Sunday, June 25, 2017

University of Missouri to close federal lobbying office- Deirdre Shesgreen, USA Today

The University of Missouri plans to shutter its Washington-based office by the end of this summer, nixing two staffers now dedicated to lobbying lawmakers on everything from robust funding for higher education to immigration visas for international students. The cuts are part of the university’s system-wide budget reductions, announced Friday by system president Mun Choi. “We know that we must maintain the good relationships we have had with our federal legislators, and so we will be carefully reviewing what responsibilities and duties we need to continue,” said university spokesman Christian Basi. “But with the state of our budget, we felt we could not continue to keep this office open.”

JSU Reels After President Search, Budget Cuts - Arielle Dreher, Jackson Free Press

Jackson State University students, faculty and staff members went through a whirlwind of hiring and firing in the last two weeks. First came the news that Dr. William Bynum, the current Mississippi Valley State University president, would move to Jackson to become JSU's new president. Then, interim President Rod Paige announced budget cuts for the university, which has struggled with finances in the past year. (Those struggles had led to the departure of former President Carolyn Meyers in 2016.) #An academic shuffle will ensue, leading to the consolidation of several departments. The budget reduction and recovery plan addresses JSU's fiscal needs after taking a $4-million cut in fiscal-year 2017, albeit with tough medicine.

SFCC lays off 3, cuts 2 programs to balance budget - Robert Nott, The New Mexican

Santa Fe Community College has laid off three employees and will eliminate two academic programs in a cost-cutting measure designed to cut some $500,000 from its operating budget. One of those two programs could be saved, however, if outside funding can be found by the fiscal year that starts July 1, college President Randy Grissom said Tuesday. But for now, he said, the school plans to close its radiologic technology program, which has only seven students learning to perform diagnostic imaging examinations and administer radiation therapy treatments. Also set for elimination is a gallery management program, which has even fewer students.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

University of Wyoming board votes to approve trimmed-down budget - Seth Klamann, Trib

The University of Wyoming closed “the chapter of UW budget reductions,” President Laurie Nichols said Wednesday, when its Board of Trustees approved the school’s budget for the 2018 fiscal year. The action, all but a formality after officials presented the budget to the board last month, ends a tough 12 months for the university. The state’s sole four-year university lost roughly $42 million in funding as a result of the economic downturn in Wyoming; it laid off 37 staff members in mid-May and announced more than $29 million in current and future cuts.

More than 100 WIU professors’ jobs on the line because of state budget crisis - Elizabeth Wadas, WQAD

Illinois is starting its third straight year without a state budget, which could mean 118 professors at Western Illinois University could be out of a job. "We've entered a newer and deeper period of economic and fiscal uncertainty," says the WIU chapter president of the University Professionals Union William Thompson. Now the uncertain ones are the 118 faculty members at WIU who don't know if they'll have a job next school year. Non-tenured professors were supposed to be told June 1, 2017 if the University would renew teacher contracts. Instead, the administration sent a letter to all 118 in Macomb and the Quad Cities saying their employment status would be delayed until further notice.

Most Texas universities escape dire state cuts - Lindsay Ellis, Houston Chronicle

The state's top universities dodged major revenue cuts this session, but regional universities from the Rio Grande Valley to Clear Lake to Victoria weren't as lucky. In a tight budget cycle, losses of a few million dollars at some universities statewide will force these institutions to reevaluate programming and potentially eliminate positions. The $216.8 billion state budget awaits Gov. Greg Abbott's signature after being passed by the House and Senate. Even reductions of up to 10 percent, however, are far more forgiving than projections at the beginning of the session, when public universities feared that to stay afloat financially, they would need to lay off faculty, shut down classes and reduce services such as advising students.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Florida universities take big hits in Gov. Scott's budget vetoes - Arek Sarkissian, Naples Daily News

Gov. Rick Scott vetoed almost $12 billion Friday from the $83 billion budget he signed, including more than $409 million in special legislative projects. Most of the veto amount was in Scott’s rejection of the $11.4 billion public school budget, which also led to his call for lawmakers to return for a special session next week. Another big chunk was the $114.5 million he cut for projects set aside for some of the state’s universities. Scott vetoed $15 million that had been allocated for the Florida Gulf Coast University School of Integrated Watershed and Coastal Studies. Another $15 million rejected had been proposed for the Florida International University School of International and Public Affairs. Florida State University lost $8 million to build an Interdisciplinary Research Commercialization lab.

Maintaining access and affordability guides proposed FY 18 U of M budget - University of Minnesota

Through continued reprioritization and reallocation, combined with other factors, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler’s proposed FY 18 operating budget maintains a commitment to access and affordability for all U of M students. The University’s Board of Regents will review Kaler’s recommended $3.9 billon operating budget on Thursday, June 8, and is expected to take action during a special meeting on June 20. “While it is challenging to build a budget that achieves strategic goals and advances the University’s excellence in the face of rising costs and limited revenue growth, this budget successfully addresses key priorities I share with the Board,” said Kaler. “It does so by investing to build and maintain excellence, by incorporating a tuition and fee plan that is responsive to the needs of students and sensitive to market conditions, and by challenging all units within the University to prioritize and improve efficiency in strategic ways.”

University of Missouri budget plan eliminates 474 jobs - Rudi Keller, Columbia Tribune

The University of Missouri System will cut 474 jobs across its four campuses and in its central office as it seeks to generate $101 million in savings to meet budget deficits and provide funds for new initiatives, President Mun Choi said Friday. In a budget presentation that was streamed live to all four campuses, Choi reported his decisions on proposals submitted May 19 and revealed plans for cutting the system offices. Most of the job cuts will occur at MU, where the approved budget plan shows the cut is equal to 358.2 full time jobs, with 195.8 currently occupied. Cuts at the system level total $8.5 million, including eliminating two vice presidents, the executive vice chancellor for MU Health Care, the chief operating officer of MU Health Care, closing the federal lobbying office in Washington, D.C., restructuring lobbying in Jefferson City and reorganizing the University Relations office.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

St. Louis University eliminates medical research program, 21 jobs - Samantha Liss St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis University School of Medicine has cut 21 jobs, mostly laboratory positions associated with the closing of a research department that focuses on developing treatments for rare diseases. The elimination of positions is part of a larger cost-saving initiative at the university that started earlier this year, but was delayed within the School of Medicine to give the new dean, Dr. Kevin Behrns, vice president for medical affairs, a chance to review the operations. The cost-saving measures are to address the university’s $16 million budget deficit. The decision was made to close the Center for World Health and Medicine, founded in 2010, on June 30.

In Iowa, debt goes down as university aid goes up, but the future remains unclear as tuition increases loom - Vanessa Miller, The Gazette

As the total amount of financial aid awarded to students at Iowa’s public universities continues to climb, the percentages of students graduating with debt seesaws down, as does the average indebtedness of those who do leave campus owing money. Those trends, outlined in a new Board of Regents report, are noteworthy as state and federal support for student financial aid and for the universities’ general education budgets is declining. They also come as some education experts note aid will have to continue increasing if Iowa’s public universities are going to keep raising tuition.

A closer look: How proposed cuts could affect financial aid for college students - KSFY

As many students prepare to head to college this fall, they're probably thinking about how they'll pay for it. Continuing our series on the President's proposed budget cuts, KSFY News tells you how it could affect millions of students who benefit from financial aid. Work-study programs, Pell grants, direct loan subsidies and multiple loan forgiveness programs face more than $140 billion in cuts over the next 10 years if congress enact's the president's budget. Financial aid offices and students in our area said this is bad news for people who really need help paying for college.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jackson State U to cut 42 positions in budget reduction and recovery plan - Waverly McCarthy, MS News

Following months of careful review of the financial issues at Jackson State University, interim President Rod Paige announced Tuesday the completion of a comprehensive Budget Reduction and Recovery Plan designed to improve efficiencies and move the university toward fiscal stability. The plan includes implementing a hiring freeze, suspending all internally-funded travel, eliminating all unfilled positions, reducing spending on commodities, discontinuing several terminable contracts, resizing satellite campuses and academic and administrative restructuring. Further, to achieve the necessary cost-cutting goals, the university is implementing a reduction in force that will bring the FY2018 budget in balance and allow the university to focus on rebuilding depleted cash reserves.


University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds released a proposed 2017-18 operating budget on Tuesday that he said protects NU’s highest priorities of affordability and academic quality despite a reduction in state funding that will necessitate difficult decisions across the institution. Bounds said the proposed budget, which will be considered by the Board of Regents at its June 1 meeting, shows prudence in a time of fiscal challenges for the state. Reductions approved by the Legislature and additional cuts from Gov. Pete Ricketts, coupled with NU’s unavoidable rising costs, will create a recurring budget gap of $49 million by the end of the biennium.

SIU Chancellor unveils plan to cut university budget by $19 million, includes layoffs - CORY RAY, Daily Egyptian

In a statement Wednesday, interim Chancellor Brad Colwell released the breakdown of a $19 million permanent budget cut to the university. The cut may result in layoffs to 51 civil service employees, contract non-renewals, layoffs for faculty and reductions in the budgets of many departments on campus. Almost 100 civil service employees, including the 51 expecting layoffs, could be affected by a process called “bumping,” which means staff can transfer their layoff to another person with less seniority in the same position.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

University of Missouri System begins layoffs at headquarters - Ashley Jost. St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The University of Missouri System began a major round of layoffs at its Columbia headquarters Wednesday in a cost-cutting move that appears to at least initially be affecting its lobbying and public-relations operations. As of Wednesday afternoon, several sources confirmed numerous employees had been let go in the university relations department. However, the extent of the job losses at the headquarters was not clear. The 18-person university relations department houses federal and state lobbyists, the custodian of records and nine communications employees.

Jackson State University proposing to slash employees, programs due to budget woes - Jimmie E. Gates , The Clarion-Ledger

Jackson State University is planning to lay off 42 employees, eliminate 65 vacant positions, consolidate programs and continue with a hiring freeze. Interim JSU President Rod Paige, appointed Nov. 1 by the state College Board, outlined the cost-cutting plan Wednesday. The plan includes implementing a hiring freeze, suspending all internally funded travel, eliminating all unfilled positions, reducing spending on commodities, discontinuing several terminable contracts, resizing satellite campuses and academic and administrative restructuring. Further, to achieve the necessary cost-cutting goals, the university is implementing a reduction in force that will bring the FY2018 budget in balance and allow the university to focus on rebuilding depleted cash reserves, Paige said in a statement.

Colleges are becoming less economically diverse - Pat Donachie, Education Dive

Colleges and universities throughout the country are becoming less economically diverse, according to the New York Times college access index for this year. The Pell share in the freshman class at University of California San Diego, for example, dropped from 46% to 26%, and experts are speculating it is because institutions feel they cannot afford low-income student support. Public colleges and universities began slashing budgets in the aftermath of the financial crisis through 2009 and 2010. Though such budget austerity has ceased for the most part, state support for higher ed is down 18% since 2008.

Monday, June 19, 2017

SUNY Chancellor: Trump Budget Would Be 'Devastating' - KAREN DEWITT , WHSU

The outgoing chancellor of New York’s state university system said President Donald Trump’s budget, if enacted, would seriously hamper the chances for many of New York’s young people to attend college. SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said cuts to programs that help disadvantaged high school students gain the opportunity to attend college, as well as reductions to federal college aid and cuts to medical research, including cancer research, would have a huge negative impact on New York’s colleges. “It would have a devastating effect on access,” Zimpher said. Zimpher spoke to public radio and television as she ends an eight-year term as the head of one the nation’s largest university systems next month.

JCC’s budget 3.9 percent smaller for 2017-18 - Olean Times-Herald

Jamestown Community College’s 2017-18 budget, approved by the college's board of trustees this month, totals $31,649,867, 3.9 percent smaller than the college's 2016-17 spending plan. JCC's new fiscal year begins Sept. 1. The approved budget includes a state aid amount of $2,747 per full-time equivalent, which is up slightly from the 2016-17 budget. Full-time New York resident tuition will increase by $60 to $2,375 per semester. The out-of-state tuition rate will be $4,750 per semester.

Texas Tech facing budget decrease of nearly 4 percent - KCDB

In a letter sent to administrators, faculty and staff on Tuesday, Texas Tech University officials said the legislature's recently-passed budget for the next two years will lead to a decrease of nearly four percent to Tech's bottom line. The letter, written in part by President Lawrence Schovanec, says the university will seek to maintain all facilty and staff positions that provide for instruction and academic support. The letter also asks each college and administrative department of the university to decrease their annual budget by one percent each.