Tuesday, June 28, 2016

University of Alaska reorganization process begins - News-Miner

The massive overhaul of the University of Alaska got underway Monday in Fairbanks, and one of the first things to be settled was the future of the system's engineering programs. Both the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Anchorage will keep their engineering programs under the reorganization effort, which is expected to include the consolidation of other academic programs. “Engineering research is needed to build Alaska,” said Bill Schnabel, a member of the engineering review team, according to a news release on the meeting. “The plan to continue supporting engineering research at UAA and UAF is important to our state.” http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/university-of-alaska-reorganization-process-begins/article_4a411d28-375b-11e6-9e40-eb60628178d0.html

Unions ask Elgin CC board to reconsider layoffs - Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald

Two Elgin Community College employee unions made a plea to the college board Tuesday to reconsider layoffs and elimination of a surgical technology program. It comes on the heels of the college board adopting an $80.3 million 2017 operating budget, which includes reductions to stave off a projected $2.7 million deficit next fiscal year. Anywhere between seven and 30 full-time and part-time support personnel positions could be affected by layoffs, saving roughly $482,000, officials said. http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20160622/news/160629707/

Saint Xavier cites state budget crisis for Gilbert closing - Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown

Illinois' anniversary of when it began operating without a comprehensive state budget is next month. With no end in sight, the fallout continues. The impasse is affecting people across the state and even some as far away as Arizona. Recently, officials at Saint Xavier University in Chicago announced that because of the funding uncertainty in Illinois, specifically the state's inability to deliver on promised grant money to low-income students, they would close a newly opened satellite campus in Gilbert, Ariz., at the end of the fall semester. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/news/ct-sta-saint-xavier-arizona-folo-st-0621-20160620-story.html

Monday, June 27, 2016

Joliet Junior College business center closes because of state budget constraints - FELIX SARVER, Herald News

State budgets constraints affecting Joliet Junior College have led to the closing of its Small Business Development Center – but other options to help entrepreneurs will still be available. Amy Murphy, the college’s corporate and community services director, was informed in May that the center would not receive any more funds until the state had a budget, according to JJC. Murphy is the director of the center. For just under a year, Gov. Bruce Rauner and state lawmakers have been in a stalemate over approval of a new budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2015 – and ends June 30 of this year. The center will be closed June 30 after being open for 30 years. http://www.theherald-news.com/2016/06/20/joliet-junior-college-business-center-closes-because-of-state-budget-constraints/a8c97h2/

Coursera's Koller: 'Yesterday's degree doesn't prepare for tomorrow's jobs' - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Coursera President and Co-Founder Daphne Koller says that the college diploma of 15 years ago doesn’t provide the necessary skills for a job in the 21st century. According to her podcast interview with Recode, Koller says that expanding educational access with coursework designed for skill-building in key industries is the way to increase interest in education and career preparation. Koller says that artificial intelligence and virtual reality components of learning will replace traditional classroom lectures. http://www.educationdive.com/news/courseras-koller-yesterdays-degree-doesnt-prepare-for-tomorrows-jobs/421277/

Accreditor Puts 5 Colleges on Probation - Ellen Wexler, Inside Higher Ed

Four small private colleges -- along with one community college -- have been placed on probation by the regional accreditor for the southern United States. The probations were announced last week at a meeting of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. At the four private colleges, all of which have struggled in recent years, the accreditor cited concerns over financial management. Spring Hill College and Kentucky Wesleyan College will be on probation for six months, while Centenary College in Louisiana and Georgetown College in Kentucky will be on probation for 12 months. Angelina College, a community college in Texas, will also be on probation for 12 months. Georgetown, a private Christian college in Georgetown, Ky., has been struggling for years. Facing a $4 million deficit and declining enrollment in 2014, the institution announced that it would cut 20 percent of its faculty, end four majors and cut employee and retiree benefits, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/06/20/southern-accreditor-puts-five-colleges-probation

Sunday, June 26, 2016

University of Wyoming enrollment comes up short - Thaddeus Mast, Laramie Boomerang

The University of Wyoming’s 2016 fall enrollment is down more than 400 students from this time last year. “As of our May 30 comparison date, we were down about 359 students with the year-to date comparison for fall 2016 on the Laramie campus and down about 120 students in outreach,” said Sara Axelson, University of Wyoming vice president for student affairs. “That’s not acceptable, but we have many efforts in place.” Axelson explained that several reasons make the number seem misleading, and she expects the number to quickly rise. http://www.wyomingnews.com/news/university-of-wyoming-enrollment-comes-up-short/article_919fb5b2-36a7-11e6-912a-634f6aa4b6e8.html

The Philosophy of What Makes a University - Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed

When Western Illinois University’s Board of Trustees on Friday approved cutting four degree programs as majors and modifying four more, it looked like another chapter of belt tightening at a cash-strapped public institution suffering collateral damage amid state budget difficulties. But administrators didn’t come out and blame finances. The programs arrived on the chopping block because they exhibited declining or low enrollment, Western Illinois leaders said -- not because the university needed to find millions of dollars in savings to make up for an expected plunge in state funding. Some at the university are skeptical cost cutting wasn’t an ultimate driver at an institution planning to slash $24.7 million (10 percent) from its budget in 2017. And they’re openly questioning the process the university used to identify programs to be eliminated or changed. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/06/14/questions-raised-about-cuts-liberal-arts-programs-western-illinois

KU proposes even larger tuition increase in response to late state budget cuts - Sara Shepherd, LJ World

Kansas University is now proposing a 5 percent tuition increase for the upcoming school year, an even larger hike than the 4 percent increase proposed a month ago. The Kansas Board of Regents is scheduled to vote on revised tuition proposals from KU and other state universities on Wednesday. Numbers made public this week by the Regents show that, like KU, most universities did elect to ask for even larger tuition increases than initially planned. The board heard universities’ tuition proposals at its May meeting, but midway through the day’s presentations learned that Gov. Sam Brownback signed the state budget and ordered additional allotment cuts to higher education, including cuts to KU that were millions more than expected. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2016/jun/13/ku-proposes-even-larger-tuition-increase-response-/

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Budget cuts deliver powerful blow to MU Libraries - RUDI KELLER, Columbia Tribune

The way campus divisions implement University of Missouri budget cuts for the coming fiscal year will determine whether future reductions are decided centrally or whether control remains in the hands of deans and department chairs, Vice Chancellor for Finance Rhonda Gibler said Monday. Deans, department chairs and division directors are making decisions about how each campus unit absorbs a 5 percent cut in general fund support. In the College of Arts and Science, a cut of $4.2 million means 57 fewer faculty and staff positions. Ann Riley, interim director of MU Libraries, said the cuts mean an end to routine purchases of books in various subject areas in favor of careful decisions about which titles to buy. http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/education/turmoil_at_mu/budget-cuts-deliver-powerful-blow-to-mu-libraries/article_711a5104-97d7-5fc4-b2e9-cc1ea0a4ef46.html

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College has announced budget cuts that include layoffs - Associated Press

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College has announced budget cuts that include layoffs and the elimination of one degree program and two certificate programs, plus a proposed tuition increase. The Miami News-Record reports that NEO President Jeff Hale said Monday the cuts are due the college receiving nearly $1.5 million fewer dollars in state funding than last year. The Legislature reduced funding to all higher education by 16 percent as lawmakers worked to fill what had been a $1.3 billion shortfall in the state budget. http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/21e622eb513045e59908ee4f26315a32/OK--Northeastern-Oklahoma-A-and-M-Cuts

Lake Superior State University Makes More Lay Offs, $2M Budget Deficit - Blayke Roznowski, Fox 32

Some students are disappointed after learning about more staff lay-offs at Lake Superior State University. The university has been making efforts to restructure to help, but Lake State is facing a $2 million structural deficit currently. "We're reliant more on tuition and more on the revenue that comes that way and that makes us more susceptible to enrollment changes," LSSU president Thomas Pleger said. "A greater impact on the operation of the institution and we need to get those things into line." The most recent cuts have left five more people without jobs, making the total almost 30. http://www.9and10news.com/story/32211720/lake-superior-state-university-makes-more-lay-offs-2m-budget-deficit

Friday, June 24, 2016

University of Missouri College of Arts and Science faces financial instability as O’Brien departs - TAYLOR BLATCHFORD, Columbia Missourian

As Dean Michael O’Brien prepares to leave MU’s College of Arts and Science in July, his replacement will take on an unstable financial situation and substantial budget cuts. The college finished the 2014-15 school year with a $5.24 million deficit in its general fund. It’s facing a 5 percent budget cut amounting to $4.2 million due to a university-wide enrollment drop of 2,600 students. Arts and Science’s freshman enrollment deposits are down by 487 for the fall. http://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/higher_education/college-of-arts-and-science-faces-financial-instability-as-o/article_2a64c304-2e75-11e6-b710-9be4109f2468.html

Higher Ed cuts prompt OSU tuition hike - Michelle Charles, Stillwater News Press

The OSU/A&M Board of Regents approved a 2017 operating budget that includes tuition increases for the more than 35,000 students at OSU’s five branch campuses: OSU-Stillwater and Tulsa, OSU Center for Health Sciences, OSU-Oklahoma City and OSU Institute of Technology. The increase is meant to offset cuts to state funding. Starting this fall, OSU-Stillwater tuition and mandatory fees will increase 7 percent for in-state and non-resident undergraduate students, as well as in-state graduate students. Non-resident graduates students will pay 5.2 percent more. The increases are based on 30 credit hours for undergraduate students and 24 credit hours for graduate students. http://www.stwnewspress.com/news/higher-ed-budget-cuts-prompt-osu-tuition-hike/article_38cad186-34ba-11e6-9e6d-9731fad5612a.html

Bad budget news reverberates in ND state higher education board - DAVE KOLPACK, Associated Press

A dire report on North Dakota's budget situation led the state Board of Higher Education on Friday to postpone action on contracts for college and university presidents. The board had planned to vote on new contract terms for seven presidents, and salaries for all presidents, the chancellor and vice chancellors during its regularly scheduled meeting in Washburn. But board President Kathleen Neset said additional time is needed to ensure the higher education budget "reflects the strategic direction" of the board. "Our budget will help map the course for our future and we need to be diligent in addressing this for both the campuses and the students," Neset said. http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/bad-budget-news-reverberates-in-state-higher-education-board/article_66d06b6e-e621-58a3-bb83-f5f2dc113f37.html

Thursday, June 23, 2016

JJC adopts budget, avoids layoffs - Alicia Fabbre, Daily Southtown

Despite uncertainty about state funding, Joliet Junior College trustees adopted a budget that avoids layoffs and allows for the completion of the City Center Campus in Downtown Joliet. The $88.94 million budget takes into account the likelihood that state funding will come in significantly less than anticipated. The college last year expected roughly $10 million in state operating funds and grants, but only received about 25 percent of that, according to JJC Interim President Judy Mitchell. This year, state funding is anticipated to be $9.5 million, but will likely come in at a much lower amount if lawmakers can't address the state's financial issues. "I am sure students are extremely frustrated," Mitchell said. "We're going to look at what we can do to help them get through these difficult and challenging times. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/news/ct-sta-jjc-budget-s-0620-20160617-story.html

Small colleges facing biggest challenges with enrollment - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

New studies show that 80% of U.S. colleges and universities enroll 5,000 students or less, with 40% of those schools enrolling 1,000 or less. Following a peak in enrollment in 2011, the number of college students has steadily declined over the last five years, reducing the pool of students from which schools can recruit. As student enrollment trends toward entry into schools within a 250-mile radius, geography plays a major role in recruiting strategy. http://www.educationdive.com/news/small-colleges-facing-biggest-challenges-with-enrollment/421120/

NDSU to offer early retirement buyouts to cope with budget woes - Ethan Nelson, InForum

North Dakota State University is seeking employee buyouts, a move to reduce the school’s budget to cope with the state’s sagging tax revenue. In an email to NDSU employees Thursday, June 16, President Dean Bresciani announced an early retirement program for staff and faculty who have been at the school long enough, an offer aimed at helping NDSU, one of Fargo-Moorhead’s largest employers, meet the 10 percent budget cuts in its next two-year budget beginning next summer. A school work group is also proposing cutting pay and eliminating a college to help keep NDSU’s budget down. NDSU and other state universities and colleges joined most state agencies earlier this year in reducing current budgets by a little more than 4 percent due to the drop in state revenue caused by slumping agriculture and oil prices. http://www.inforum.com/news/4056100-ndsu-offer-early-retirement-buyouts-cope-budget-woes

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WIU BoT approves tentative FY17 spending plan - Lainie Steelman, McDonough Voice

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees approved a $221.3 million preliminary spending plan during Friday’s meeting on the Quad Cities campus. But how much the university will actually have to spend remains up in the air, due to the 2016 fiscal year budget impasse and the General Assembly’s failure to pass a budget for the new fiscal year starting July 1. Western, like the state’s other public university and community colleges, hasn’t received state appropriations for the 2016 fiscal year, which ends June 30. The FY17 preliminary spending plan is a decrease of $24.6 million over the FY16 all funds budget and assumes state appropriations will be a 20 percent reduction from the 2015 fiscal year level. The spending plan also factors in university income fund levels at a 10 percent reduction in enrollment. http://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/news/20160614/wiu-bot-approves-tentative-fy17-spending-plan

ECC's looming layoffs will cut up to 20 support staff - Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald

Elgin Community College leaders said layoffs are coming with anticipated funding shortfalls next year due to the state's budget crisis. The college board Tuesday night adopted an $80.3 million 2017 operating budget that is balanced, staving off earlier projections of a $2.7 million deficit next fiscal year. Layoffs will be among support personnel -- anywhere between seven and 20 full-time and part-time positions could be affected, saving roughly $480,000. "Every college or university has been affected by the state budget situation," college President David Sam said. "There's a limit to what we are able to do, and for the first time we are faced with the possibility of a layoff. "We are in uncharted territory. We have worked hard to ensure that we will keep any disruption to the college to a minimum. Nobody enjoys doing this. What we are trying to do is to minimize the impact to students." http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20160614/news/160619409/

University of Wyoming president to evaluate program cuts - BOB MOEN, Casper Star Tribune

University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols said she will declare a financial crisis that will allow for the evaluation and possible elimination of academic and nonacademic programs at the state's only public four-year university. The university has to cut more than $40 million from its budget over the next two years to compensate for reduced state aid because of a drop in tax revenue from the downturn in Wyoming's energy extraction industry. Nichols said declaring a financial crisis allows her to appoint a committee that will review all programs at the university this summer. "It kind of opens the door to allow you to really look at elimination of academic programs," she said. http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/university-of-wyoming-trustees-to-hear-plan-on-budget-cuts/article_c21d6d4e-42fb-50d3-bafe-5c3b808b131f.html