Wednesday, October 1, 2014

UMW preparing to make reductions - Lindley Estes THE FREE LANCE–STAR

The University of Mary Washington’s financial officers are preparing for cuts in the state-funded portion of the budget. The university’s board of visitors received a report on the school’s preliminary budget reduction plan at its meeting Friday. The plan provides for the worst-case scenario, which calls for 5 percent in savings during the current fiscal year and 7 percent next year. UMW’s $112 million university spending plan was approved in May when the board expected to receive more support from the state. State funding accounts for 22 percent of the budget. “We are planning for dire circumstances,” said UMW CFO Rick Pearce. Specific cutbacks are still in the works.

Syracuse University students protest budget cuts that they say hurt minorities - Jolene Almendarez,

About 150 Syracuse University students Friday protested funding cuts they say disproportionately hurt students of color on campus. One key was the university's plan to reduce its Posse Scholars program recruitment efforts, said David Jackson, a sophomore at the university who was recruited from Miami through the program. The university is reducing its recruitment from Atlanta, Los Angeles and Miami to only Miami, Syracuse University Media Manager Keith Kobland said. Students already attending the university under the scholars program are grandfathered in.

Reverse losses in higher education -Editorial: The Courier-Journal

Times are tough for higher education in Kentucky and University of Louisville President James Ramsey didn’t hold back in this week’s annual State of the University address. He compared U of L’s long slog though years of state budget cuts amid increased demands on the university to the “Hell Week” that puts would-be Navy Seals to the ultimate endurance test — a week, he noted, that includes hours of grueling exercise and being buried up to the neck in cold mud. “Just as the Navy Seals who are weakened by lack of sleep and nonstop training, we are weakened and frustrated by budget cuts, and those who put self-interest ahead of public good,” he said.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Enrollment losses drive Cal U Pennsylvania to lay off 16 - Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

California University of Pennsylvania, facing an enrollment loss this fall, will lay-off 16 non-faculty employees and leave unfilled another 14 vacant positions, interim President Geraldine Jones told a gathering of faculty and staff today. Ms. Jones announced to the fall faculty and staff convocation that the affected employees will be notified tomorrow. The 14 positions being left vacant include a few teaching positions in low-enrolled programs as well as staff and management, school spokeswoman Christine Kindl said.

Ky. university funds could be tied to academics - Chris Kenning, Courier-Journal

For more than a decade, Kentucky has funded its universities with an outdated formula that doesn't account for changes in enrollment or reward schools that are better at producing graduates, state higher education officials say. Divvying up state funds based largely on historic shares has prompted complaints about funding disparities, but efforts to revamp it have failed to gain traction — partly because years of state cuts since 2008 have left universities reluctant to risk any of their dwindling funds. Now, Kentucky's Council on Postsecondary Education and university presidents are meeting in hopes of hammering out a more modern, equitable formula that council President Robert King said could be finished by year's end and taken to the General Assembly in 2016, which would be a budget-setting year.

NYU Student Lucy Parks Writes Heartbreaking Letter About Dropping Out Of College - Tyler Kingkade, Huffington Post

A New York University has published the letter she personally wrote to school president John Sexton explaining her anger that she must drop out of college due to financial concerns, seeing it as the only way to avoid a life in education debt. Parks, who would've graduated in 2016, said she told the financial aid office in fall 2013 she needed at least another $10,000 or she'd have to leave, but was only offered an increase of $2,000:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cancer research and other medical funding is hurt by Congress's budget games - Stephen Koff, Plain Dealer

Congress instead plans to pass a temporary measure to take effect Oct. 1 with no or minimal spending increases. Congress may consider spending hikes in December, but only once its political makeup for 2015 is clear. This does not mean that Congress will or won't eventually cut or raise the amount of money it already provides for medical research at centers like Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic. And the timing of Congress's budget dance is only slightly coincidental with the fact that Dr. Stanton Gerson, director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Seidman Cancer Center, came to Washington to participate in Cancer Lobby Day, sponsored by the American Cancer Society's advocacy group, the Cancer Action Network. But Gerson and others in the research community happen to be witnessing what happens when Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on how to spend taxpayer money and the fiscal year ends.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Acting Winthrop president freezes 10 percent of university’s budget - Andrew Kiel, WRHI

Acting Winthrop University president Debra Boyd has enacted a ten-percent budget freeze on the university’s spending, ahead of a comprehensive study on the school’s expenditures. In an e-mail distributed earlier today to faculty and staff, Boyd said the funds recovered from the frozen operational spending would be held in a temporary account. That account, Boyd said, would be maintained until the university administration “can collectively analyze each area’s needs,” Boyd said. While all operating budgets will be a part of the review process, personnel budgets would not be affected, Boyd noted. “I think it’s good practice for us to do this on a larger scale…it’s something we’ve been doing on a smaller scale probably every year,” Boyd said in an interview Tuesday afternoon with WRHI.

UT law school enrollment decline worst in Ohio as slump spooks students - JENNIFER FEEHAN, Toledo Blade

Last week, the University of Toledo, whose law school took the biggest hit in the state this year with a 25.9 percent decline in first-year law students, announced a 13 percent reduction in tuition in an attempt to reverse the trend. UT law school Dean Daniel J. Steinbock said he believes tuition costs, the resulting debt, and the less-than-promising job market for new lawyers have combined to create an overall decline in people interested in law school. “When the crash happened in late 2008, it caused a lot of legal work to dry up, and some of the biggest firms in the country either laid off associates, delayed people they had made job offers to or paid them off to go away, and then they started hiring fewer lawyers or stopped hiring,” Mr. Steinbock said. “This was at some of the biggest firms, and it had a trickle-down effect, especially during that period when there were many more law school graduates than there were decent jobs.” All nine of Ohio’s law schools have seen applications and enrollment drop since law school enrollments peaked in 2010.

Professors on food stamps: The shocking true story of academia in 2014 - MATT SACCARO, Salon

Over three quarters of college professors are adjunct. Legally, adjunct positions are part-time, at-will employment. Universities pay adjunct professors by the course, anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000. So if a professor teaches three courses in both the fall and spring semesters at a rate of $3000 per course, they’ll make $18,000 dollars. The average full-time barista makes the same yearly wage. However, a full-time adjunct works more than 40 hours a week. They’re not paid for most of those hours. “If it’s a three credit course, you’re paid for your time in the classroom only,” said Merklein. “So everything else you do is by donation. If you hold office hours, those you’re doing for free. Your grading you do for free. … Anything we do with the student where we sit down and explain what happened when the student was absent, that’s also free labor. Some would call it wage theft because these are things we have to do in order to keep our jobs. We have to do things we’re not getting paid for. It’s not optional.”

Saturday, September 27, 2014

North Carolina must be dedicated to strong university system - Editorial: Star News

UNCW is again one of the top 20 regional universities in the South, according to the much-watched U.S. News & World Reports rankings. North Carolina also has several nationally ranked schools in the magazine's annual survey, including the flagship of the state system, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We need to educate as many young people as possible, and we cannot afford to turn away our brightest whose families aren't in the top 10 percent. Many admissions advisers will tell students and their parents not to look at the price tag but, for many families, that is what has had to happen. As prices go up, the financial aid pool is spread thin. Many families also are on the bubble – they earn too much money to qualify for most need-based aid and too little to afford the cost outright.

Budget cuts surprise faculty, staff - Taylor Shuck, the Baker Orange

To start the 2014-15 school year, Baker University was faced with a pile of budget cuts that surprised faculty and staff members. President Lynne Murray addressed Faculty Senate on Sept. 2 and discussed the cuts and their effects on the university. “I know you came in to budget cuts,” Murray said. “I am looking into that and greater than that, I’m looking into greater transparency.” Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Brian Posler said that most of the cuts were made before Murray arrived. He said the Board of Trustees directed former President Pat Long, outgoing Chief Operating Officer Susan Lindahl and him to find inefficiencies and places where cuts could be made.

With fall enrollment down 5.4 percent, GRCC must cut budget by $1 million - Brian McVicar, MLive

Fall enrollment is down 5.4 percent at Grand Rapids Community College, the steepest drop in the school’s fall headcount since a downward slide that began in 2011. As of Sept. 4, there were 15,719 students enrolled at GRCC, down from 16,613 the previous year. Like GRCC, community colleges across the state are also seeing their student bodies shrink. GRCC’s decline was steeper than anticipated this fall, and as a result, the college must cut its budget by $1 million. That’s because fewer students taking courses means the college receives less revenue from tuition and fees, the school’s biggest source of income. President Steven Ender said the $1 million in cuts will be made by leaving vacant positions unfilled on either a permanent or temporary basis.

Friday, September 26, 2014

State cuts to University budget higher than projected - Kathleen Smith and Louisa Luranc, Daily Cavalier

The University of Virginia is expecting cuts totaling about $8.1 million. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-VA, met with leaders of the General Assembly Monday morning to discuss cuts to the two-year state budget, announcing an agreement Monday afternoon. The University will increase cuts to 6.6 percent for a total of $8.1 million, according to Monday's press release. The original estimates were for a 5 percent reduction. Chief Operating Officer Patrick Hogan said the University will attempt to fulfill this mandate through energy conservation, the purchase of office supplies from a single vendor and leaving vacant positions unfilled. Fourth-year College student Meg Gould, the student representative to the Board of Visitors, emphasized the gravity of the cuts.

Operating budget shows University dependent on student tuition - Deanna Narveson, LSU Reveille

As the University pools together various resources, the 2014-2015 operating budget shows the LSU System is dependent on tuition, said Vice President for Finance and Administration Dan Layzell. The LSU Board of Supervisors approved the budget for this fiscal year on Friday, totaling more than $1.1 billion, down about 7 percent from last year. The largest piece of revenues for the system comes from students. Layzell said the trend of having tuition as the largest revenue source is a growing pattern in higher education in last several years.

More Pressure Than Ever: The 2014 Survey of College and University Admissions Directors - Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Last year was a difficult one for college admissions -- with institutions reporting more and more difficulty filling their classes. Things aren't any better and they may be a little worse, according to the 2014 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Admissions Directors. Slightly fewer colleges reported meeting their enrollment targets by May 1, more reported anxiety about meeting their targets, and more reported recruiting those who had already committed to other institutions. While the increases in all three areas were small, last year's totals were large -- and worrisome to many college leaders.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tuition discount hopes to lure Hoosiers back to college Stephanie Wang, Indianapolis Star

Could slashing costs be just the right lure to hook the 737,000 Hoosier adults who once aspired to college credentials but never reached the degree? State officials think so. Even if just a fraction of those adults with some college and no degree went back to school, it could help push Indiana's low college attainment rates up, squeeze down the widening workforce skills gap and prepare people for better-paying careers. But for people who decided to start families early, who needed to jump right into work, who just might not have been sure how college fit into their life plans, that decision is not always so simple.

College students pay more as subsidies drop - Stefanie Botelho, University Business

For the first time, students are paying, on average, half or more of their tuition’s cost. Subsidies for public higher ed institutions are the lowest in a decade—and for the first time, students are paying, on average, half or more of their tuition’s cost. Those are a few of the financial trends substantiated by a recent American Institutes for Research (AIR) study. According to “Trends in College Spending: 2001–2011,” a report by the Delta Cost Project at AIR, both public and government contributions to institutions continue to decrease. The study also showed that subsidies declined by 2 to 4 percent at public nonresearch institutions in 2011—an improvement over 2010, when declines averaged 8 percent or higher. However, public research universities suffered through a second year of 8 percent declines.

Virginia State University ‘in trouble,’ board member says - Karin Kapsidelis, Richmond Times-Dispatch

With enrollment down by 550 students, Virginia State University has closed residence halls, cut back its dining operation and curtailed maintenance, raising concerns about the state of the university. “I think Virginia State is in trouble,” Terone B. Green, who serves on the board of visitors, said Thursday. Green said he decided to break the “code of silence” — under which board members defer to the rector for comment — because he is tired of the “veil of secrecy” he sees surrounding problems at the university. He called for state education officials to take a close look at VSU’s operations.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

CNU president: State budget cuts won't lead to job losses - Austin Bogues, Daily Press

State budget cuts being passed along to Christopher Newport University will not result in job losses, CNU President Paul Trible said. Trible, in interviews with the Daily Press on Thursday and Friday, said the school was preparing to submit documents to the state outlining cuts expected to tally 5 percent, or $1.3 million, of the school's operating budget from funds contributed by the state. For now, the documents are treated as working papers for the governor's office and cannot be released until approved by the McAuliffe administration, Trible said.

WWU president won't be offering budget cut ideas - Associated Press

Every two years for at least a decade, the governor and the Legislature have asked public university and college presidents to project what kind of cuts they would make if they have to slash their state budgets. And every time, they groan and figure something out. Not this year. Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard is refusing to play the budget cutting game, after being asked by the state Office of Financial Management for a list of proposed cuts adding up to 15 percent of the university's state budget. "It's idiotic," he told the newspaper this past week. "If we go through this you'll see students start fleeing, faculty taking other jobs. My obligation is to protect the quality of this university, so no, I'm not going along."