was so shocking - DAN FELTES and MEL MYLER, Concord Monitor

The Community College System of New Hampshire and its dedicated staff and faculty are a critical part of the higher education landscape in New Hampshire that provides quality, affordable and accessible higher education opportunities in the Granite State. That’s why, during this year’s budget negotiations, House and Senate Democrats worked hard to provide increased funding for the Community College System to freeze in-state tuition and maintain faculty and staff positions. And that’s why it was so shocking this week to learn of plans to lay off 10 faculty and staff members at New Hampshire Technical Institute – during the holidays no less.

When should a college say it might close? - Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, Education Dive

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) has opposed regulatory measures that force colleges to develop certain contingency plans. "[I]t is important to state that the abrupt manner of Mt. Ida's closure was wrong, as it needlessly disrupted the lives of Mt. Ida's students and their families, as well as its faculty and staff, and caught state officials by surprise," AICUM President Richard Doherty wrote in a letter to the state's Department of Higher Education in August, and that Education Dive obtained in a public records request. Doherty did not respond to request for comment.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

NHTI layoffs come despite state’s investment to protect staffc- ETHAN DeWITT, Concord Monitor

On Monday, NHTI president Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki confirmed 10 layoffs at the Concord community college – including three professors. But months earlier, a top official of the Community College System of New Hampshire had pressed lawmakers for more investments that he said could prevent against such staff reductions. During hearings on the fiscal year 2020-21 budget, Ross Gittell asked for an additional $16 million across the state’s seven colleges.

Cutbacks at UALR in future; chancellor lists budget priorities - Emily Walkenhorst, Arkansas Democrat Gazette

Reducing administrative costs, restricting building use and eliminating low-enrollment academic programs are the priorities in paring down the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's budget, Chancellor Christina Drale told University of Arkansas System trustees Friday. Ultimately, she said, the university must cut its budget strategically, aligning its budget with its mission. That hasn't been done in the past, Drale said, when budget cuts were often thought of as temporary measures.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

U Idaho opens voluntary furlough option - Spokesman Review

Employees at the University of Idaho will have the option to take as many as five days of voluntary furlough as the university works to reduce its current budget by $1 million, following a request from Gov. Brad Little. In late October, Little asked all state agencies to trim their budgets for the current fiscal year by 1 percent, and instructed them to identify another 2 percent base reduction for the coming year.

Staff at Mills College, Recovering From Budget Crisis, Follow Faculty in Union Campaign - Sam Lefebvre, KQED

Staff at Mills College are following in the footsteps of the Oakland liberal arts institution’s adjunct faculty members by unionizing as part of a broader organized labor trend in Bay Area higher education.  Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021, which also represents Mills faculty and this year organized staff at California College of the Arts.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The 10 most in-demand soft skills to master if you want a raise, promotion or new job in 2020 - Jennifer Liu, CNBC

If you want to get ahead in your career in 2020, adopting a growth mindset should be at the top of your priority list. According to Udemy’s 2020 Workplace Learning Trends Report, a having a growth mindset — or the ability to continue learning in order to adapt to change — was ranked as the most important soft skill for career success. The online learning platform analyzed user data from its Udemy for Business service, which offers several course packages and is used by more than 4,000 companies as a resource for employee training.

What jobs are affected by AI? Better-paid, better-educated workers face the most exposure - Mark Muro, Jacob Whiton, and Robert Maxim, Brookings

AI could affect work in virtually every occupational group. However, whereas research on automation’s robotics and software continues to show that less-educated, lower-wage workers may be most exposed to displacement, the present analysis suggests that better-educated, better-paid workers (along with manufacturing and production workers) will be the most affected by the new AI technologies, with some exceptions. Our analysis shows that workers with graduate or professional degrees will be almost four times as exposed to AI as workers with just a high school degree. Holders of bachelor’s degrees will be the most exposed by education level, more than five times as exposed to AI than workers with just a high school degree.

Monday, December 2, 2019

6 Reasons Why Higher Education Needs to Be Disrupted - Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Becky Frankiewicz, HBR

No clear alternative to universities has yet emerged, and while there’s no clear path to disrupting higher education, there are pain points which those of us in the education field and beyond could be confronting. At some point a viable alternative will likely emerge and we see six reasons that make the case for demanding something different.

Preparing for the Great Enrollment Crash - Robert Massa, Don Hossler and Jerome Lucido, Inside Higher Ed

American colleges and universities have weathered severe storms throughout their history. Wartime pressure, civil unrest, demographic shifts and economic downturns have resulted in everything from a suspension of activities to temporary and sometime permanent college closings. With major demographic shifts already upon us and more to come, colleagues have recently written in this and other higher education publications about the challenges faced by many colleges to enroll new students. They predict, as we do, even tougher times ahead. For those of us who have been responsible for enrollment and net revenue, it is natural to think about what our institutions must do to survive and thrive.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Private Conversations About Private College Closures - Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

A college advising company planned to release a list projecting when specific private colleges could run out of money and close, but pushback from the sector convinced the company to scuttle its plan. The final straw was the letter a lawyer for a private nonprofit college sent just before 5 p.m. last Wednesday. It said any statement about the college facing an imminent risk of closure would be false. The letter followed a flurry of similar calls and emails from colleges and their representatives about a list a college advising company planned to release the next day. The list featured projections of how many years 946 private colleges have until they could run out of money and close.

College Closures and the Cost to Consumers - Nick Ducoff and Sabrina Manville, Inside Higher Ed

Campus shutdowns come with real costs to students and families, write Nick Ducoff and Sabrina Manville, yet consumers can struggle to find information about the financial viability of colleges. The U.S. Department of Education and others are trying to make better information on college costs and outcomes available to students; however, government data aren’t always readily consumable, and some colleges make the information difficult to find or interpret. In the two years since we founded Edmit, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in anxiety around debt, questions about whether college is worth it and a small but growing set of voices asking about the financial viability of the colleges on their list. Students (and their parents, if they are dependent students) are seeing more college closures and mergers and are beginning to tune in to how they might affect them.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Editorial: UNI looks forward with partnerships - Courier

The sands of higher education are shifting, prompting more schools to enter into partnerships and utilize distance learning to attract elusive “place-bound” students. The University of Northern Iowa took a step this month to increase its Des Moines footprint. UNI President Mark Nook and President Rob Denson of Des Moines Area Community College announced a new 2+2 partnership — earning an associate of arts degree on DMACC’s Urban Campus, then completing work through UNI for a bachelor of liberal studies degree. The UNI courses would be offered online initially with staff present to support students, beginning in fall 2020.

Enrollment decline leads to "hiring chill" at Columbus State University - MIKE HASKEY, Ledger Enquirer

The University System of Georgia has released the fall 2019 enrollment numbers for its institutions amid budget cuts. CSU president Chris Markwood answered questions about how the cuts and CSU’s enrollment decline affect students, faculty and staff.

Friday, November 29, 2019

OU faculty raise alarm about budget cuts, prepare to go on offensive - Conor Morris, Athens News

More than 100 Ohio University faculty met Thursday evening to air grievances about university administration, and to discuss a plan of action in response to looming budget cuts that they say could drastically damage OU's academic quality. Although it's far too early to tell, the faculty members present discussed a potential faculty walk-out in response to the administration's handling of the university's budget crisis, as well as talking about possibly attempting to unionize OU's faculty. The meeting was hosted by the OU chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).