Tuesday, December 1, 2015

JWCC cuts budget while state iimpasse continues - Jim Lenz, Journal

At a meeting of the College's Board Wednesday night, JWCC President Michael Elbe says the college is quote "now working under the assumption that we will not receive any state funding this year." JWCC is supposed to get 11 per cent of its budget, or 1 point 62 million dollars in revenue from the state. That's down from the previous year, when state revenue accounted for 15 percent of the College’s budget. Other grant programs at the college left unfunded by the state include student Monetary Award Program, or MAP grants. http://journal930.com/above-the-fold/2015/11/20/jwcc-cuts-budget-while-state-iimpasse-continues/

NIU to pay $300,000 to winterize stalled Stevens Building project amid state budget impasse - Dekalb Daily Chronicle

As the state budget impasse drags on, Northern Illinois University will pay $300,000 to winterize the Stevens Building to protect the progress made on the $27.4 million renovation. Work on the project stopped June 30 when the state entered a new fiscal year without a budget. http://www.daily-chronicle.com/2015/11/16/niu-to-pay-300-000-to-winterize-stalled-stevens-building-project-amid-state-budget-impasse/a610ft7/

Facing financial pressure, University considers selling graduate residence hall - Robin Eberhardt and Jeanine Marie, GW Hatchet

Years after officials promised graduate students and faculty a revamped, state-of-the-art residence hall, the location may be heading to the real estate market. The Hall on Virginia Avenue was set to undergo a $35 million facelift that would have transformed it into a more modern space to attract top graduate students and faculty, before officials announced they may sell it last week. After graduate enrollment numbers fell below projections last year, officials made 5 percent cuts to administrative divisions across the University. http://www.gwhatchet.com/2015/11/15/facing-financial-pressure-university-considers-selling-graduate-residence-hall/

Monday, November 30, 2015


Just as the intangible value of a philosophy program to a university reflects a nonfinancial commitment to academic thought, there are intangible values to athletic endeavors, especially when opportunities for students to participate is expanded (for example, more intramural and club sports). Those of us on the academic side ask simply that the “spirit” of academic knowledge be recognized as viable and enriching without a reductive assessment of its full-time equivalents and numbers of majors, and that innovative ways to market academic programs be given the same resources that athletic departments receive for merchandise sales or recruiting athletes. Or, at least, that underperforming athletic teams not be considered essential to the face and mission of the university — and thus untouchable when state funding and tuition become ever more limited. http://chronicle.com/interactives/ncaa-subsidies-commentary

Sports At Any Cost - Brad Wolverton, Ben Hallman, Shane Shifflett and Sandhya Kambhampati, Huffington Post

The HuffPost/Chronicle analysis found that subsidization rates tend to be highest at colleges where ticket sales and other revenue is the lowest — meaning that students who have the least interest in their college’s sports teams are often required to pay the most to support them. Many colleges that heavily subsidize their athletic departments also serve poorer populations than colleges that can depend more on outside revenue for sports. The 50 institutions with the highest athletic subsidies averaged 44 percent more Pell Grant recipients than the 50 institutions with the lowest subsidies during 2012-13, the most recent year available. http://projects.huffingtonpost.com/ncaa/sports-at-any-cost

Possible MAP grant cuts would affect thousands - Abigale Svoboda, Daily Illini

On Wednesday, Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson sent an email to MAP-eligible students notifying them that if money is not allocated for MAP grants in the state budget, students will need to pay back the money their account was credited for the fall semester. Students would not receive grants for the spring semester. The announcement has left students with MAP grants uncertain of how, or if, they will be able to afford University tuition in the spring. Additionally, students may have to determine how to repay their MAP grants — a program that is never supposed to require repayment, even after graduation. http://www.dailyillini.com/article/2015/11/thousands-to-be-affected-by-map-grant-cut

Sunday, November 29, 2015

How Illinois’ Budget Stalemate is Impacting Public Universities - Eddie Arruza, WTTW

Illinois has gone nearly five months without a state budget and with each passing day, organizations around the state are finding it more difficult to operate. Among them are the state’s 12 public universities. None has received any funds from the state since July and a plea by all 12 university presidents to legislative leaders and Gov. Bruce Rauner to end their standoff and agree on a budget has had no effect. In the meantime, the universities are burning through tuition money and reserves to keep their classrooms open. Here to tell us how much of an impact the budget crisis is having at their respective universities are Chicago State University President Wayne Watson, Northeastern Illinois University President Sharon Hahs, University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen and Governors State University President Elaine Maimon. http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2015/11/17/how-illinois-budget-stalemate-impacting-public-universities

University of Maine System had $18 million operating loss in last fiscal year - NOEL K. GALLAGHER, Portland Press Herald

Officials blame rocky financial markets and severance costs after staffing cuts; trustees approve a conceptual plan for a center for online learning. Rocky financial markets and severance costs associated with making deep staffing cuts were major factors in the University of Maine System’s $18 million operating loss in its $524 million budget for the fiscal year that ended in June, officials said Monday. Last year, the system cut 157 positions across the seven campuses. Those cuts saved about $12 million in compensation costs, but the system had to pay out about $11 million in new retirement and severance costs. At the same time, tuition revenue was down after a 3.3 percent decrease in enrollment. http://www.pressherald.com/2015/11/16/umaine-system-had-18-million-operating-loss-in-last-fiscal-year/

John Wood Community College concerned over unapproved Illinois budget - Whitney Williams, WGEM

John Wood Community College President Mike Elbe says it's unusual to be this far into the fiscal year and still not have a budget. Elbe says they are looking at two scenarios on what could happen if the budget battle lasts into next year. Elbe says MAP grant funds are still up in the air also. "We floated those funds for our students in the fall, although we have not received any funding," Elbe said. "We have informed our 333 students that receive MAP funding that we will not be able to honor those funds unless a state budget is approved." Elbe says the school is under a hiring freeze and they're only making critical purchases. He also says if the school doesn't receive any state funding, it would lose around $2.5 million in funding. http://www.wgem.com/story/30532508/2015/11/16/john-wood-community-colleges-concerns-over-unapproved-illinois-budget

Saturday, November 28, 2015

ISU college democrats urge lawmakers to pass a budget, save MAP grants - Joe Ragusa, WJBC

Funding for MAP grants is in limbo because of the state budget impasse and ISU students are urging lawmakers to do something about it. Political science student Zach Braun said students that rely on MAP grants can’t afford a cut to the program. “MAP grants go to pay for our tuition and the mandatory fees that Illinois State charges us to get an education here,” Braun said. “And they’re need-based, so this affects low-income students disproportionately.” ISU director of financial aid Jana Albrecht said students will be covered for the Fall semester. “So for Spring, there hasn’t been officially word yet, but we do believe we’re going to credit students accounts and just let everybody know that if (lawmakers) cut it, we’re going to have to reduce those awards,” Albrect said. http://www.wjbc.com/2015/11/16/isu-college-democrats-urge-lawmakers-to-pass-a-budget-save-map-grants/

WIU students take a stand against state budget crisis - Bryant Clerkley, WGEM

Western Illinois University students are taking a stand against the unbalanced budget in Illinois by sending emails to local legislators. Organizer and student Kelly Rodgers says she's worried about the future of the MAP grant, which she benefits from. She says the university is going to front the MAP grant for the spring semester, but she's worried that won't last very long. Rodgers says she wants legislators to know how an unbalanced budget affects students like herself. WIU student Stephanie Montoya is a first generation college student, whose parents are from Mexico. http://www.wgem.com/story/30541046/2015/11/17/wiu-students-take-a-stand-against-state-budget-crisis

Cuts, tuition increasing as Richland deal with budget concerns - CHRIS LUSVARDI, Herald and Review

Richland Community College is projecting being out of working cash by June if the state budget impasse continues that long. As it deals with the grim projections, its board of trustees approved a tuition increase Tuesday during a meeting held Meridian High School and cuts to programs are being considered at the end of the year. College officials remained confident it can survive the difficulties. “Our college is very resilient,” Board Chairman Bruce Campbell said. “We have to make hard choices to remain on solid footing and continue to serve the student population as we would like in the months and years ahead.” http://herald-review.com/news/local/education/cuts-tuition-increasing-as-richland-deal-with-budget-concerns/article_900ef639-c265-52d1-99bc-3a624b37b6ed.html

Friday, November 27, 2015

University of Montana to cut 200 employees - Margaret Grayson, Great Falls Tribune

The University of Montana is cutting 201 faculty and non-faculty employees and eliminating entire academic programs after a budget shortfall from its ongoing enrollment crisis, President Royce Engstrom announced at a Tuesday forum. UM enrollment dropped to 10,915 this semester, a 6.5 percent decrease from the previous fall. The university budgeted for only a 5 percent decrease. Combined with a nearly 30 percent drop in nonresident freshmen, who pay more than in-state students, UM must account for a revenue deficit. http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/local/2015/11/17/university-montana-cut-employees/75974470/

Sandburg College Likely To End Adult Classes Until Fall Due To Budget Impasse - Progress Illinois

Carl Sandburg College is being impacted by the Illinois budget impasse and, as a result, it will halt adult education programs starting January 1. The college's adult education programs depend on grant funding from the state, but the funds have not been dispersed during the ongoing budget stalemate. Sandburg, a community college in Galesburg, provides GED testing and offers English as a second language and other adult education classes, currently attended by 92 students. "We're the sole provider, so they're not going to be able to go anywhere else for coursework," Sandburg President Lori Sundberg told The Register-Mail. http://www.progressillinois.com/news/content/2015/11/17/budget-impasse-impacting-sandburg-colleges-adult-education-classes

Details on Rock Valley College budget doomsday postponed - Corina Curry, RR Star

Fear and apprehension cast a shadow over the Rock Valley College Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night as President Mike Mastroianni shared a few details about proposed budget cuts but failed to answer the biggest looming questions. How many people are going to lose their jobs, who are they and how much is tuition going to go up? http://www.rrstar.com/article/20151117/NEWS/151119515

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Budget impasse has Waubonsee looking for ways to save program - Susan Sarkauskas, Daily Herald

Waubonsee Community College is planning to shift about $1 million in its education fund to keep several programs afloat this year while the state holds up the money that helps pay for them. And it will do the same in its operations and maintenance fund, to cover $1 million in bills for equipment ordered before the college knew state money for it would be withheld this long. http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20151119/news/151118686/

Who Would Have Predicted: BLACK FRIDAY DEALS FOR ONLINE COURSES? - IAIN ALEXANDER, Film Industry Network

Filmmakers, digital marketers and entrepreneurs can benefit from incredible Black Friday deals and access online courses for a fraction of their usual price. Whether you are looking to study film, learn about acting or improve your social media game, there are some fantastic deals being offered over the next few hours that will get you high quality training at incredible discounts. Udemyicon are offering 17,000 online courses to all their new subscribers that select a program before midnight Friday with discounts of up to 97%. You can check out some of the most popular courses here and also our recommended selection of online classes that you can book with this deal. http://www.filmindustrynetwork.biz/black-friday-deals-get-up-to-97-off-these-online-courses/29972

U.S. Colleges See A Big Bump In International Students - Cory Turner, NPR

The number of international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities jumped last year — in a big way. It's up 10 percent, to roughly 975,000, according to a new report by the Institute of International Education and backed by the State Department. In 2014-15, China was still the largest source of students with 31 percent of the total. India was in second place with nearly 14 percent. And Indian students were a big reason for the overall jump. http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/11/18/456353089/u-s-colleges-see-a-big-bump-in-international-students

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Could "Nanodegrees" Be the Solution to the Student Debt Crisis? - GEORGE LORENZO, Fast Company

What if you could earn a technology-centric credential at a similar level to a postgraduate for less than $1,000? And what if earning that high-level credential took about six to nine months? What if, after earning this credential, you went into a job interview with solid evidence revealing your skills, backed by several relevant projects you created that very clearly disclosed your innovativeness and creativity, along with showing how advanced you were in relation to the latest developments in your field of study? http://www.fastcompany.com/3053305/the-future-of-work/could-nanodegrees-be-the-solution-to-the-student-debt-crisis

Number of Americans with college degrees growing ... slowly - JON MARCUS, Hechinger Report

Seven years after setting out to significantly increase the proportion of the population with degrees, the nation is making very slow progress, according to new figures. The percentage of Americans who have earned college and university degrees rose from 40 percent to 40.4 percent last year toward a goal of 60 percent by 2025, the Lumina Foundation, which is backing the effort, announced at a conference here to update policymakers and advocates. The topic: Whether or not the nation is succeeding in increasing the proportion of people with higher educations Why it matters: Economists say more degree-holders are needed to compete with international rivals. http://hechingerreport.org/proportion-of-americans-with-college-degrees-continues-to-eke-up/

U of Montana Will Cut 201 Positions - Inside Higher Ed

The University of Montana on Tuesday announced plans to cut 201 full-time positions -- 52 of them faculty slots -- to deal with enrollment declines, NBC News Montana reported. Some positions may be currently vacant. Many professors say that the cuts appear likely to disproportionately impact liberal arts programs, although other programs face cuts too. Among the liberal arts departments slated for cuts: anthropology, English, geography, liberal studies, art, political science, as well as graduate programs in foreign languages. https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2015/11/18/u-montana-will-cut-201-positions