Monday, May 21, 2018

Kansas State plans more than $15 million in budget cuts - The Associated Press

Kansas State plans to reduce its budget by more than $15 million for the upcoming school year. University officials on Thursday said the 5.27 percent cut will affect administrative offices, colleges and research and extension. Spokeswoman Jennifer Tidball says the reductions include $6.1 million for administrative units, such as the president and provost offices and Hale Library.

Evergreen looks to cut $6 million from its budget, raise fees due to enrollment drop - ABBY SPEGMAN, Olympian

The Evergreen State College will look to cut more than 10 percent from its operating budget for 2018-19 and raise student fees because of declining enrollment. In a memo to the college’s board of trustees, Evergreen President George Bridges wrote that cuts totaling $5.9 million are needed because of lower-than-expected tuition revenue. This will require “some” layoffs and eliminating “many positions that are currently vacant,” according to Bridges.

WV State University raises tuition, housing costs 5 percent - Ryan Quinn, WV Gazette

The West Virginia State University Board of Governors voted Friday to increase combined tuition and fees for all students by 5 percent this fall and declined to further the board chairman’s proposed severance pay policy. The university also will increase housing costs by 5 percent next school year. Last month, the board, in a voice vote with no nays heard, approved a budget for next fiscal year that assumed it would later approve a 5 percent increase in tuition and fees.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Kansas State University plans budget cuts - Associated Press

Kansas State plans to reduce its budget by more than $15 million for the upcoming school year. University officials on Thursday said the 5.27 percent cut will affect administrative offices, colleges and research and extension. Spokeswoman Jennifer Tidball says the reductions include $6.1 million for administrative units, such as the president and provost offices and Hale Library. About $6.3 million will affect all the university's colleges and $3 million will come from Kansas State Research and Extension.

For Sale: Small Music College, Beloved by Some, Future Uncertain - David W. Chen, NY Times

Facing what it says are daunting fiscal challenges, Rider, now a university, hopes to sell Westminster to a for-profit Chinese company for $40 million. Under the proposal, the buyer, Beijing Kaiwen Education Technology, would maintain the choir college’s programs and staff in Princeton, while seeking to franchise the Westminster name. “It’s like passing on your child to the next parent and saying they can give them a better future than we can give them,” said Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Rider’s president. “Yes, it’s sort of a tough, sad decision, but it’s almost tough love.”

Career Pathways Design Study: Findings in Brief - Julie Strawn and Deena Schwartz, ABT

The rapid rise of career pathways strategies, including an emphasis on them in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), creates a need for more evidence on this approach. Although substantial career pathways research is in progress, more research is needed to enhance the field’s knowledge about career pathways strategies, how best to configure them, and their long-term effects. To inform future research on career pathways approaches, the U.S. Department of Labor’s(DOL) Chief Evaluation Office contracted with Abt Associates to understand the state of the field and develop evaluation design options. Abt conducted knowledge development by scanning career pathways studies and initiatives implemented as of February 2017 and consulting with 44 experts, then created a menu of evaluation design optionsto answer priority research questions. This brief gives a short overview of the project’s four reports

Saturday, May 19, 2018

5 key strategies for successful institutional growth - Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive

With declining enrollment and rising tuition rates, colleges and universities have had to step outside the box in search of business strategies that help them stay ahead of the market shifts. A new report from Grant Thornton looks into the state of higher education and points out some of the most common trends impacting the industry, as well as strategies institutions have implemented to stand out. Among the key trends, the report points out that developing the

Stackable degrees could be the future of higher education, experts say - Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive

The alternative credential market is growing and the pace will not slow down, higher education experts said during a Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board briefing last week about the Higher Education Act. One of the panelists, Scott Pulsipher, president of Western Governors University, said that around "two-thirds of jobs are going to require some postsecondary credential, while only about 42% of adults currently have any postsecondary credential of any sort."  Van Ton-Quinlivan, vice chancellor of the California Community Colleges, added to these sentiments during the briefing, noting that she has seen the demand for "booster shot" credentials in the workplace especially as new technologies continue to be introduce. "As we begin to see the economy shift in that direction,' she said, "people will be building up portfolios and reputations that are beyond how we treat credentials in the current day."

Columbia College is eliminating book costs, fees for adult students - Ian Nickens, KOMU

Adult classes at Columbia College are now going to cost just one fee for courses, and that fee covers everything. Starting in the 2018 fall semester, evening and online undergraduate students will only pay $375 per credit hour for classes, and that includes books. "We found a way to essentially negotiate in bulk with the publishers," said Columbia College President Scott Dalrymple. "The college itself is buying the textbooks and we're passing those savings along to the students." Columbia College calls this new way of charging tuition "Truition." The program is meant to give students who are also balancing a job an easier way to afford their education. "Truition applies to all the other students we have across the country who are generally coming part-time and for whom fees and books are significant costs and barriers to going to college," Dalrymple said.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Focusing on the Finish Line - Ashley A. Smith, Inside Higher Ed

A new analysis from Civitas Learning shows that many students are dropping out of their colleges despite having earned the majority of the credits they need for their degrees. Civitas found that on average nearly one in five students who leave college without a degree complete 75 percent or more of the credit threshold for a degree before leaving. And one in 10 dropouts has reached at least 90 percent of the credit threshold. The analysis is based on data from 30 two-year and 23 four-year universities that use Civitas student success tools and represent more than 300,000 degree-seeking students.

Free textbooks? Federal government is on track with a pilot program - Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Washington Post

Open-source textbooks have emerged as a cost-effective solution for cash-strapped college students. They can download the material free or print copies for a nominal price. (Scott Anderson/NewsTribune via AP) The federal government’s first major investment in the free use of textbooks remains on track, Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said Monday in a letter examining a pilot program by the Education Department. Congress designated $5 million in the fiscal 2018 budget to support the creation or expansion of open-educational resources: peer-reviewed academic material released under an intellectual property license that permits free use. The money is an outgrowth of legislation Durbin introduced in the fall.

2018’s Cities with the Most & Least Student Debt - WalletHub

Student-loan debts are more unsustainable in some places than others. WalletHub therefore compared the median student-loan balance against the median earnings of adults aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree in each of 2,515 U.S. cities to determine where Americans are most overleveraged on their college-related debts. Read on for our findings, expert advice from a panel of researchers and a full description of our methodology.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

State Support for Colleges Declines As Student Diversity Grows - Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer

As the largest single spending category for state governments (Medicaid is larger, but the federal government supplies a majority of the money), public education took a particularly large blow from this double whammy of reduced revenues and tax-cut-driven spending cuts. Within the education category, higher education was particularly targeted for cuts, mostly for the simple reason that public colleges and university had the alternative revenue source of raising tuition charges.

Pilot Linking Degrees and Earnings Gets First Try at U Texas - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The first-year median earnings for an undergraduate who received his or her degree in health and physical education/fitness at the University of Texas at Austin is $39,441. The median debt for that individual is $24,306. After 10 years, the earnings reach $70,262. For an undergraduate who majored in computer and information sciences, the median income for year one is $85,334; the median debt is $27,644. By the tenth year the CS major would have a median income of $117,418. That's the kind of detailed information that prospective students and their families would find helpful in sorting through college choices.

Higher education should serve state’s working class - SANDY STRUNK, Lancaster Online

Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney was quick to respond, “It would be relatively cheap and cowardly to close and merge.” Kenneth Mash, President of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties agreed, stating the RAND report should have suggested more funding so the state system can “truly deliver on (its) legislatively mandated mission to provide a high-quality, affordable education for working-class Pennsylvanians.” In its July 2017 report assessing the viability of PSSHE, the National Center of Higher Education Management Systems described PSSHE’s “bleak fiscal future,” noting if the current trends continue, “it is just a matter of time before all of the universities become financially unsustainable. The report goes on to deliver a scathing indictment of the governance structure, which “stifles effective and strategic leadership.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Illinois public universities can’t get past the lingering effects of state budget crisis - Rich Miller, Chicago Sun Times

Eastern Illinois University’s legislative liaison Katie Anselment had some strong words for legislators during an Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee hearing last week. Anselment testified against a bill that would create a pilot program to allow a Downstate community college to offer nursing bachelor’s degrees. And then, later in her testimony, Anselment had a mic-drop moment: “At a time when public universities are being admonished to up our enrollments despite declining numbers of high school graduates, to identify and implement more efficiencies in our operations, to focus on what we do best and to consider eliminating duplicative offerings, this bill sets the stage for opening up 48 new taxpayer-funded competitors in a state that has recently proven unable to reliably support the nine universities it already has.”

University of Northern Colorado projects $597 average undergrad cost hike for 2018-19 school year - Tommy Wood, Greeley Tribune

UNC has consistently raised tuition in part because it has failed to meet the enrollment targets it set for its five-year fiscal sustainability plan. The university's goal was to hit 15,000 students by fall 2018; this budget projects 13,246 students in the fall, which would be a 2.1 percent increase from last year. UNC's failure to hit its enrollment target, coupled with significant investments in recent years left the university with a $5-million-plus deficit in 2018-19. And because UNC can't increase tuition at the rate it previously could, it's crunching other areas. Faculty and exempt staff salaries are being frozen, except for promotion-based raises.

The New School students occupy cafeteria over mass layoff threat to unionized workers - Rajvi Desai, AM NY

After 45 food service workers at The New School received a notice that they were going to be laid off, hundreds of students took over the university cafeteria. Four days later, they are still there. Members of the Unite Here! Local 100 union asked students to rally for them in a meeting on April 27, after an announcement made by The New School administration to replace cafeteria workers with non-union employees sparked anger within the school community.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Governor Deal signs legislation, budget in Tifton - Eve Guevara, Union Recorder

“The other two bills specifically are aimed at helping rural Georgia,” Deal said. “ABAC is going to be an important ingredient in making that legislation meaningful and I appreciate the support we have seen from ABAC. It’s important that we be able to provide the full gamut of economic development opportunities to all of our state.” The CRPI will be housed at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and will focus on investment and revitalization for rural parts of the state. Deal said it would be a resource hub that will consolidate a lot of different functions in one place. “This will be a center where you bring in multiple different activities under the same organizational structure so they can share ideas and resources,” Deal said.

Crain's editorial: University of Akron must go big or go home - Crain's Cleveland

A few months back, we penned an editorial praising Matt Wilson for the work he had done at the University of Akron after stumbling unexpectedly into its presidency. A few minutes before that piece went to press, though, news broke that Wilson was a finalist for the presidency at the University of Central Florida. The announcement, which blindsided many in the Akron community and forced us to make a last-minute edit to our piece, was the beginning of the unraveling of the Wilson presidency. For the third time in five years, the University of Akron was looking for a permanent leader.

Minnesota West in “dire need” of state financial support - Alyssa Sobotka, Globe

According to Minnesota West President Terry Gaalswyk, with approximately $12 million worth of deferred maintenance needs across its southwest Minnesota campuses, the college is in dire need of financial support to not only maintain its facilities, but continuing to support its area community and industry needs.“We are standing at a critical point relative to the needs of our communities, our industry partners and the students we’re missioned to serve,” Gaalswyk said. “We walk a tight line on the budget side relative to meeting the needs of our communities, and yet providing space that is relevant and aligned with the needs of the students choosing to attend the organization.”