Friday, March 24, 2017

Alaska state senators scour budget in hopes of $300M in cuts - Andrew Kitchenman, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, said of the university budget cut that Alaskans may not understand the effect of deeper cuts. “I hate to see this happen, but I think the problem is the public is just not aware of the horrible situation we are in,” Stevens said. “And although all of these budget cuts are painful and we’re sorry to see them happen, we just have got to get the public awareness out there that we’ve got a serious problem — and the inclination of the public to do something about it.” Anchorage Democratic Sen. Berta Gardner said cutting the university budget is unwise at a time when the state’s need for a better educated workforce is large and growing. http://www.ktoo.org/2017/03/14/alaska-state-senators-scour-budget-hopes-300m-cuts/

'Layoffs likely' as CMU grapples with $20 million budget shortfall - Heather Jordan, MLive

A $20 million budget shortfall means layoffs are likely at Central Michigan University, according to university officials. University officials are reviewing plans to address the 2017-18 budget deficit, which is expected to go beyond this year's $14 million shortfall, according to a CMU news release. "Current-year gaps of $9.2 million in the service centers and $4.8 million in the colleges will be covered in part by one-time funds. Early projections for fiscal year 2017-18 point to a deficit that could be as much as an additional $6 million higher -- totaling up to $20 million," the release states. Barrie Wilkes, vice president for finance and administrative services, says "that, unfortunately, means base-budget cuts." http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2017/03/layoffs_likely_as_central_mich.html

As budget stalemate continues, SIU president says more cuts pending, state funds critical - MOLLY PARKER, THE SOUTHERN

Southern Illinois University System President Randy Dunn stated in a letter to the campus community that the university cannot go for another 20 months without additional state support “short of hollowing out the core.” Campus programs, services, facilities and regional support projects would be significantly affected if the impasse continues without agreement on a full state budget or stopgap appropriations for higher education until sometime after the 2018 election cycle, Dunn said. http://thesouthern.com/news/local/siu/as-budget-stalemate-continues-siu-president-says-more-cuts-pending/article_c592d602-bf9e-5fe7-a1ac-49700c8ad31a.html

Thursday, March 23, 2017

UM yanks funds to balance $1.8 million budget deficit - Lucy Tompkins, Montana Kaimin

College of Forestry and Conservation Dean Tom DeLuca came to work on Friday, Feb. 24, to find $206,812.20 missing from the college’s designated funds accounts. Those funds were supposed to be used for things like paying lab technicians, buying lab supplies and funding student field trips, among other expenditures. DeLuca called Chris Comer, Dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences, to ask if he was also missing funds. Comer’s financial manager checked their accounts, and found that nearly half a million dollars ($474,671) was gone. http://www.montanakaimin.com/news/um-yanks-funds-to-balance-million-budget-deficit/article_720d1b20-05ca-11e7-b2c7-5f38bc0c6ded.html

Colleges balk at budget cuts - Lloyd Dunkelberger, News Service of Florida

Florida sate college presidents on Friday expressed dismay that the 28-school system is being targeted for three-quarters of the cuts in the Florida Senate's initial plan to trim $131 million in higher-education spending. “It is of great concern that the first thing out of the chute is a 74 percent reduction impacting the Florida college system and it is directed at programs that support our most at-risk student populations,” said Ed Meadows, president of Pensacola State College and the chairman of the Council of Presidents, which represents all the state colleges. The suggested cuts include a $55 million reduction in remedial education, the suspension of $30 million in performance funding for the colleges and the suspension of $10 million in incentive funds aimed at producing more students with technical and industry certifications. http://www.news4jax.com/education/colleges-balk-at-budget-cuts

McHenry County College approves staffing cuts to plug state funding shortfall - Nate Linhart, NW Herald

The McHenry County College board of trustees approved cutting staff, faculty and administration at a special board meeting Thursday. A total of 25 positions are affected from these moves. Of the 25 positions, 14 full- and part-time positions are being eliminated, while five positions are being reduced from full-time to part-time. As for the remaining six, those positions are currently open because of retirement or vacancy and will not be filled. “Really good people, through no fault of their own, are losing their jobs. This is a painful truth,” MCC President Clint Gabbard said. http://www.nwherald.com/2017/03/09/mchenry-county-college-approves-staffing-cuts-to-plug-state-funding-shortfall/aobjy8q/

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

JEFFERSON COLLEGE MAKES TOUGH BUDGET CUTS - Jefferson College

Jefferson College is making some serious cuts, but the vitality of the institution remains strong. They need to overcome a projected budget shortfall of 1.5 million dollars, which includes the rest of this school year and next year. They are cutting 8 full-time employees and multiple part-time employees. St. Louis media reported on a student was upset because he couldn’t finish his biomedical electronics degree at Jefferson College. President Dr. Ray Cummiskey says there was some confusion about the effects of the cuts, and the situation is still fluid. http://www.mymoinfo.com/2017/03/10/mar-3-2017-jefferson-college-makes-tough-budget-cuts/

SIUC University Museum loses national accreditation after budget cuts - K. JANIS ESCH, THE SOUTHERN

Another apparent victim of the ongoing state budget crisis, Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s University Museum has been stripped of its national accreditation as a result of recent cuts. Curator of Exhibits Alison Erazmus said the museum received word last week that it had lost its status through the American Alliance of Museums, the accrediting body that validates museums based on their operations and impact. “We were told that the final determination came down to our low level of staff and our budget cuts that we have endured over the last two years,” Erazmus said. University Museum had held the distinction since 1977. http://thesouthern.com/news/local/siu/siuc-university-museum-loses-national-accreditation-after-budget-cuts/article_29a2d42e-7aad-5d55-aabe-b57b398a4eb0.html

University of Missouri-Columbia to use reserves for budget - Associated Press

The University of Missouri's campus in Columbia will use reserve funds to cover a nearly $20 million budget shortfall. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/2n7ulRi ) the use of reserve funds is in response to Gov. Eric Greitens restricting state funding from higher education institutions for fiscal year 2017, including $31.4 million for the University of Missouri system. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/business/article137672273.html

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

University of Louisville's budget shortfall affects law school - Andreina Centlivre, WAVE3

Budget shortfalls at the University of Louisville are starting to have a direct impact on students. This week, student employees for the Brandeis School of Law were let go. University officials say the law school is letting student employees go to address the budget shortfall from the 2016-2017 school year. The University is facing a $48 million deficit for the 2017-2018 year and enacted a university-wide hiring freeze to address that number. “I no longer have a part time job, it's just terrible,” Courtney Groszhans said. Groszhans is a U of L Law Student and worked as a student employee at the Law School's Library. http://www.wave3.com/story/34711181/university-of-louisvilles-budget-shortfall-affects-law-school

Layoffs hit McHenry County College, blamed in part on state budget impasse - George Houde, Chicago Tribune

McHenry County College is the latest Chicago-area community college to be hit with layoffs, which officials said was caused in part by the long-running state budget stalemate. The college's board of trustee voted late Thursday to lay off 19 employees, including seven unionized support staff members, three administrators and four counselors. No faculty members were let go. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/mchenry-county/news/ct-community-college-layoffs-mchenry-county-college-met-20170310-story.html

HRC opposes effort to shut ATU office -SAM HOISINGTON

The Human Rights Campaign, which claims to be the largest LGBTQ rights organization in the world, has officially condemned efforts by state lawmakers to force a closure of the Arkansas Tech University Department of Diversity and Inclusion. The lawmakers are proposing an amendment to House Bill 1213 that, if passed, will require Arkansas Tech University to dismantle its Department of Diversity and Inclusion. A draft of the amendment received by The Courier clearly seeks to eliminate the Department, saying "Arkansas Tech University shall not budget, allocate, commit for expenditure or expend any funding for the Arkansas Tech Department of Diversity and Inclusion or its successor." http://www.couriernews.com/view/full_story/27379603/article-HRC-opposes-effort-to-shut-ATU-office

Monday, March 20, 2017

University of Minnesota Postdoc Raises Could Nix Contracts - Associated Press

New pay raises for postdoctoral associates at the University of Minnesota are straining some faculty budgets and causing concern over potential cuts to postdoctoral contracts. Kathryn Brown, the university's vice president for human resources, told the Minnesota Daily her office established a minimum postdoctoral associate salary of nearly $47,500 after the U.S. Department of Labor announced updates to a federal employee protection law in 2016. The new regulation allowed employees with wages below that salary to be eligible for overtime pay. She said the change impacted postdoctoral associates and about 600 other employees. Brown said the university administration hasn't reverted the postdoctoral base salary despite a court injunction that stopped the updates last fall. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/minnesota/articles/2017-03-11/university-of-minnesota-postdoc-raises-could-nix-contracts

Ship U adapts to survive as state colleges face crisis - Jim Hook, Public Opinion News

Enrollment is slipping, tuition costs are soaring. State funding has been flat. The 14 colleges in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education are in trouble. “The system as it exists today is not sustainable,” Chancellor Frank T. Brogan recently told lawmakers. Everything is on the table as the system evaluates itself. State lawmakers may undertake their own study. Campus mergers or closings are possible. Shippensburg University has not been immune to system’s woes. Enrollment peaked at SU in 2010-11. Since then, the student population has dropped 16 percent. Tuition is up 45 percent. The university’s operating budget increased 8 percent. SU is on par with the other campuses in PASSHE when it comes to the numbers -- enrollment, budgeting and construction. Supporters say SU’s academics stand out. http://www.publicopiniononline.com/story/news/local/2017/03/11/ship-u-adapts-survive-state-colleges-face-crisis/98598790/

What did the university system do with the money? - Rob Port, West Fargo Pioneer

"We got a truckload of money for the past several biennia with the same number of students so we should have made huge gains with the ones we had," a campus insider told me this week. "We have nothing to show for it but some new buildings." University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy and North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani have been in the media recently calling for tuition hikes. Campus academics have been carpetbombing the state's opinion pages with letters decrying layoffs and spending reductions. UND professor Thomasine Heitkamp — sister to U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp — even called on lawmakers to tap the state's Legacy Fund to prop up higher ed budgets. http://www.westfargopioneer.com/opinion/columns/4231705-port-what-did-university-system-do-money

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Filling the gaps with student tuition - The (Albany) Democrat-Herald

Just last week, the University of Oregon’s board of trustees authorized a plan to increase in-state undergraduate tuition by 10.6 percent. It’s the largest tuition increase at that university since 2010. Portland State University officials are considering a similar increase. Oregon State University officials are mulling a 4 to 8 percent tuition increase, in addition to possible cutbacks in programs: President Ed Ray has said the university could be looking at a $20 million annual shortfall. OSU officials are mulling curtailing salary increases, going slow on new hires and leaving some open positions vacant. The University of Oregon is considering program cutbacks, with reports surfacing that it will cut $9 million from its budget. http://www.nrtoday.com/opinion/editorials/as_others_see_it/filling-the-gaps-with-student-tuition/article_cbc4e90b-7c30-56ad-9a12-e2ae27927a29.html

Marshall finding new efficiencies to cover costs - LACIE PIERSON, Herald-Dispatch

The old saying goes that hindsight is 20/20, but administrators, faculty and staff at Marshall have spent the past three years coming together to create a clearer vision of how the university can adapt to the state's budget shortfalls and, when it's all said and done, come out of the other side as a more efficient and productive university. No one knew what the Marshall 20/20 strategic planning process would yield when meetings for the initiative began in the fall of 2012, under the administration of the late former Marshall President Stephen Kopp, but what those involved have achieved since then are continued savings, ways to generate more revenue and improve services to students, said Marshall Vice President of Marketing and Communications Ginny Painter. http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/marshall_university/marshall-finding-new-efficiencies-to-cover-costs/article_5b84bc67-901d-5b09-a50e-e8f47dd39c04.html

Choi addresses proposed University of Missouri budget cuts - KATIE KULL, Associated Press

University of Missouri System president Mun Choi said Friday the system has outlined a number of ways it would deal with possible budget cuts that would stem from a proposed 10 percent cut in state funding next fiscal year. The first action came Friday when he eliminated a contentious performance bonus program for top administrators. It came under scrutiny last week after an audit revealed the system doled out about $1.2 million in performance incentives to 18 top university administrators over the last three years. The bonuses were given without direct approval from the board of curators and without clear performance criteria, the audit said. Lawmakers criticized the program, saying the universities should be tightening their belts in anticipation of less state funding. http://www.semissourian.com/story/2393841.html

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Layoffs at ISU not off the table - Shelbie Harris, Journal Net

As Idaho State University grapples with a $12 million shortfall, partly a result of a 35 percent decline in students from the Middle East, employee layoffs aren’t off the table. When asked if layoffs are possible, ISU spokesman Stuart Summers said the university “is exploring all factors that go into preparing a balanced budget.” “There are still a number of factors that need to be considered, including the State Board of Education meeting in April, where student tuition and fees will be determined,” Summers said. “ISU is tightening the belt, and we feel confident that we'll prepare a budget that maintains our high level of education for students." http://idahostatejournal.com/members/layoffs-at-isu-not-off-the-table/article_9eb32314-4edf-59da-8657-f7e500d29bc2.html

UND releases 12 percent budget cut proposals - Andrew Haffner, Forum News Service

The University of North Dakota released on Friday draft proposals submitted by the heads of campus units to reduce budgets by 12 percent across the board. Much of the reduction plans submitted by UND’s academic colleges highlight decreases in personnel costs brought on by the recent round of voluntary separations, along with suggested closures of vacant tenure-track faculty lines. UND President Mark Kennedy said the final impact of voluntary separations and phased retirement programs -- which drew a combined total of 119 staff and faculty applicants earlier this winter -- won’t be fully known for more than a month. http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/und-releases-percent-budget-cut-proposals/article_070e4fbb-ee08-5ab4-bc25-270857ed4903.html

Dawson Community College pushes back on budget cuts, suggestion to defund campus - JAYME FRASER, Missoulian

More than a dozen Dawson Community College leaders, students and alumni took turns behind the lectern last week, trying to convince members of the House Appropriations Committee not to close their 75-year-old campus. A week earlier, Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock had suggested that budget cuts to higher education proposed by the Legislature would be deep enough that he might need to close a college – a statement he later walked back since the authority to do so lies with the Board of Regents for university-affiliated campuses and with separate local boards for community colleges. The regents and board leaders have said they have no plans to do so, but have warned that the proposed cuts will result in tuition increases and impact programs. But Glendive-area leaders say the threat remains and the closure of Dawson Community College could still be forced by legislators’ budget decisions. http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/montana-legislature/dawson-community-college-pushes-back-on-budget-cuts-suggestion-to/article_99fc357e-d5b0-52ff-bc53-d078e9a80ac3.html