Sunday, December 4, 2016

University plans could run into budget crunch - Lloyd Dunkelberger, The News Service of Florida

A tight budget year could cast doubt on Senate President Joe Negron's effort to increase the funding and bolster the quality of Florida's state university system. But Negron, a Stuart Republican who toured all 12 universities in the spring, said Tuesday that he expects lawmakers to reallocate funding in the $82 billion state budget to meet the Senate and House goals in the 2017 legislative session.

San Juan College prepares for possible layoffs - Joshua Kellogg, Farmington Daily Times

San Juan College officials are preparing for possible layoffs as the college board is scheduled to vote on a $1.14 million budget cut early next month. President Toni Pendergrass started the “reduction in force” process on Thursday by notifying members of the college’s board that the college is facing circumstances described as “financial exigency,” according to Ed DesPlas, vice president for administrative services. She notified employees in an email on Friday afternoon, stating the financial situation of the college “will necessitate extremely difficult and painful decisions,” according to the email.

U. of Montana still needs to reduce spending on staffing - Associated Press

The University of Montana needs to further reduce its faculty and staff to match its lower enrollment numbers or the state may have to make those decisions, officials said. "UM currently has too many faculty and staff," said Kevin McCrae, a deputy in the state office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. "Last year, UM had more faculty and staff than they did at their peak enrollment." Enrollment on the main campus has fallen by 22 percent since 2010.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

UW prioritizing athletics - Kim Maynard, Star-Tribune

What a coincidence! The Wyoming Board of Trustees so far has approved $29.3 million dollars in overall cuts to budgets and adjustments, the victims mainly being the university staff, which comprises 85 percent of the budget. Quoting again from a Nov. 19 news article, the budget cuts are necessary because of the university’s falling state block grant do to the recent economic downturn. The university has lost $41 million dollars in state funding cuts in the two-year budget cycle that began July 1. It’s obvious the college wants to attract football and basketball athletes resulting in sacrifice to all other college academics since sports translate into dollars. UW is even going to allow alcohol sales at these sporting events.

Delta State to raise tuition 5 percent, blames budget cuts - JEFF AMY, Associated Press

Delta State University wasn't going to raise tuition next fall, but President Bill LaForge said state budget cuts changed the university's mind. College Board trustees gave preliminary approval Nov. 17 to the 3,600-student university's plan to raise the price for two full-time semesters of tuition and fees from $6,418 to $6,733. Trustees are scheduled to vote on final approval later. Delta State charges Mississippi residents and out-of-state students the same price for tuition.

A huge and stubborn reason, still unsolved, that students go into so much debt - Jon Marcus, Hechinger Report

Some policymakers can’t believe that universities and colleges still haven’t worked out a way of accepting each others’ credits, a problem the National College Transfer Center estimates wastes $6 billion a year in tuition and is a little-noticed but major reason students go deep into debt or never graduate. The proportion of students who transfer is at record levels. More than two-thirds who earn bachelor’s degrees from four-year institutions today have changed colleges at least once, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, which estimates that an average of about 342,860 students change schools each year. Yet the U.S. Department of Education says the average transfer student still loses 13 credits already earned and paid for.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Wright State over-spend could top $41M, depleting reserves - Tristan Navera, Dayton Business Journal

Wright State University projects it could spend $41 million more than it takes in this year, which could bring its reserves as perilously low as $25 million at the end of the fiscal year. The school's board of trustees got an update on its financial situation Friday as the school enacts its two-year budget remediation process to cut spending and re-build the school's reserves. While the school's spending this year is still subject to several big variables, the trustees said they have to push drastic changes in the coming years to re-build the reserves and reduce over-spending.

Parkland College Sees Slight Enrollment Decrease - HUNTER MCKEE, Fox 55 Illinois

More changes could soon be coming to Parkland College. School officials recently met to discuss future plans with the uncertainty of the state budget. Thursday, Fox Illinois reported the school was laying off eight employees and now they're facing a decrease in enrollment. Parkland officials say they are experiencing a 3 to 4 percent drop in enrollment. Even with the recent cuts, they are still concerned about the lack of a state budget. The college says they expect to see larger enrollment numbers by mid-January, but this drop in enrollment is a percentage the board stated this week. They say the goal is to generate funding and move in a direction that gives them the possibility of functioning the best way possible.

UMW 'asking tough questions' as it braces for budget cuts - Lindley Estes, Free-Lance Star

The University of Mary Washington's board of visitors is talking about how to bolster the school's budget and best use available money in preparation for a likely decrease in state funding for higher education next fiscal year. UMW President Troy Paino said he received a letter from Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office two weeks ago instructing him to prepare for a 7.5 percent cut in the fiscal year that begins July 1—about $2 million of UMW's budget—and a loss of $350,000 in the current budget year.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Lincoln University: Withheld funds could lead to layoffs - Sara Bono , KMIZ

According to Lincoln University President Dr. Kevin Rome, the school could face layoffs due to withheld funds. In a letter written to Lincoln University faculty and staff Friday, Dr. Rome said Governor Jay Nixon's decision to withhold a portion of the state's budget due to revenue growth concerns is also affecting $1 million that would have matched the school's federal land-grant funding. Dr. Rome wrote, "The loss of the $1 million, for which we successfully fought hard during this past legislative session, creates a $2 million deficit for the university this year, due to federal match requirements." These developments now have the College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences projecting seven months salary left in its federal fiscal budget.

University of Wyoming leaders approve more budget cuts - Seth Klamann, Caspar Star Tribune

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees approved Friday another $10 million in budget cuts and adjustments, on top of $19.3 million in reductions already rolling into effect this fiscal year. The university will offer another incentive program for long-serving faculty members who wish to leave, spokesman Chad Baldwin said. It will also permanently eliminate a dozen vacant faculty and staff positions and cut about $6 million through allocations to units across campus, including academic affairs, the department of athletics and the division of the administration. The university also plans to lay off around 20 staff members in the next fiscal year, Baldwin said.

LCCC declares financial emergency to allow job cuts - Kristine Galloway, Wyoming Tribune Eagle

The Laramie County Community College Board of Trustees on Wednesday declared a financial emergency at the college. The declaration follows three months of work from the college’s employees to cut $2.5 million out of LCCC’s budget for fiscal year 2018, which is the 2017-18 academic year. The trustees voted unanimously – although hesitantly – to approve the financial emergency. Trustee Carol Merrell was absent. Chairman Ed Mosher said, “I do not take this lightly. I think back to a time many, many, many years ago when this was declared, and we all wound up – and I say ‘we all’ as employees – we all wound up with certified mail saying we were terminated.”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fired University Workers Claim Discrimination in IT Outsourcing - Louis Hansen, The Mercury News

A group of fired UC San Francisco employees who are losing their jobs to foreign workers have filed discrimination claims against the university, seeking to save their positions and stem foreign outsourcing from spreading to other state schools. Ten UCSF information technology workers lodged discrimination claims this week with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, alleging they were laid off because they are too old and from the U.S. The workers are being replaced by young, male technicians from India, according to the UCSF employees. Experts say the off-shoring of IT jobs is striking because they come at a public institution. While outsourcing has become common in Silicon Valley, public institutions such as universities have been immune.

State agencies offer more painful possibilities for budget cuts - JACQUELINE RABE THOMAS AND ARIELLE LEVIN BECKER, Connecticut Mirror

The University of Connecticut said it would have to cut financial aid or eliminate 286 staff positions to save $38.1 million, 10 percent of the state’s contribution to UConn’s budget. The university said a 10 percent cut to the UConn Health center to save $21.6 million “would be devastating to the institution, jeopardizing the viability of the clinical operations.”

Understanding the impact of UHCL’s budget deficit - Tori Whitworth, UHCL Signal

“A decrease of this magnitude has a very significant impact on our budget for 2016-2017 due to the amount of tuition and fee dollars generated, particularly given the tuition differential between undergraduate and graduate tuition and resident versus non-resident tuition,” said President William Staples in an email sent to all faculty and staff Nov. 7. “For 2016-2017, our total tuition shortfall was $4,985,932. This amount will be reduced to $4,283,796 with a debt service shift. This $4,283,796 shortfall will be covered by university reserves (40 percent or $1,736,317) and by department reductions (60 percent or $2,547,479).” The budget will be reduced by providing less money to faculty for travel and not filling vacant faculty or staff positions this year. “There will be no layoffs or cuts in salary,” said Michelle Dotter, vice president for administration and finance.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Budget Cutting Scenario Would Reduce Array Of State Services - Russell Blair and Daniela Altimari, Hartford Courant

Resolving Connecticut's latest budget crisis could lead to fewer services for rape victims and children with mental illness, more mosquitoes, longer wait times at the DMV and an end to rifle salutes by the Connecticut Honor Guard at military funerals. In response to a letter from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's budget chief, state department heads have submitted detailed plans about what a 10 percent cut in funding to their specific agency might look like. The proposals are all drafts, but they offer a glimpse at the level of services that may face the ax as the governor and lawmakers work to close a projected $1.3 billion budget shortfall in the next fiscal year.

Metrics for Money - Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed

The University of Illinois System is ready to sacrifice future flexibility in order to end fiscal uncertainty that has persisted as a state budget stalemate continues into its second year. The system is pinning its hopes on a deal that would have it agreeing to several performance-based funding metrics which would include limits on tuition increases, increased emphasis on in-state admissions and spending on enrolling in-state and underrepresented students. In exchange, the state would provide the three-university system with predictable annual funding over a five-year period, ease some regulatory restrictions and create a fund to recruit and retain faculty members.

Higher education is a loser again in Louisiana's latest budget battle - Julia O'Donoghue, The Times-Picayune

Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Legislature went to great pains last spring to spare the state's public colleges and university from budget cuts this academic year. And they were successful -- for about five months. Now, the Edwards administration is expected to announce Friday morning (Nov. 18) that higher education will be losing $18 million in funding before the end of the fist semester this year. The cut is part of an overall financial package the governor put together to cope with a $312 million state budget deficit. "Unfortunately, our options are limited, and given the ongoing financial crisis of our state, nothing is painless anymore," said the governor in a written statement released Thursday. The reduction will be spread across all the higher education campuses.

Monday, November 28, 2016

State Colleges Look For Funding Boost - CBS Miami

Florida state colleges are looking for additional money in the next state budget, with college presidents saying the funding would help more students graduate on time and would improve counseling services at the 28 schools. The request, which was presented Wednesday to the state Board of Education in Orlando, includes $40 million in performance-based funding and $60 million that would be distributed through a funding formula for the colleges. Timothy Beard, president of Pasco-Hernando State College in New Port Richey, said the Council of Presidents, which represents the academic leaders at each of the state colleges, supports a Department of Education budget request for the system. In addition, the council is requesting $100 million in “new” funding, according to an outline provided to the Board of Education.

UMass Boston looking for ways to save amid $26M budget shortfall - Kathleen McKiernan, Boston Herald

University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley is calling for furloughs, a higher faculty-student ratio and nearly 2.5 percent across-the-board reductions in all departments to stave off a $26 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2017. In a letter sent to UMass Boston faculty and students, Motley said he is pursuing several recommendations made last month by the University Budgeting Committee and intends to undertake the changes this year. He called on vice chancellors and deans to “immediately” make plans to put the decisions into action.

Parkland trustees approve layoffs of nontenured faculty - Tom Kacich, News-Gazette

Faced with the need to make more budget cuts as state support recedes, Parkland College trustees voted Wednesday night not to renew the contracts of eight nontenured faculty members. It is the first broad, faculty-related cut in the history of the 50-year-old community college. The faculty members will lose their positions in May, at the end of the current academic year.