Tuesday, March 20, 2018

How Missouri State plans to close funding gap - Hanna Sumpter, Missouri State Standard

Missouri State University cut 30 university positions as one of many steps to close the gap between state funding and the university’s budget last week. Of those 30 positions, 23 were open positions and seven were filled. University President Clif Smart said in last week’s Finance and Facilities Committee meeting the university would work with those seven people to attempt to find different positions for them within the university. “We’re in the process of letting those people know this week that that is occurring,” Smart said. “That is the only decision that has occurred so far.” http://www.the-standard.org/news/how-missouri-state-plans-to-close-funding-gap/article_fa3d54aa-20d7-11e8-b569-33662b082d7c.html

OU lays off more administrators, denies 'budget crisis' - Conor Morris, Athens News

An Ohio University spokesperson confirmed last Thursday that the university has laid off four people in its Finance and Administration division and “abolished” 12 total positions in those departments (eight of those jobs were unoccupied at the time). Late last April, the university similarly announced it had cut 13 positions in the Finance and Administration departments, eight of which were vacant positions, meaning five people were laid off. This is all an extension of ongoing budget woes at the university, with no raises for any employees in the current fiscal year and some budget reductions at academic units throughout the university already implemented. https://www.athensnews.com/news/campus/ou-lays-off-more-administrators-denies-budget-crisis/article_3991cbd2-1fdd-11e8-828e-2fb4b1caf511.html

NU adapting after slashing mileage rate in half - CHRIS DUNKER, Lincoln Journal Star

NU staff were reimbursed 51 cents per mile that year, Feinstein said, just less than the state Department of Administrative Services rate of 53.5 cents per mile. But in the first round of spending cuts enacted by NU last year to trim $30 million from its budget, the university slashed its mileage reimbursement rate for all employees to 25 cents per mile. That's in contrast to the rate increase allowed by Administrative Services this year, which rose to 54.5 to align it with the IRS standard. The Administrative Services rate is the upward limit for all state agencies. http://journalstar.com/news/local/education/nu-adapting-after-slashing-mileage-rate-in-half/article_5ea02c34-55aa-53a7-ae07-83a3c8fd4d1c.html

Monday, March 19, 2018

UVU could raise tuition up to 4 percent - Braley Dodson, Daily Herald

Utah Valley University’s tuition could go up as much as 4 percent for the next academic year, depending on what happens in the final days of the state legislative session. “I have no idea what they are going to do,” said Linda Makin, the vice president for planning, budget and human resources at UVU, during the university’s Truth in Tuition hearing Thursday afternoon. “It looks like they have the money. I assume they are going to invest in higher education.” The legislative session ends on Thursday. The president’s council at UVU will review a potential increase on March 15, and the university’s Board of Trustees would have to approve an increase on March 28. Two days later, the Utah System of Higher Education Board of Regents would approve tuition increases. “We have to start making decisions really soon,” Makin said. https://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/education/college/uvu/uvu-could-raise-tuition-up-to-percent/article_22674785-9a53-54eb-a36c-f6a3d024881c.html

Shepherd University raising its tuition - Richard Belisle, Herald-Mail

In-state Shepherd University undergraduates will pay $110 more per semester following a tuition increase announced Friday by the university’s Board of Governors. The board’s decision represents a 3 percent hike per semester, from $3,664 to $3,774, for in-state undergraduates. Rates for out-of-staters will go up by $90 per semester, from $8,936 to $9,026. Graduate students, too, will feel the pinch. In-state students will see a $14-per-credit hour increase, from $445 to $459. Graduate tuition for out-of-staters goes up by $24 per credit hour from $636 to $660. https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/instant/shepherd-university-raising-its-tuition/article_9e52bd04-1e7c-11e8-bbbc-63250fe1e735.html

Local higher ed leaders pick apart pension reform ideas - JARAD JARMON, JG-TC

The details surrounding Gov. Bruce Rauner's plan to reform the state pension system are still murky, but what is known is worrisome for local higher education institutions. The governor spoke on the need for pension reform a couple of weeks ago in a budget address to state lawmakers. During this address, he proposed shifting pension costs more locally in 25 percent increments per year. “Our budget proposal shifts costs closer to home, so people can question expenses and deal with them more directly,” Rauner stated in his address. Officials at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston and Mattoon's Lake Land College are concerned about looking at potentially steep additional expenditures with little support in paying for it. http://jg-tc.com/news/local/local-higher-ed-leaders-pick-apart-pension-reform-ideas/article_9bb0e39e-e7d2-52c5-a3a3-4d815f6458ef.html

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Layoffs at Tidewater Community College - Grace Bird, Inside Higher Ed

Amid a decline in enrollment and an upcoming round of layoffs, Tidewater Community College faculty members made an informal declaration of no confidence in President Edna Baehre-Kolovani in a document released to The Virginian-Pilot. The declaration of no confidence also includes an executive vice president at the college. The declaration followed Baehre-Kolovani’s announcement of another round of layoffs at the college as enrollment continues to drop. In 2016, the college had 34,397 students enrolled -- 14,000 fewer than in 2011, and a decrease of 1,200 from 2004. Last year, the state cut the higher education budget by 4.2 percent, which led to a loss of $8.5 million and layoffs of 27 people, including 17 full-time employees in administrative positions, according to The Virginian-Pilot. https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/03/05/layoffs-tidewater-community-college

Tidewater Community College layoffs come after faculty no confidence declaration in president - Katherine Hafner, Virginia Pilot

A little over a week before she announced a new round of layoffs, Tidewater Community College’s president received an unofficial declaration of no confidence from some faculty members. The document obtained by The Virginian-Pilot includes a host of specific concerns that fall under two main categories: “lack of transparent and professional communication” and “absence of authentic shared governance.” In it, the authors said they “vote no confidence” in the president and an executive vice president. https://pilotonline.com/news/local/education/higher-education/article_fbae4f07-eb85-548d-9b24-6374adb9111d.html

A Guide to Good OER Stewardship - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

Interest in open educational resources -- freely accessible and openly licensed learning materials -- is booming. But while OER’s growing popularity with faculty members has delighted supporters, it has also attracted the attention of commercial publishers. Macmillan Learning, Cengage, Pearson and McGraw-Hill have all recently introduced products that incorporate open educational resources into platforms that also include proprietary material. The development of these products has sparked concern among some OER advocates, who question whether OER that you pay to access is really still open. But publishers say they are adding value by making it easy for faculty members to adopt OER, by helping them find the best content and enhancing it with supplementary materials such as homework and exam questions. https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2018/03/05/advocates-develop-framework-stewardship-open-educational

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Asked what if there were no state aid, Pitt, Penn State said they would go private with no discounts to state students - Steve Esack, Mcall

During a state Senate budget hearing, lawmakers grilled the universities’ top officials about everything from security to protests to opioid prevention to student careers after graduation, to justify the latter’s requests for a combined 19 percent increase in state aid to $672.8 million. Not until the end of the 2½-hour hearing did a lawmaker address the budgetary elephant in the room: How would your institutions cope if the state stopped providing money as some lawmakers have advocated? http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-nws-budget-penn-state-temple-pitt-20180227-story.html

NU faces decrease in state aid, leading to cuts in staff, programs - Austin Koeller, Grand Island Independent

The University of Nebraska has faced a decrease in state aid, leading to cuts in staff and programs, but NU President Hank Bounds said he and other NU officials “still have a lot of work to do.” Bounds visited The Independent on Monday afternoon to speak with the newspaper’s editorial board about the university system’s budget crisis. He outlined the affects of the budget cuts and discussed steps it plans to take going forward. A budget plan put forward by Gov. Pete Ricketts earlier this year would cut $11 million in state aid — a 2 percent cut, Bounds said. As a result of the budget cuts, NU has been forced to take the proper recourses to deal with the budget situation. http://www.theindependent.com/news/local/nu-faces-decrease-in-state-aid-leading-to-cuts-in/article_0a695d06-1b56-11e8-8f2d-53f3cca2ef08.html

Northeast Nebraskans hope Haskell Ag Lab survives budget cuts - NICK HYTREK , Sioux City Journal

Kent Bearnes thinks of the studies University of Nebraska researchers have done on alternative weed control methods at the Haskell Agricultural Laboratory and the impact their findings can have. Some of that research done on the farm outside Concord, he said, already has international importance. It's one of many studies that benefits farmers near and far. "There is research going on there that has not been done anywhere else," said Bearnes, an independent agronomist and seed sales representative from Laurel, Nebraska. Yet, the Haskell Ag Lab might soon be closed. http://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/columnists/hytrek/northeast-nebraskans-hope-haskell-ag-lab-survives-budget-cuts/article_6338c1f0-a4c9-5d3b-ba1f-ec84cf704231.html

Friday, March 16, 2018

Editorial: Downsizing higher education is a dual problem - Moorehead News

As enrollments and employment levels decline at Kentucky’s public institutions of higher education, such changes translate into a personal loss for those seeking more education and a collective loss for the communities losing jobs and other economic benefits. From its 16 community and technical colleges to its eight public universities, Kentucky was making great strides in equipping more individuals with college degrees but that progress has been stymied if not stopped cold by nearly 10 straight years of state budget cuts and resulting increases in tuition. http://www.themoreheadnews.com/opinion/editorial-downsizing-higher-education-is-a-dual-problem/article_0ed5328a-1b41-11e8-a9d5-abcf8d224bf7.html

As change accelerates, ASU must be a place where students return again and again to build skills for multiple shifting careers - Mary Beth Faller, ASU

ASU President Michael M. Crow says thirty years from now, by 2048, ASU will have created new ways of engaging with learners through technology, he said. But not recklessly. “We do need to be careful about technology. We’re finding ways to enhance learning, not replace learning. We’re finding ways to enhance reality, not replace reality,” he said. The new “national service university” model will be less rigidly connected to age than the current system of preschool and then K-12 followed by technical school or university and then a career. “We’re evolving a model capable of being of service to all learners, at all stages of work and learning, from all socioeconomic backgrounds, through education, training and skill-building opportunities,” he said. https://asunow.asu.edu/20180301-creativity-asu-crow-community-conversation-lifelong-learning-future

Penn's cost of attendance will exceed $70,000 next year — a 3.8 percent increase - Giovanna Paz and Madeleine Lamon, Daily Pennsylvanian

Penn's Board of Trustees announced a resolution to increase undergraduate cost of attendance tuition by 3.8 percent for the upcoming academic year, exceeding $70,000 in costs for the first time. The total cost of attendance would also grow by 3.8 percent, from $68,600 for the 2017-2018 academic year to $71,200 for the 2018-2019 academic year, Vice President of Finance and Treasurer MaryFrances McCourt announced Wednesday. http://www.thedp.com/article/2018/03/university-penn-president-amy-gutmann-wendell-pritchett-budget-board-trustees-tuition-increase-financial-aid

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Castleton University Cuts Prominent Deans, Dikeman And Jepson - NINA KECK, Vermont Public Radio

Castleton University is eliminating two prominent positions as part of the university’s budget restructuring process. University spokesman Jeff Weld said Scott Dikeman, Dean of Administration and Lyle Jepson, Dean of Entrepreneurial Programs will both lose their positions. The cuts are part of a restructuring effort the university recently announced in light of an expected operating loss of $1.5 million this year. Jepson’s termination is having ripple effects in the Rutland business community because he also heads up the Rutland Economic Development Corporation. http://digital.vpr.net/post/castleton-university-cuts-prominent-deans-dikeman-and-jepson#stream/0

Stony Brook hiring freeze aims to stem budget gap, officials say - Candice Ferrette and Scott Eidler, Newsday

Stony Brook University will impose an indefinite hiring freeze effective immediately to address an ongoing structural budget deficit, officials announced Thursday morning. The plan will impact nearly all positions at Long Island’s largest public research university that are funded by the state budget. The decision comes after several other austerity measures did not produce the needed savings, officials said. https://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/story-brook-hiring-freeze-1.17012835

Facing budget cuts, MU tells some non-tenured faculty that contracts won't be renewed - KATY BERGEN, Kansas City Star

Proposed cuts to higher education by Gov. Eric Greitens — and uncertainty surrounding whether efforts to reduce those cuts will be successful — have prompted the University of Missouri to notify some non-tenure faculty that their contracts will not be renewed. "Despite our best efforts, the University of Missouri continues to face significant budget challenges," Interim Provost Jim Spain said in a letter Wednesday. "While we work productively with our legislators, it remains prudent for us to plan on a potential significant drop in state revenue for the upcoming fiscal year." http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article202828319.html

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Facing a ‘Looming Fiscal Emergency,’ HSU Announces Plan to Slash Budget by $9 Million - Ryan Burns, Lost Coast Outpost

Hoping to stave off a “looming fiscal emergency,” Humboldt State University President Lisa A. Rossbacher today announced plans to cut the school’s annual budget by seven percent, or $9 million. Cost-cutting measures include eliminating a number of staff and administrator positions, instituting hiring freezes in numerous departments, closing the Third Street Gallery and “determining alternative pathways” for the Children’s Center.* The university has seen growing budget deficits in recent years due to both internal and external factors, according to an analysis by the President’s Cabinet, an advisory group comprised of seven HSU administrators including Rossbacher herself. https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2018/feb/23/hsu-plans-slash-budget-9-million/

UAMS to cut 124 additional jobs; positions will be eliminated through attrition, not layoffs, exec says 8 - Eric Besson, Arkansas Online

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will eliminate 124* additional jobs, through attrition rather than layoffs, the academic hospital’s chief financial officer said Friday as officials continue to grapple with a budget deficit. UAMS in January announced it was cutting 600 positions, including 258 that were filled, as a way to cut a looming $72.3 million deficit, nearly twice the $39.8 million that had been authorized. The newly announced position cuts will bring total losses to 730, or about 6.6 percent of UAMS’ 10,900 employees. http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2018/feb/23/uams-cut-130-additional-jobs-positions-will-be-eli/

'Not out of the woods': Richland braces for state budget uncertainty - RYAN VOYLES, Herald & Review

As Bloomington-Normal's community college moves to increase tuition for the coming school year, Richland Community College leaders have not ruled out the chance they will follow suit. Those discussions will take place in the coming weeks, said Richland President Cris Valdez, and will include members of the student government. Any adjustments would come on top of a 3 percent tuition hike approved by the college's board of trustees last year. “I don’t anticipate a large increase, but we’ll probably entertain some increase,” Valdez said. “But I just do not know right now.” http://herald-review.com/news/local/not-out-of-the-woods-richland-braces-for-state-budget/article_282cef0f-bcff-510b-b634-9818a554feaf.html