Saturday, July 22, 2017

Editorial: State budget gives taxpayers a pay cut - Bloomington Pantagraph

Long term, students who attend college out of state often opt to stay outside of Illinois when they begin their careers and families. Why move back to a place whose leaders can't come to an agreement on a budget, who undervalue social service and education funding, and whose lackadaisical attitude turns off the possibility of new business? Even worse, whose actions dissuade current businesses from expanding or staying in Illinois? "It will take years of hard work to reverse the damage that has been done," ISU President Larry Dietz said in a letter to faculty and staff. University of Illinois President Tim Killeen, in a letter to faculty, staff and students, said, "I hope the lessons learned during this long and difficult impasses will help to restore long-term stability."

Glenville Finds Ways to Cuts Costs Amid Budget Reduction - ASHTON MARRA, WV Public Broadcasting

This year’s state budget included more than $16 million in cuts to higher education institutions, forcing many schools to raise tuition and fees. But Glenville State College is trying to buck that trend. Glenville State College President Dr. Tracy Pellett announced last month his school would not raise tuition in response to the cuts. Instead, it would refinance its mortgage in order to “hold the line” on costs. Pellett announced Tuesday that Glenville would take yet another step toward holding the cost of higher education for its students.

University of Michigan would lose $92 million in proposed federal budget - Martin Slagter, MLive

A proposed federal budget slashing reimbursements for facilities and administrative costs would cost the University of Michigan approximately $92 million, the university estimates. In a letter to the campus community on Monday, July 10, UM administrators spoke out against the White House's proposed 10 percent cap on facilities and administrative costs - indirect costs or overhead - to the university's National Institute of Health grants.

Friday, July 21, 2017

SIU works to rebuild after end to budget impasse - Rachel Krause, WPSD

After years of cuts and reductions during Illinois’ years’ long budget impasse, Southern Illinois University President Randy Dunn said the university system is still strong. Earlier this month, lawmakers approved the first spending plan for the state since July 2015. Dunn said SIU will be given about 10 percent less in appropriations than it was before the impasse, but he said regular funding is a welcome change. Dunn said the SIU system could receive the first payments as soon as next week. SIU as a whole is expected to receive $179 million from the state, down from $200 million before the impasse. The Carbondale campus, Dunn said, will receive around $10 million less than its typical $100 million in funding. It’s not ideal, but Dunn said it’s definitely something they can work with. "We know what we have to work with. It's sustainable.

Oklahoma’s universities struggle with budget cuts - Jeff Packham, NonDoc

State appropriations for higher education in Oklahoma have dwindled in recent years. A recent study from Illinois State University’s joint Grapevine project shows Oklahoma is now the lowest-ranked in state appropriations following a reduction of 17.8 percent in the past five years. Although the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University are better positioned to cushion themselves from reduced state funding, smaller schools find themselves taking drastic measures to deal with the latest budget realities. Following a year when the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education received a 16-percent cut in state appropriations, the state’s higher education system took on an additional 6 percent reduction for the current fiscal year. The Fiscal Year 2018 appropriation of $774 million was down from the $810 million allocated this past year and far less than the requested $958 million.

Illinois’ Public University Problem: NEIU, GSU Presidents Weigh In - Evan Garcia, Chicago Tonight

Illinois legislators have finally passed a budget, but the two-year-plus impasse did not leave the state’s public universities unscathed: faculty and staff were laid off, student enrollment dwindled and bond ratings were downgraded. In March, Northeastern Illinois University announced it would lay off 180 full-time employees to balance out a deficit deepening from lack of state funding during the budget standoff. In a statement released on July 6, the day Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget package vetoes were overridden by House lawmakers, NEIU’s interim President Richard Helldobler wrote the university “can finally after more than two years refocus its efforts from survival to building and enhancing an exceptional environment for its students.”

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mills College In Oakland Votes To Lay Off Faculty Rather Than Admit Men - JAY BARMANN, SFist

The Bay Area's oldest (and now only) women's college, Mills College in Oakland, faced another crossroads this year as they've seen a steady decline in enrollment and are now facing a $9 million budget deficit. Over 25 years ago, the school faced an insurrection from students when the school's trustees voted to admit male undergraduates — instead deciding to maintain their status as one of only three dozen women's colleges in the US, as of 2017. But as the Chronicle reports, turning around and addressing their budget shortfall this year by firing tenured professors went beyond the pale in the eyes of many faculty, and no one is sure whether remaining a single-gender institution is even sustainable.

Mizzou putting restrictions on personal purchases using ‘student charge’ - LILY O’NEILL, KC Star

They can use their student charge at, among other locations, the Mizzou Store, at Campus Dining Services and at the MizzouRec, the campus recreation center and gym. They can buy new clothes from the Mizzou Store, grab some sushi from the Student Center or get a massage in the MizzouRec spa. The university has found, however, that the student charge has allowed too many students to spend money they didn’t have and go into debt. If the balance of a student charge is not paid on time, a hold can be placed on a student’s account. That can eventually lead to a student being unable to re-enroll the following semester. The university says that financial problems are a big reason students who are academically eligible don’t return to Mizzou.

Illinois' higher ed woes benefit Indiana State University - Sue Loughlin, Tribune-Star

A growing number of Illinois students deciding to attend Indiana colleges because of their home state's budget woes — and universities such as Indiana State are more than happy to accommodate them. In fact, Indiana State admissions from Illinois are up 50 percent over this time a year ago, said Indiana State president Dan Bradley. "We're getting a lot more students from Illinois," he said. "There is just so much bad news. ... My guess is that bad news creates anxiety. It's a real sad story for some of those institutions." While Indiana State has aggressively recruited in Illinois for many years and offers scholarships specifically aimed at Illinois residents, these days, "It's paying off more," the president said.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Culling of Higher Ed Begins - Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

The number of colleges and universities eligible to award federal financial aid dropped by 5.6 percent in 2016-17. The vast majority of disappearing institutions were for-profit colleges, but more than 30 private nonprofits were among them. New federal data suggest the increasing financial pressures may be starting to take a toll on institutions. An annual report from the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics shows that the number of colleges and universities eligible to award federal financial aid to their students fell by 5.6 percent from 2015-16 to 2016-17. That’s the fourth straight decline since a peak of 7,416 institutions in 2012-13. It is also by far the largest (the others were 0.3, 1.2 and 2.0 percent, in order).

Higher interest rates will increase Ottawa’s budget deficits, report warns - BILL CURRY, Globe and Mail

A new forecast warns that rising interest rates will ultimately produce larger deficits as the federal government faces higher borrowing costs on its $637-billion debt. Canada’s economy is now humming along, with new April GDP data showing a strong start to the second quarter. Several consecutive months of positive economic news have increased expectations that Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will start increasing interest rates in July, which is much sooner than most observers have been expecting. But a new fiscal forecast from the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy predicts higher-than-expected borrowing costs will throw off Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s deficit projections over the coming years.

Southern Illinois University Museum officially closes - K. JANIS ESCH, The Southern

Southern Illinois University students, faculty and community members stopped by the University Museum on Friday to pay their respects to the 143-year-old institution, a recent victim of the state budget crisis. Museum staff invited members of the public to leave flowers outside the building throughout the day Friday as a show of support prior to the facility’s closure. Earlier this month, Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell announced that the museum would close temporarily effective July 1 due to the budget impasse, which has now extended into a third year.

University of Missouri takes $22 million hit as Greitens acts on state budget - Rudi Keller, Columbia Tribune

Gov. Eric Greitens cut $11 million appropriated by lawmakers out of the University of Missouri System’s core budget and withheld more than $11 million dedicated to system initiatives Friday as he finalized action on the $27 billion state budget for the year beginning Saturday. The cut was part of $251 million in spending restrictions — $36 million from higher education — that were needed to balance spending with expected state revenues. Greitens also vetoed three spending items, including $1 appropriated to show the General Assembly’s commitment to the UMKC downtown arts campus. Greitens vetoed the legislation authorizing bonds for the $96 million project.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Saint Xavier University Owed $6.4 Million In State Student Aid Payments - Howard Ludwig, DNA Info

Illinois owes Saint Xavier University $6.4 million in student aid payments, or 10 percent of the Mount Greenwood school's overall budget. The money was promised to the school at 3700 W. 103rd St. through the state's Monetary Award Program — otherwise known as MAP grants, Saint Xavier President Laurie Joyner said Thursday. Roughly 1,600 of the 2,954 undergraduate students at the school received MAP grants last year, along with other forms of financial aid, said Joyner, who was appointed Jan. 1 to lead the school on the Far Southwest Side.

University of Minnesota unveils a 3-minute lesson on its $3.8 billion budget- Maura Lerner, Star Tribune

How long does it take to explain a $3.8 billion budget? Less than three minutes, according to a new University of Minnesota video. The video, just 2 minutes and 42 seconds long, is part of a new campaign designed to answer a basic question: Where does the U’s money go? This week, the brief tutorial was unveiled on a new university web page simply titled “Our Budget.” The whole point, says Vice President Matt Kramer, is to make the U’s inner workings a little less opaque to the general public.

Lack of state funding could end University Center next year - Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald

The center has enough money to operate only until Dec. 31, 2018, said Executive Director and Dean G. Gary Grace. "We've been able to survive the last two years by using reserves and meeting our expense obligations by using cash in leu of having full state appropriations," Grace said. In the 2009-10 school year, the state contributed about $2.9 million to the University Center. That number gradually dwindled to around $1 million by the 2011-12 school year, where it remained through the 2014-15 school year. The center received no state funding for the 2015-16 school year and $532,500 last year.

Monday, July 17, 2017

MU approves tuition hike, $119M budget - LACIE PIERSON, Herald-Dispatch

Marshall University's Board of Governors approved a 9 percent tuition increase to compensate for $3.2 million in cuts from the state Wednesday. Board members also approved a $119.3 million operating budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins Saturday, July 1, during their meeting in the Memorial Student Center. Board members voted 15-1 to increase tuition, and they voted 16-0 to approve the budget for fiscal year 2018. Marshall's student body president, Matt Jarvis, a double major in finance and economics from Nitro, West Virginia, was the lone vote against the tuition increase. Marshall President Jerome Gilbert said he spent almost every week of the special legislative session at the Capitol talking to lawmakers to avoid cuts to Marshall.

University of Alaska Southeast tightens belt, gets creative after about a half-million dollar budget cut - Quinton Chandler, KTOO

The University of Alaska’s Board of Regents unanimously agreed on a budget today, a week after the Legislature decided to cut university funding by about $8 million. That cut comes with a $3 million increase in the university’s costs. To absorb its share, the University of Alaska Southeast is selling property and sweet-talking potential donors. Rick Caulfield, chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast, said the University of Alaska’s funding isn’t settled yet.

Pinched by state budget, City Colleges plans layoffs - Dawn Rhodes, Chicago Tribune

City Colleges of Chicago is laying off 120 employees, part of larger cuts planned in response to the prolonged state budget crisis. Chancellor Juan Salgado announced the cuts Wednesday to outline priorities for his spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. Reductions also will include 10 percent pay cuts for senior leadership. City Colleges also plans to sell the district headquarters at 226 W. Jackson Blvd. and move administrative staff to the Kennedy-King College in Englewood and Dawson Technical Institute in Bronzeville. Most of the layoffs are staffers in the central office, Salgado said.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Illinois is starving state colleges and universities - Katie Lobosco, CNN Money

The schools are laying off staff and mandating furlough days. Library hours have been reduced. Campus buildings are closed over spring breaks and summer weekends. Maintenance work has been put off. Low-income students are worried their state funded scholarships will be pulled out from under them. Funding for state colleges fell 61% for the 2015-2016 school year, according to data from the Illinois Board of Higher Education. The schools received slightly more money for the most recent school year, but it still was about half of what was received before the cuts -- and was mostly spent on unpaid bills from the previous year.

State Colleges Facing Year of 'Stagnation' and 'Lost Opportunity' - Lloyd Dunkelberger, News Service of Florida

But the new budget left the 28 state colleges with $25 million less than they received in the prior year --- and that doesn't include Gov. Rick Scott's vetoes, which eliminated more than $13 million in projects and spending for the schools. Embedded in the cut is a $30.2 million reduction in funding for remedial education for the colleges. David Armstrong, president of Broward College, the second-largest school in the system, said the new budget sets up a year of “lost opportunity” and “stagnation” at the state colleges, which serve about 800,000 full- and part-time students across the state. Armstrong, a former state college system chancellor, said while the university budget increase will allow schools like the University of Florida to launch an ambitious plan to hire 500 new faculty members and reduce class sizes, it will be a different story at the state colleges.