Monday, June 29, 2015

Delta College running out of budget cutting options - Jon Becker, Midland Daily News

Delta College, faced with increasing costs in an era of declining enrollment and other revenue challenges, continues to balance its budget, but Deb Lutz, vice president of business and finance, cautioned trustees that the college is running out of ways to cut spending. “There have been a lot of changes and a lot of pressure put on all areas of the college to come up with ways to do more with less,” she said. “We’re about down to the bone now. It’s not easy coming up with these cost savings.” Lutz previewed the 2015-2016 budget for the trustees at a recent monthly meeting. She characterized the spending plan as being “very, very similar to last year.” “In total, we’re looking at $4 million more in expenses than revenue,” she said.

I am an adjunct professor who teaches five classes. I earn less than a pet-sitter - Lee Hall the Guardian

My situation is not unique. 76% of instructional staff appointments in US higher education are now not even full-time jobs. Like most university teachers today, I am a low-paid contract worker. Now and then, a friend will ask: “Have you tried dog-walking on the side?” I have. Pet care, I can reveal, takes massive attention, energy and driving time. I’m friends with a full-time, professionally employed pet-sitter who’s done it for years, never topping $26,000 annually and never receiving health or other benefits. The reason I field such questions is that, as an adjunct professor, whether teaching undergraduate or law-school courses, I make much less than a pet-sitter earns. This year I’m teaching five classes (15 credit hours, roughly comparable to the teaching loads of some tenure-track law or business school instructors). At $3,000 per course, I’ll pull in $15,000 for the year. I work year-round, 20 to 30 hours weekly – teaching, developing courses and drafting syllabi, offering academic advice, recommendation letters and course extensions for students who need them. As I write, in late June, my students are wrapping up their final week of the first summer term, and the second summer term will begin next week.

How Accredited Colleges Stack Up (interactive chart) - Wall Street Journal

Nearly 350 of more than 1,500 accredited four-year colleges in the U.S. have a lower graduation rate or higher student-loan default rate than four-year colleges that lost their accreditation since 2000. Colleges that were dropped by accreditors had an average graduation rate of 35% and an average student-loan default rate of 9.3%.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Ed board needs to deal with deficit - Bismark Tribune

The State Board of Higher Education must decide how to deal with a deficit in the North Dakota University System office budget. They have options. Interim chancellor Larry Skogen suggested the board could utilize carry-over dollars, ask the interim Budget Section for $1 million in contingency funding in the NDUS budget bill passed this session or reduce staff and operations. The board faces a a projected budget deficit of between $250,000 and $300,000, according to Skogen. House Bill 1003, the University System budget, contains a system office operating budget of $8 million. NDUS also has approximately $134.6 million in its budget for various programs. The Tribune feels the best option is reducing staff and operations and create other operating efficiencies.

Green River College, faculty union battle over budget cuts - Associated Press

Faculty and administrators at Green River College in Auburn are squaring off over proposed budget cuts, with the faculty union and management battling over a contract for more than a year. The Seattle Times reports that President Eileen Ely wants to close three programs because of declining enrollment and a looming $5.7 million shortfall. Faculty-union officials say she is trying to close member-run programs to intimidate the union. The union has organized marches, calls for Ely's resignation, no-confidence votes and a vote in favor of a measure authorizing the union to call for a strike.

Budget squeeze takes toll on morale at UMD - Jana Hollingsworth, Duluth News Tribune

nly halfO of University of Minnesota Duluth faculty members have confidence in the leaders of their respective colleges. That’s according to an employee engagement survey taken in October, in which about half of UMD’s faculty and more than two-thirds of its staff — employees who are not faculty members — responded. The staff response to the confidence and trust question related to their departments and colleges was only slightly better, at 57 percent. Compared to a similar 2013 survey, much of the 2014 survey — released to the campus last week — showed declines in ratings meant to gauge how employees felt about working at UMD.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

North Shore college eyes layoffs as student-enrollment misses targets - Mary Moore, Boston Business Journal

Gordon College is likely to announce layoffs due to a shortfall in its projection for freshmen enrollment this fall. Stung by enrollment declines, Gordon College faces a nearly $4 million budget shortfall over the next two years and is likely to layoff employees as part of its budget adjustments, a college spokesman has confirmed. A committee of faculty and staff is working through various scenarios to close the budget gap, including layoffs and attrition, said Rick Sweeney, a spokesman for Gordon College. The number of potential layoffs under consideration has not been disclosed.

Budget Update June 2015 - Western Illinois University

As many of you are aware, WIU's state appropriation has declined from $64.3 million in FY'02 to $51.4 in FY'15. This 20.9 percent ($12.9 million) reduction continues to have a dramatic impact on Western. We must cut nearly $4 million in appropriated expenditures for Fiscal Year 2016. Given the preliminary budget that has passed in Springfield and these reductions, we still anticipate a $6 million budget shortfall for FY'16. We will be faced with even more challenges in the coming years. These challenges must lead to discussions about how we deliver education to our students, and the types of programs we offer. They must drive us to consider change. It will take leadership and courage from the entire University so Western emerges stronger and with more resolve for our mission than ever before. I am asking the University community for understanding regarding the upcoming reductions and to embrace the changes that will be necessary for Western to remain a leading university in public higher education. -Jack Thomas, President

Gordon College reports $3.8 budget shortfall, layoffs - PAUL LEIGHTON, Salem News

Declining enrollment could force Gordon College to lay off employees before the end of the month, a college spokesman said Friday. The number of incoming freshmen has fallen short of projections for the last two years, leaving the college $3.8 million short of its budget projections, spokesman Rick Sweeney said. “Because we don’t want to be adding the burden to families (through higher tuition), if you’re not meeting revenues, you have to look at reducing your expenses,” Sweeney said. “We’re trying to do that as painlessly as possible.”

Friday, June 26, 2015

Some Texas community colleges face significant budget cuts - KCBD

Some community colleges in Texas are now having to figure out where to trim their budgets after receiving less money from the state. The 2016-17 budget approved by the legislature cut the amount of funding to community colleges by 1.4% according to the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC). But, not all campuses are impacted equally. Howard College, which has campuses in Lamesa, Big Spring, and San Angelo, stands to lose $1.4-million over the next two years. According to the San Angelo Standard-Times, the school will look at every cost-saving option imaginable. They plan to adopt a budget at the end of August.

Budget cuts finalized, UA in process of deciding where - Matthew Rein, Wildcat

“Cuts to university budgets represent 63 percent of all hard cuts made in the name of balancing the state budget,” said ABOR President Eileen I. Klein a week after the changes were made. One of the main talking points at the ABOR meeting was tuition and how much it would need to increase in order to negate the effects of state spending cuts. For the upcoming school year, UA in-state freshman will pay $11,403 in tuition, which is a 4.1 percent increase from the previous year. The tuition rate in 2005-2006 was $4,487, meaning that over a ten year period, tuition has increased by an astonishing 154 percent at the UA. “It’s a lot harder to put kids through college now,” said pre-physiology freshman Alex Benavides. “Kids are going to be even more stressed out with student loans, and it’s definitely going to affect everyday life when you have less money to spend on food, entertainment, etc.”

Why does a college degree cost so much? - John W. Schoen, CNBC

"Overall, the aggregate level that institutions are spending on teaching and student-related services has been pretty much stable for the past 15 to 20 years, adjusted for inflation" said Franke, of the University of Massachusetts in Boston. So if the cost of providing an education has remained fairly stable, why does the price students pay keep rising? The reason, say researchers, is that deep budget cuts in state funding for public higher education and shrinking subsidies at private schools have pushed a greater share of the cost onto students and their families.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

From Wisconsin to California, the decline of public higher ed continues - Mike Hiltzik, LA Times

The consequence is that public universities increasingly resemble their private brethren as finishing schools for the children of the wealthy. Government disinvestment in public universities is producing "a dystopia of inequality in which community and state colleges are starved, and flagships serve up vacation resorts for the rich who can afford to attend," economist Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute wrote recently.... The starving of public colleges and universities is destined to rank up there with the failure to invest in public infrastructure in the list of glaring blunders of American government in the early 21st century. But they're two sides of the same coin: In the name of saving money in the present, we're guaranteeing ourselves a bleak future.

Budget cuts prompt layoffs at Johns Hopkins University - Edward Ericson Jr., City Paper

Citing lower income from federal grants, Johns Hopkins University quietly laid off 41 administrative staff late last week, according to an item on The Hub, a Hopkins news website. Another 13 staff members were told that their jobs would be reorganized, and the university announced that it would not fill 51 open positions. "Growth has slowed in the university's largest source of revenue—federal research funding—while other costs, such as compliance with federal regulations, have increased," Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert C. Lieberman, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Daniel G. Ennis, and Vice President for Human Resources Charlene Moore Hayes said in an email message sent today to employees within University Administration, which is quoted in The Hub.,0,2981105.story

North Dakota University System looks at budget deficit - Nick Smith, Bismark Tribune

Interim Chancellor Larry Skogen, shown here in a meeting at the Capitol earlier this year, said the budget for the North Dakota University System office has a projected deficit of between $250,000 and $300,000. Members of a higher education committee recommended approval of a proposed 2016 operating budget for the North Dakota University System office that contained a deficit on Monday. The three-member State Board of Higher Education as Budget and Finance Committee also forwarded an operating budget for the full SBHE as well as proposed salary increases for university presidents for final approval. Interim Chancellor Larry Skogen said the system office budget has a projected deficit of between $250,000 and $300,000.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Senate Plan Portends Budget Battles - Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

A U.S. Senate subcommittee on Tuesday passed a spending bill for health, labor and education programs that would increase funds for biomedical research and boost the maximum Pell Grant -- but slash spending on workforce training and AmeriCorps and block the Obama administration from implementing regulations relating to gainful employment for vocational programs and its college rating system. Like a parallel bill approved last week by a House of Representatives panel, the 2016 spending bill backed by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies would raise the maximum Pell Grant to $5,915 in the fiscal year that begins in October, up from the current $5,775.

Regardless Of Budget, WIU Workers Get Paychecks - ILLINOIS PUBLIC RADIO

Employees of Western Illinois University will receive paychecks next month whether the state has approved a new budget or not. The board of trustees held its quarterly meeting on the Quad Cities campus in Moline on Friday. The fiscal year begins July 1, and budget director Matt Bierman says WIU has enough money to get by for several months. “We’ll be okay for most of the fall semester, because of tuition dollars,” Bierman said. “We’ll be fine through November. We’ll see how it goes after that.”

As University of Montana enrollment dips, international students are the exception - KEILA SZPALLER Missoulian

In a time of dipping enrollment, the number of international students hit a record high last year. In a time of budget cuts, one of the few new positions UM approved is another recruiter for the Office of International Programs. UM seeks students like Ahmed because they help create rich cultural diversity on campus, and a global connection that seeps into the greater community. At a time when budgets are dwindling, the foreign scholars also represent big money. "If you put more dollars into international recruitment, you do get a lot more revenue. You cannot go wrong," said Paulo Zagalo-Melo, director of the Office of International Programs.

High Tech Higher Ed: How Changes in Educational Technology are Transforming the Industry - Chris LaBelle, Evolllution

The growth of more sophisticated online learning experiences will continue to shift the responsibility of procuring and curating learning resources to students, even outside of competency-based learning programs.... This vision of educational technology involves a shift of influence among different power brokers and a strategy that recognizes the growing influence of new private entrepreneurial businesses in this space. While it will be difficult at times to identify clear winners and losers in this tumultuous environment, it is almost certain that roles and functions within higher education will continue to be reformulated as more of our work is virtualized, scaled and our roles and expectations as employees within this system are subjected to more competitive external market forces that are both unkind and self-correcting.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Illinois state comptroller: 'We can't pay bills now' - Tom Kacich, News-Gazette

In terms of payments made after July 1, assuming the budget impasse continues, Munger said: University of Illinois employees will not be immediately affected. "University employees are not on the state payroll. They're on the university's payroll. So they'll continue to receive payments from the university as they would." In fact, she noted, the UI will only have received 75 percent of its state appropriation by the end of the fiscal year on June 30. It will continue to receive fiscal year 2015 payments into early October, four months into fiscal year 2016.

UW-L continues restructuring of International Education, addresses deficits - Nathan Hansen, Lacrosse Tribune

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse officials hope a new name, new faces and new procedures will help the international education office move on after more than a year of personnel and budget problems. After three years in the red, officials are confident they will be able to balance next year’s budget for the newly named International Education and Engagement Office. The office also hired a new business manager, and a search committee has been formed to find a new director for the office, after the previous director, Jay Lokken, was moved to another position in the university.