Monday, September 1, 2014

Purdue University Launches 3-year Program in Communication to save $9K TO $20K - ANDREW DESIDERIO, the College Fix

Purdue University will launch a three-year communication degree program this fall in an effort to help students save time and money by speeding up their college education. Purdue is the latest college to offer a shortened degree process as the increasingly expensive cost of higher education remains a national concern. “In fields of study where they are feasible, three-year degrees may become a new norm in higher education, based on their big advantages in affordability and in speeding a student’s entry into the world of productive work,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels, former Republican governor of Indiana, stated in announcing the program.

Regents holding the line on tuition - Rapid City Journal

The average South Dakota student graduates from college with more than $25,000 in student loan debt, according to the South Dakota Board of Regents. Seventy-eight percent of students in the class of 2012 were in debt with student loans when they graduated, according to the Institute for College Access & Success -- the highest rate of student debt in the nation. As college costs continue to skyrocket, the Board of Regents is trying to do what it can to ease the financial burden on in-state students by freezing tuition at the state’s public universities for the second year in a row.

WVSU fires employees, eliminates positions, considers more cost-saving - Mackenzie Mays, WV Gazette

West Virginia State University has fired 10 employees and is considering more cost-saving measures. School officials announced the layoffs earlier this month and also eliminated 15 already vacant positions. WVSU spokeswoman Kimberly Osborne said the terminations are a direct response to a budget summit held in November that recommended several ways the school could cut costs and generate revenue. One of those recommendations was, in the words of the budget summit, “potential personnel adjustments to ensure greater efficiency and effectiveness of university operations,” and is the cause for the terminations, Osborne said.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Indiana Cuts Another 2% from State University Budget Due to Economic Downturn - iSchool Guide

Indiana’s state university budgets would be reduced by 2% more because of the state’s economic downturn. State Budget Director Brian Bailey told The Courier-Journal that the 2% or $27.5 million would only be given to universities once tax revenue has meet state projections for the year. Indiana has decided on a 2% budget cut from the state university budget, according to Education News. Jacob Rund for The Courier-Journal reported that state budget director Brian Bailey said universities will only receive the 2% or $27.5 million in funding, once the tax revenue has met the state's projections for the year.

A quarter million per child? - CHRIS FARRELL, Star Tribune

According to the USDA, a middle-income family with a child born in 2013 can anticipate spending about $245,340 ($304,480 adjusted for projected inflation) on food, housing, child care, education, and other expenses up to age 18. In other words, before counting any costs from investing in postsecondary education. The more intriguing and informative numbers come from the USDA’s breakdown of where the family money goes in 1960 and in 2013. Families are spending much less on food, clothing and miscellaneous expenses in 2013 compared with 1960. In 1960 food absorbed 24 percent of the household expenditures on children. In 2013, the percentage had shrunk to 16 percent. Housing has barely budged, 31 percent in 1960 and 30 percent in 2013. Transportation, another big ticket expense, has dropped from 16 percent in 1960 to 14 percent in 2013.

Southern University begins talks on organizational structure, approves 2014-15 budget - Quincy Hodges, The Times-Picayune

The Southern University finance committee Friday approved a balanced budget of $129 million, nearly $11.5 million less than the previous year due to decreased enrollment, a reduction in the state appropriated funds and an inability to increase tuition after failing to meet the state's 2010 GRAD Act benchmarks. In order to balance the budget, the university dipped into several million dollars of one-time funds, including most of the campuses' available reserves and expense reductions throughout the system.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Coursera's MOOCs Go To Work: What MasterCard Is Learning - George Anders, Forbes

An intriguing strategy tweak is taking shape at Coursera, the pioneer of massively open online courses, or MOOCs. While Coursera still opens its (virtual) doors wide to anyone who wants to take a free course for the fun of it, the company also is welcoming big firms such as MasterCard, BNY Mellon, AT&T and Shell, as they seek new content for employee training and development. The business case is obvious.

UMC announces second, bigger round of layoffs - Conor Shine, Las Vegas Sun

A second round of layoffs are coming to University Medical Center, officials announced today, less than six months after the financially troubled hospital had its first batch of layoffs. Today’s layoffs eliminated 285 positions working as nurses, office assistants and other support staff. Most doctors who provide care at UMC aren’t directly employed by the hospital. “It’s not a good day,” said Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly, who chairs the Board of Trustees that oversees the hospital. “I’m devastated at the idea you’ll have a number of these folks who will be unemployed.”

Bradley expects enrollment drop, budget cuts - The Associated Press

Bradley University President Joanne Glasser says freshman enrollment is expected to be down this fall and the private university is looking at budget cuts. According to WCBU radio in Peoria ( ), Glasser said Wednesday during her state of the university address that Bradley expects about 940 incoming freshman to start school this fall. That would be a drop of 140, or almost 4 percent. Advisory groups are reviewing university programs looking for potential cuts and employees probably will not get raises this year.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Local institutions get grants to educate students about loan debt - ASHLEY JOST, Columbia Tribune

The Missouri Department of Higher Education released grant funding this month to colleges and universities that applied for extra money to educate students on how to be smart student loan borrowers and how to avoid defaulting. The Default Prevention Grant Program isn’t new to the state department, as this is the program’s 14th year, but four area institutions are getting the grant funding for the first or second year. The University of Missouri, Stephens College, Columbia College and Moberly Area Community College all received grant funding for the 2014-15 academic year. Recipients can use the money at their own discretion, as long as it’s related to educating students on their loans.

Scientists Turn to Crowdfunding After Budget Cuts Affect Research - Samantha Hurst, CrowdFundInsider

Looking to others after an unfortunate budget situation, University of Connecticut second-year Ph.D. student, Sarah McAnulty, has decided to launch a new crowdfunding campaign for her studies of the Hawaiian bobtail squid. The nocturnal animal has developed a keen relationship with glowing bacteria known to scientist as “symbiosis.” Hawaiian bobtail squidSharing the squid’s characteristics, McAnulty stated, “It’s about a size of a lime. All day, they bury under the sand and hide from predators. When the squid swim around at night, this bacteria glows and it prevents the squid from having a silhouette against the moon.” McAnulty believes by studying the animal and the glowing bacteria, the research could eventually have an impact in human medicine. The problem, funding for the project is very limited.

USM president announces team to help him cut more than $12.5 million from budget - Troy R. Bennett, Bangor Daily News

University of Southern Maine President David Flanagan has put together a six-person team that will advise him on cutting more than $12.5 million from the university’s budget in the coming months. The team includes two new hires. Tom Dunne, who worked as a partner at Accenture from 1984 to 2003, will take on a newly created, one-year position called executive director of initiatives. He will be paid $20,000. “It is his primary task to analyze USM’s cost structure and put together the building blocks for a balanced budget for fy 16 (fiscal year 2016),” a statement released by USM on Wednesday afternoon said. Chris Quint will replace Robert Caswell, who retired earlier this summer, as executive director of public affairs. Quint previously served as executive director of the Maine State Employees Association.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Geneva College cuts budget, eliminates 14 positions - Justine Coyne, Pittsburgh Business Times

Geneva College has approved a proposal to reduce the college's budget by 5 percent, resulting in the elimination of 14 positions. Geneva is discontinuing the positions of three faculty members at the end of the 2014-25 academic year and laying off 11 members of the staff, who will have varying departure dates beaded on departmental needs, according to the college. The college will also phase out its graduate programs in Special Education and Reading; graduate and undergraduate program in Cardiovascular Sciences; and undergraduate majors in Music Performance and Biblical Languages.

Budget cuts, enrollment growth discussed at WCU assembly - Sylva Herald

The collective efforts of faculty and staff to attract and retain larger numbers of students at Western Carolina University are helping the institution weather lingering budget constraints that would otherwise hamstring efforts to improve academic quality and enhance the student experience. That was among the messages delivered Wednesday, Aug. 13, by WCU Chancellor David Belcher in his annual Opening Assembly address to kick off the fall semester. “Let me say now – thank you for your individual and collective contributions to recruiting and retaining students,” he told faculty and staff in attendance at the Bardo Center. “The budget picture is daunting – there’s no question about it. But WCU continues year by year to strengthen its financial position because of enrollment growth, and again, I thank you for what you are doing to put us in a position envied by many other institutions in our state.”

Committee lowers proposed salary increase for NDSU president - Nick Smith, Bismark Tribune

A committee of state Board of Higher Education members lowered a proposed salary increase for the president of North Dakota State University on Tuesday and forwarded an amended list of capital projects to the full board. NDUS officials said if approved by the full board, the 3 percent increase to NDSU President Dean Bresciani would increase his salary by $10,026 in 2015 to $344,241.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Maine’s university system gets budget boost from out of state - NOEL K. GALLAGHER, Portland Press Herald

There will be fewer first-time and transfer students in the University of Maine System this fall, but more of them are coming from outside the state and paying higher tuition – good news for the cash-strapped system. Commitments from out-of-state students, who pay nearly three times the in-state tuition, are up 12 percent systemwide over the same period last year, according to the latest fall enrollment report issued Aug. 10. A total of 1,511 new out-of-state students will attend the system’s seven campuses, up 162 over last year. “Maine is doing great on out-of-state numbers,” said Rosa Redonnett, chief student affairs officer for the system.

Roosevelt University leaving most of Schaumburg campus - Eric Peterson & Charles Keeshan, the Daily Herald

Roosevelt University will eliminate many of the programs at its Schaumburg campus, relocate numerous faculty and try to rent its facilities there as part of a wider effort to focus resources on the school's main Chicago campus, according to university President Chuck Middleton. While vague about the time frame for the full transition, Middleton said the university is seeking institutional partners -- both educational and otherwise -- to lease the space at the Schaumburg campus not being used by Roosevelt's College of Pharmacy.

Lebanon College To Close; School Cancels Fall Classes - Maggie Cassidy and John P. Gregg, Valley News

Following years of economic turmoil, Lebanon College has canceled all of its classes for the upcoming fall semester in what is likely “the first step towards closing” the school, President Ron Biron said in an email Monday evening. “Without a substantive increase in enrollment across the board and particularly in the areas of our allied health programs and certificates, we feel this is the first step towards closing Lebanon College,” Biron said in the email. “It truly is disappointing to our entire team (who have) worked on creating an academic culture that is student-centered while adding value to local New Hampshire and Vermont employers. Ultimately, the response was not there!”

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Budget merge is an attack on education - Darrio Melton, Selma Times Journal

One way our budgets show our priorities is simply the way they are structured. Alabama has two budgets: the General Fund budget and the Education Trust Fund budget. This allows us to appropriate resources separately–for non-education interests and for education-specific interests. Until now. A group of Alabama lawmakers are tossing around the idea of combining the two budgets, making the dollars set aside for education fluid with the rest of the state general fund. I just can’t support such a blatant attack on public education. This would be like attaching a debit card to your child’s college fund, then handing it over to your sixteen-year-old because he or she “promised” to be responsible and only use it for emergencies. Nickel by dime, that fund would deplete and the child left without a future.

Students turn to crowdfunding to pay for college - Jana Shortal, KARE 11

"It does cost somewhere between five hundred dollars a month and one thousand dollars a month for a newborn to start funding for college if you want to fully fund," Natalie Brinkman of Prosperwell Financial pointed out for parents saving now for kids to go into higher education the years down the road. Crowdfunding is social media meets fundraising, and college students are using websites like or to raise funds. And now, crowdfunding has become popular with students looking to pay for college. According to data from the website, 212 students used the site to raise college funds in 2010. So far in 2014, more than 153,000 students have done it or are doing it.

Higher education hoping to avoid budget cuts - Scott Rothschild, LJ World

With a state revenue shortfall on the horizon, higher education officials are hoping they can maintain the current level of state funding and avoid getting cut. "Flat is the new up," said Kansas University spokesman Tim Caboni. The downward trend in state tax dollars going to higher education has been happening nationwide. In Kansas, state funding makes up approximately 20 percent of the total operating expenditures of Kansas' public universities. That is down from 28 percent in 2008, and the downward trend is expected to continue.