Saturday, September 14, 2019

Report: Michigan skimps on higher education, and students of color pay the price. - KOBY LEVIN, Chalkbeat

Budget cuts at Michigan’s public universities are disproportionately hurting black students by making it more difficult for them to attend college, a new report argues. The report, by The Century Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan think tank, declares a “college affordability crisis in Michigan.” It isn’t clear how many students don’t attend college due to rising tuition costs versus other factors — just 28 percent of students who graduated from the Detroit Public Schools Community District in 2017 completed one year of college credits within a year of graduation. But the report suggests that affordability hurts college attendance rates in communities of color.

Some programs dear to rural Georgia lawmakers in planned budget cuts - James Salzer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Some areas of the University System of Georgia’s budget that are near and dear to the small-town lawmakers who dominate the General Assembly — from farm research to libraries — are being targeted for millions of dollars in cuts under plans developed to meet Gov. Brian Kemp’s call to reduce spending. Kemp has ordered state agencies to develop proposals to cut their budgets 4% this fiscal year and 6% in fiscal 2021, which begins next July 1.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Voice of The Southern: The good and the bad inside SIUC's enrollment

This fall’s enrollment is down just 8.75 percent compared to last year. That number seems positively exciting when compared to a 13.6 decline a few years ago. And, new student enrollment dipped “just” 8.47 percent, much better than the 18.8 percent decline last year. The cold hard fact is that enrollment is down — again. Not that the numbers come as any great shock. University officials knew that last year’s graduating class was significantly larger than this year’s incoming freshman group. This fall’s enrollment is 11,695. To find a lower enrollment at SIUC, a person would have to travel back in time to the 1950s.

Funding cuts, high tuition spawn a cost crisis at Mich. colleges - Ron French, Bridge Magazine

Michigan families are facing a college affordability crisis caused by a “perfect storm” of falling wages and state disinvestment in higher education, according to a new report released Friday. That affordability crisis is hitting hardest among Michigan’s rural and low-income families, according to the report, conducted by the New York-based Century Foundation, which describes itself as a progressive, nonpartisan think tank.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

IBM Study: The Skills Gap is Not a Myth, But Can Be Addressed with Real Solutions - Yahoo Finance

In the next three years, as many as 120 million workers in the world's 12 largest economies may need to be retrained or reskilled as a result of AI and intelligent automation, according to a new IBM (NYSE: IBM) Institute for Business Value (IBV) study. In addition, only 41 percent of CEOs surveyed say that they have the people, skills and resources required to execute their business strategies. The study, which includes input from more than 5,670 global executives in 48 countries, points to compounding challenges that require a fundamental shift in how companies meet and manage changing workforce needs throughout all levels of the enterprise.

College declares financial emergency - My Columbian Basin

Walla Walla Community College President Derek Brandes declared a financial emergency Tuesday and announced immediate reductions to help balance the college’s budget to ensure WWCC’s long-term sustainability. Brandes said WWCC is experiencing declining enrollment. He added that low unemployment and changes in state funding for community colleges are contributing to a $2.7 million deficit in the college’s 2019-20 budget.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Thousands of university workers in Oregon prepare for strike - Claire Withycombe, Salem Reporter

 As thousands of public university workers in Oregon prepare to strike at the end of the month, the union representing them claims there are fundamental problems with how the universities spend money. A report released Tuesday by SEIU Local 503 is the latest volley ahead of a looming strike by nearly 5,000 classified workers at Oregon’s seven public universities.

Tuition increases: a dangerous trend for state schools - Greg Fournier, Collegian Columnist

One of the most attractive aspects of state schools is that they are significantly cheaper than private schools. Any time the Board of Trustees at a school like the University of Massachusetts approves an additional tuition increase, this advantage which state schools have over private ones shrinks. In fact, that is exactly what happened over the summer: tuition at all UMass campuses increased up to 2.5 percent at the direction of the Board for the 2020 fiscal year. This tuition increase puts the cost of a year at UMass Amherst close to $30,000, including room and board.  While most debt-concerned parents and students are likely lamenting this increase, my guess is that Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy is relieved.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

WWCC makes cuts amid funding crisis The college has a $2.7 million budget deficit in part because of low enrollment. - SHEILA HAGAR, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

Walla Walla Community College is in a state of financial emergency, President Derek Brandes said Tuesday.   He is blaming low class enrollment and Washington state’s funding formula for community colleges that creates a $2.7 million budget deficit here for the 2019-2020 budget. In an interview with the Union-Bulletin, Brandes said immediate reductions will happen to balance the budget and ensure long-term sustainability for the school.

UM forecasts enrollment, budget, faculty drop for FY 2020 - PATRICK REILLY, Missoulian

The University of Montana has planned for a smaller student body, budget and faculty in the 2020 Fiscal Year. On Wednesday, the Montana University System published its campuses' FY 2020 operating budgets, which the Montana Board of Regents will vote on when it meets in Butte next week. Undergraduate enrollment at UM’s flagship Missoula campus has dropped 33.5% since 2011, and it stood at 9,407 last spring. During Fiscal Year 2019, which ended June 30, UM had undergraduate enrollment of 9,247 full-time equivalent students

Monday, September 9, 2019

Fitch downgrades Alaska again for state budget problems - Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce

According to Fitch, Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy’s desire to pay a full, statutorily calculated PFD “elevates the state’s fixed cost burden and reduces its ability to respond to future economic weakness as revenue growth is expected to be modest.” The agency’s analysts also believe that “substantial reductions” to the state’s health care and university budgets could have consequences for future economic growth in the state. A prolonged budget debate resulted in Dunleavy vetoing $50 million from the state’s Medicaid budget in addition to a $70 million cut instituted by the Legislature. Dunleavy agreed to a $25 million cut — part of $70 million over three years — to the state’s support of the University of Alaska.

Changing the Equation: Empowering Adult Learners with Edtech - Luminary Labs, US Dept of Ed

These case studies — featuring diverse stakeholders, actions and approaches, and lessons learned — prove there is not a single prescriptive path to supporting successful adult learning. Administrators, educators, and funders can apply the insights that work best in their unique contexts to advance adult education in their own communities.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Seventeen Questions Every College Should Be Asking - Ben Sasse, US Senator/former college president, the Atlantic

Here’s the problem: Higher education is in the middle of multiple, massive disruptions—and it isn’t clear that the leaders of the sector grasp the magnitude of the waves of change breaking on their ivy-covered gates. As just one example, it is decreasingly clear what purpose a four-year degree should serve when technology is changing the nature of work. These tidal economic and cultural changes should be prompting serious soul-searching in every board and faculty meeting, but most universities are deliberating with the urgency of 1951 becoming 1952.

5 issues college leaders will confront this year - Hallie Busta, Education Dive

Enrollment, finances, immigration, free speech. Many of the issues expected at the top of college presidents' work lists are carryovers from last year, with a few new wrinkles. Higher ed watched this summer as one public system reacted to drastic cuts in state funding. And college leaders raised yet more flags that the current political climate is threatening the supply of international students. Meanwhile, issues around Title IX are likely to heat up again with the expected release of new regulations this fall. "It's in many ways more of the same as well as a bunch of new complications," said Terry Hartle, senior vice president of government and public affairs at the American Council on Education (ACE).

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Why colleges could start closing nationwide - Brook Silva-Braga, CBS News

For millions of students, Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer vacation and the start of another school year. But for the first time in 185 years, there will be no fall semester at Green Mountain College in western Vermont. The school fell victim to trends in higher education that could soon impact hundreds of other schools. One expert predicts that 25% of colleges will fail in the next 20 years.

Fiscal assessment of Lincoln University completed - Joe McLean, News 17

The university's declining enrollment, budget process, financial reporting, enterprising risk management, succession planning, employee retention, student financial aid process, academic programs, sponsored research, revenue generation, internal control and administrative policies are among the items addressed in the report, according to the press release.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Ithaca College President Collado addresses finances at All-College Gathering

Collado said that the college started the 2019–20 academic year with a $5.5 million operating margin, including a $4.7 million contingency, which is used for unexpected expenses. She said this is compared to a $4.1 million operating margin last year. “These numbers do not tell us everything’s fine,” Collado said. “What they tell us, actually, is right now, at this point in history, we’re holding our own while balancing the sense of urgency that the higher-education landscape, which we hear about on a regular basis, is constantly redefining.”

Victoria College adopts budget, conducts first public hearing for tax rate - Amber Aldaco, Victoria Advocate

The Victoria College board adopted a budget Monday afternoon that is $373,000 less than its previous annual budget. Keith Blundell, vice president of administrative services at the college, told the board the decrease in the $33 million budget is linked several factors, including an $88,000 decrease in state appropriations for the next two years.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

College students find cost of textbooks a barrier as MCC looks for answers -CARL HOOVER , Waco Tribune-Herald

New car buyers know the feeling of sticker shock, when their interest in a car hits the reality of its price. For college students, it is the sticker on their textbooks causing the shock, with book expenditures following tuition and fees as a major financial hurdle. The fall semester at McLennan Community College starts Monday, and a visit to the college bookstore days earlier found some students discovering their first class assignment involved figuring out how to pay for their books.

N.C. legislature proposes new ‘piecemeal’ budget plan for UNC System - Jean Brannum, Technician

On Thursday, North Carolina legislature proposed a new “piecemeal” budget plan for the 2019-20 school year. The plan will attempt to tackle time-sensitive budget issues, namely employee raises, in the UNC System following a veto of the state budget by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in late June. According to Holly Durham, assistant vice chancellor of finance, the veto means the state doesn’t have a new budget for the upcoming year and will continue to use the 2018-2019 budget.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Our View: The climbing cost to attend UMass - Eagle Tribune

The University of Massachusetts announced the other week that it’s putting together a group of trustees to size up the system’s financial health and, promises President Marty Meehan, study ways to avoid hiking tuition and fees next year. At the very least, he says, they’ll hold costs to the rate of inflation. Too bad Meehan and UMass leaders weren’t as concerned about the pocketbooks of students and families this year.