Monday, January 22, 2018

Iowa's Board of Regents skip pay raises for university presidents - Vanessa Miller, the Gazette

After spending two days behind closed doors evaluating its university presidents and institutional heads, Iowa’s Board of Regents this week took no action to increase pay or offer new compensation incentives. The no-news report from board President Mike Richards is not surprising given deep cuts in state support over the last year that Gov. Kim Reynold this week suggested aggravating by proposing another takeback of funds already committed to Iowa’s public universities for the current budget year. Lawmakers during the last legislative session slashed more than $30 million of its base funding for the universities, and Reynolds recommended taking back another $5.1 million from this year’s budget. The proposed reductions come in response to a state budget shortfall of about $35 million and hit regents harder than most.

KU leaders disappointed university won’t see restoration of $7.4M cuts under Brownback’s budget plan - Joanna Hlavacek, LJ World

In August 2016, Brownback signed a bill calling for $24 million in funding cuts to Kansas public universities, with the state’s largest — KU and Kansas State University — taking the biggest hits. K-State saw its funding slashed by about $5.2 million, while KU’s Lawrence campus took about $7 million in cuts. The KU Medical Center was also targeted for a $3.7 million cut, resulting in a reduction of $10.7 million across the entire KU system. Legislators last year restored about $3.3 million of that total, but KU leaders are still hoping to regain the full amount they lost back in 2016.

Budget woes a worry for WSU’s Daily Evergreen - Josh Babcock, Lewiston Tribune

A tense, emotional meeting Wednesday between the Washington State University Student Media Board and representatives of The Daily Evergreen led to the decision that the student publication will continue as a daily newspaper — for now. The newspaper currently publishes five days a week, but budget woes mean cutting back its publishing schedule is a distinct possibility. Motions were passed around, taken off the table, and passed around again for two-and-a-half hours inside Murrow Hall, but ultimately the board chose to table the meeting to Jan. 31 so more financial information could be gathered before the fate of the student newspaper is decided.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Montana regents approve budget cuts - KEILA SZPALLER, Missoulian

The Montana Board of Regents approved Thursday an anticipated budget reduction for the university system that amounts to 1 percent a year for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, or $2.2 million a year. This past year, state revenue has come in lower than expected, and the Montana Legislature held a special session in November to address the shortfall. The decline amounts to some $643,000 a year for the University of Montana and $665,000 for Montana State University-Bozeman.

UMD announces budget cuts - Lisa Kaczke, Duluth Tribune

Facing a $5.4 million budget shortfall next fiscal year, the University of Minnesota Duluth announced Thursday that it will make budget cuts over the next several years. The university will reduce its budget by $600,000 in fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1, UMD Chancellor Lendley Black announced Thursday in employee town hall meetings. Beginning with 2020, UMD is planning to make cuts that could range from an estimated $1 million to $1.5 million, but those amounts could fluctuate depending on revenues and expenses. If UMD's budget model is realized through 2023, the university would be in the black in five years, he said.

UW officials hopeful despite budget roadblocks - Jeff Victor, Laramie Boomerang

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees is scheduled to hear the full findings of a recently completed capacity study during its meeting next week. While the study suggests UW has the capacity to add roughly 800 to 1,700 students in the coming years given current infrastructure and course loads, it also turned up a few obstacles standing between UW and its dreams of expansion. These bottlenecks — areas where demand outpaces or strains current resources — are partially the result of a $42 million budget reduction completed by UW during the most recent two-year budget cycle. The College of Business, for example, is serving more students with fewer professors this semester, Associate Dean Kent Drummond said.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The looming student loan default crisis is worse than we thought - Judith Scott-Clayton, Brookings

This report analyzes new data on student debt and repayment, released by the U.S. Department of Education in October 2017. Previously available data have been limited to borrowers only, follow students for a relatively short period (3-5 years) after entering repayment, and had only limited information on student characteristics and experiences. The new data allow for the most comprehensive assessment to date of student debt and default from the moment students first enter college, to when they are repaying loans up to 20 years later, for two cohorts of first-time entrants (in 1995-96 and 2003-04). This report provides a broader perspective on student debt and default that considers all college entrants rather than just borrowers, provides substantially longer follow-up, and enables a more detailed analysis of trends over time and heterogeneity across subgroups than previously possible.

Illinois College Enrollment Continues To Drop - DUSTY RHODES, Illinois Public Radio

For the past several years, Illinois has been losing more college students than any state except New Jersey. Last year, as higher education was starved by the state budget impasse, that trend continued. Overall, undergraduate enrollment decreased by 2 percent, with even steeper drops at public universities and community colleges.

WKU's student-run newspaper shifts to weekly print edition - AARON MUDD, Bowling Green Daily News

When Western Kentucky University students return to campus later this month, they’ll notice a change in the university’s student-run newspaper. Effective Jan. 23, the twice-weekly College Heights Herald will move to a weekly print edition in response to some financial hurdles. Andrew Henderson, the Herald’s editor-in-chief, announced the decision in a column on the newspaper’s website Monday.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Report: 6 Steps Georgia Can Take To Make College Affordable - MARTHA DALTON, WABE

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute has issued some recommendations to make college more affordable and accessible. The first suggestion is an idea lawmakers and education advocates have been talking about for years: creating a needs-based financial aid program. That means students could qualify for aid based on family income, unlike Georgia’s HOPE program, which requires good grades and test scores. GBPI higher education policy analyst Jennifer Lee authored the report. She said there’s been an increasing demand for a needs-based aid program since the recession began.

US: Drop in international students forcing HEI budget cuts - Patrick Atack, PIE News

According to the 2017 Open Doors paper published by IIE and the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, there has been a slowing of growth in international student numbers to the US, with an overall increase of just 3% compared to increases of 7-to-10% for the previous three years. The NYT reports that schools in the Midwest have been particularly hard hit, many of which had come to rely heavily on tuition from international students who generally pay more than in-state students. It found that drop in enrolments has accounted for $14 million in lost revenue and a decline of more than 1,500 international students from the previous year at the University of Central Missouri, alone.

Provost Holloway alerts Faculty Senate about upcoming budget deficit - Gabby Birenbaum, Daily Northwestern

The University’s expenses are projected to outpace revenue in the coming fiscal year, Provost Jonathan Holloway informed Faculty Senate Wednesday. While Northwestern finished the 2017 fiscal year with a surplus — albeit its smallest in years — the University is on track to accumulate a deficit ranging between $50 million and $100 million this fiscal year, Holloway said. Considering NU’s operating budget of approximately $2 billion, he classified the deficit as an “annoyance” rather than a problem. “We’re in a moment of financial challenge, but we are not in crisis — not by a longshot,” Holloway said. “But, we have some work to do.”

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Gov. Brown proposes California's first fully online public community college - Teresa Watanabe, San Diego Union-Tribune

Gov. Jerry Brown wants California to launch its first fully online public community college to help 2.5 million young adults without college credentials gain skills for better jobs and greater economic mobility. In the 2018-19 budget plan he unveiled Wednesday, Brown proposed spending $120 million to open such a college by fall 2019, with a focus on short-term credential programs for careers in fields including advanced manufacturing, healthcare and child development. The governor is a longtime advocate of online learning, which he sees as more cost effective than traditional education.

_Students Need More Data on Potential Earnings of Graduate Programs - Joelle Fredman, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Despite the growing number of students acquiring master’s degrees, there is still little data on the potential earnings associated with graduate programs. Without this information, prospective students cannot make financially-informed decisions before investing in further schooling, according to a new paper by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The report, The Master’s as the New Bachelor’s Degree: In Search of the Labor Market Payoff, showcases program-level data collected from three states and aims to highlight, based on these findings, how crucial it is that this type of information is collected nationwide, specifically to help students escape loan debt.

Support needed for higher ed programs, Oklahoma chancellor says - Cass Rains, CNHI

Oklahoma State System of Higher Education Chancellor Glen D. Johnson spoke Monday to members of Enid Rotary Club and their guests about the state of higher education amid continuing budget concerns. Johnson leads a state system comprised of 25 state colleges and universities, 10 constituent agencies, two university centers, and independent colleges and universities coordinated with the state system. He reports to a constitutional board whose nine members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. Johnson became eighth chancellor of the Oklahoma State System in January 2007 after a national search. Before assuming the role of chancellor, Johnson served as the 16th president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant for 10 years. He said the system of higher education was facing “significant” change in the face of continuing budget shortfalls.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

In effort to expand reach and draw students, more colleges offer in-state tuition to nonresidents - Rick Ruggles, World-Herald

As public higher education’s state money stagnates, competition for students becomes more intense. Five South Dakota universities are offering freshmen and transfer students from Nebraska resident tuition beginning in the fall. The University of Nebraska at Kearney will do the same next school year for Coloradans and Kansans. Picking off students from neighboring states may become vital to universities as they strive to fill classrooms, balance budgets and expand programs. And for the short term, at least, the pool of new high school graduates won’t grow a great deal.

Iowa’s public universities facing another $5.1 million cut - VANESSA MILLER, the Courier

After taking back $20.8 million in state appropriations from the Board of Regents in the 2017 budget year and then nearly $10 million for the 2018 budget year that started July 1, Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday recommended slashing the regents’ current budget again by another $5.13 million. That reduction would bring state support for the Board of Regents, which governs Iowa’s three public universities and two special schools, from $565.4 million in the 2018 budget year to $560.2 million, according to a legislative analysis.

Layoffs, buyouts affect another Missouri university amid budget uncertainty - Ashley Jost, St. Louis Post Dispatch

Southeast Missouri State University President Carlos Vargas announced Tuesday that 4 percent of the school's full-time employees will be cut through attrition and layoffs. That breaks down to 20 to 25 layoffs and 15 to 20 positions eliminated through attrition. Layoff notifications will go out later this month, with a second round in the spring. These cuts affect only staff members, not faculty. “The magnitude of the University’s budget needs necessitates this action,” Vargas said in a statement.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

MSU losing $416,425 in mid-year budget cut - Megan Smedley and Keith Kappes, The Morehead News

Kentucky’s public institutions of higher education have been directed by Gov. Matt Bevin to immediately reduce their current budgets by 1 percent. For Morehead State University, that represents a decrease of state general fund support in the amount of $416,425. “Unfortunately, all state universities received a budget reduction of current year appropriations,” says Dr. Jay Morgan, MSU president. “However, we were fortunate it was only 1 percent, as it could have been worse.”

UAMS to cut 600 positions to meet budget - KATV

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) says it is eliminating approximately 600 positions in an effort to meet budget. Of the 600 positions it is cutting, the school says 258 of them are currently occupied. UAMS says it must cut in excess of $30 million in expenses for its fiscal year, which ends in June, to comply with its budget as approved by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees. The university says it does not receive the majority of its funding from the state, instead relying on its hospital and clinics to provide 77 percent of its funding.

Collaboration between institutions necessary to keep higher ed afloat - Autumn A. Arnett Jeremy House, Education Dive

A new partnership between Harper College, a Palatine, IL-based community college, and three Illinois universities (DePaul, Roosevelt, and Northern Illinois) will allow Harper's students to pursue bachelor’s degrees in six popular programs of study on the community college's campus, reports the Daily Herald. For students who cannot afford or do not desire to relocate, the new program eases a path to earning a bachelor's degree. University reps said more financial aid will be made available to students who complete the first two years on campus and want to continue on. ​Classes that go toward earning a bachelor's will be taught by professors from the both the community college and university partners. Student tuition funds will go to Harper College for the first two years and then to their chosen university for the final two.