Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Bitterroot College restructures classes - Kevin Maki, NBC Montana

Bitterroot College University of Montana in Hamilton has tightened its belt to meet a leaner budget. "Bitterroot College, just like all the colleges connected with the University of Montana, is experiencing some budget cuts," said the college's director, Victoria Clark. The college had anticipated working with fewer dollars last spring. When school starts Aug. 31 it will continue to offer the same courses it had been. But some classes and programs are being restructured. With classes just two weeks away Bitterroot College UM is busy meeting students and planning their coursework for the fall semester. Clark expects money to be tight. She said some classes will be limited.

Volunteer retirement offered for Southeast staff members - Katelyn Mary Skaggs, Southeast Arrow

Since Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced state budget cuts in January, Southeast Missouri State University has been making changes to offset them. In May, the Board of Regents approved a 2.8 percent tuition and fee increase beginning this semester. The increase will bring $1.34 million to the university, according to a Southeast news release. At the June Board of Regents meeting, the fiscal year 2018 budget was approved. This budget helps with the base cut and one-time withholding in state appropriations, which comes to 9 percent and equals $4.3 million.

MAC president expects great fall - KEVIN R. JENKINS, Daily Journal

With Mineral Area College preparing for fall 2017 classes starting Aug. 21, the school's president believes it's going to be another great year, despite having fewer funding due to cuts for higher education in the state budget. While Dr. Steven Kurtz admits that he isn't overjoyed with the budget cuts put in place for state community colleges, colleges and universities by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, he stresses that it's not a spot the Park Hills-based community college hasn't found itself in before. "It isn't a secret that our budget that the school's board of trustees approved is tight," he said. "Our folks know this already. They've been through this many times. We try to emphasize that we don't cut quality.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Florida universities are testing new business models — and the results are in - Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive

The University of Southern Florida is embarking on a plan to bring on 350 full-time faculty members in the next five years. Universities in Sarasota, Gainesville, Tallahassee and Orlando are doing the same, with almost 1500 new, mostly-tenure-track positions being added across the region, reports the Tampa Bay Times. The state hopes the investment in faculty will bring more patents, stronger research and greater national prestige to institutions. Additionally, institution officials are predicting shorter times-to-degree, with smaller class sizes and stronger faculty allowing more attention for struggling students and more hands-on learning opportunities to continue to attract students to institutions. But while these institutions are seeing gains, two of Central Florida's largest schools —Valencia College and Seminole State College — have seen zero students graduate from their $10,000 degree programs, pushed by governor Rick Scott five years ago, due to eligibility requirements, cost overruns and inflexibility of constant enrollment, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Primarily targeting nontraditional students with full-time jobs has led to challenges with students not being able to remain continuously enrolled, despite the benefit of lower cost.

College must remain within reach for Iowans - Bob Dvorsky, Press Citizen

College students return to campus next week. Unfortunately, the state’s budget mess will hit many of them in the pocketbook. Massive cuts have slashed more than $36 million from what was originally approved for community colleges and state universities this fall. Education is being sacrificed at the expense of tax breaks for special interests and out-of-state corporations. As a result, college students will pay more. In June, Iowa’s Board of Regents decided to increase tuition at our three state universities by 5 percent for the 2017-18 school year — more than double what was expected.

MAP grants provide relief for NIU students University spokesman says MAP grants should be available on time - DREW ZIMMERMANE, Daily Chronicle

In her first year at Northern Illinois University, sophomore chemistry major Racquel Vonch of Joliet was financially secure enough to survive without the assistance of a Monetary Award Program grant. Heading into the 2017-18 school year, however, Vonch became one of thousands of Illinois undergrads who, reliant on the assistance program for low-income students, anxiously waited to see whether the Illinois General Assembly would release MAP grant funding as part of an agreement to end the state’s budget impasse. “I received good financial standing with NIU as a freshman, and with the financial packet I had as a freshman, I was sold [on attending] the university,” Vonch said. “I was worried about the budget and not getting a MAP grant or to come up with the money if I had to pay it back.”

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cal considers selling alcohol at games, demolishing Edwards Stadium, to reduce budget deficit - Janny Hu, SF Chronicle

Cal’s financially strapped athletic department is considering selling alcohol at football and basketball games — as well as the naming rights to Memorial Stadium — in an effort to boost revenue amid a massive budget shortfall. The department, which lost about $22 million last year, is aiming to reduce its overall deficit by $4.65 million this fiscal year, according to budget plans for 2017-18. Potential expense reductions include trimming roster sizes for men’s sports and reducing the number of out-of-state scholarships offered; cutting entire sports was not specifically listed.

KC trims budget, maintains tax rate - James Draper, Kilgore News Herald

Kilgore College has managed to shave a little bit more off its expenses: the school’s trustees on Monday unanimously-approved a $42.83 million operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The nine elected officials also held their course on the community college’s tax rate, voting 9-0 to maintain the current rate of 17.5 cents per $100 valuation. It will raise an estimated $6.2 million of the balanced budget’s revenues from KC tax base of $3.65 billion. “Kilgore college has not increased its tax rate since December of 2015,” Dr. Brenda Kays noted Monday night. “We know that we live in a time when tax rate increases are not looked upon favorably by our constituents.”,114960

University of Montana sends non-renewal notice to estimated 40 lecturers - KEILA SZPALLER, Missoulian

The University of Montana has sent letters notifying an estimated 40 lecturers that their contracts will end on Dec. 31, 2017. In the letter, Provost Beverly Edmond said individuals who do not have tenure "have no expectation to reappointment or renewal." "Per University Policy 350, the purpose of this letter is to give you one semester's notice that your employment contract with the University of Montana will end as of December 31, 2017, and to clarify that at this time, we do not have an intent to provide you with a contract thereafter."

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Lawmakers deny University of Louisville request to double legal spending - Chris Otts, WDRB

In a surprising move, state lawmakers threw a wrench into the University of Louisville's tentative plan to sue over some $100 million in losses sustained through mismanagement of the university's nonprofit foundation. Frustrated over ballooning fees for lawyers and auditors, the Kentucky General Assembly's contracts review committee denied U of L's request Monday to double its two-year budget for outside attorneys to $2.5 million. "We just felt it was going too far, and at some point we just needed to make a statement as to what was going on," said committee chairman Rep. Stan Lee, a Republican from Lexington.

UC Berkeley budget problems stem from state pressure - Editorial, DailyCal

The truth is that no matter how much California would like to believe it, public universities should not be run like private institutions. Many of the stuffier Ivies sit atop vast stores of wealth and live lavishly off alumni philanthropy, but public schools shouldn’t work like that. Increased philanthropy may be a short-term solution, but until UC Berkeley can once again rely on the state for the majority of its funding, its public mission and identity will increasingly be under threat.

University of Iowa proposes tuition increase of 7 percent annually for 5 years - Andy Davis and Jeff Charis-Carlson, Press Citizen

A proposal unveiled Monday by University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld would raise resident undergraduate tuition by 7 percent each year for the next five years, a plan similar to one laid out last week by Iowa State University. According to the presentation made by Harreld to the Board of Regents' Tuition Task Force, that increase would mean a bump in base tuition cost from $7,486 for the 2017-18 school year to $10,537 by the fall 2022 semester, an increase of nearly 41 percent. Monday's was the final presentation given by the presidents of the state's three public universities that lay out their five-year tuition plans aimed at increasing revenue to offset dwindling state support.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

University of Missouri adjusts to budget cuts - Associated Press

Administrators at the University of Missouri in Columbia are working to maintain research and education opportunities despite proposed budget cuts and job eliminations. The university released a budget proposal in May calling for the elimination of more than 300 jobs and about $60 million in budget cuts for fiscal year 2018, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported. Most of the changes went into effect. The university hopes to limit expenditures. It also wants to restructure academic programs and administration by consolidating those programs, duties and staff positions.

UC Berkeley Summer Sessions considers $2.5 million cut in financial aid - BOBBY LEE, Daily Cal

With a mandate from the recently unveiled campus fiscal year 2018 budget to reduce spending by 3 percent among UC Berkeley Summer Sessions, UC Berkeley Study Abroad and the UC Berkeley Osher Lifelong Institute — or OLLI — academic division, Summer Sessions is considering, among other measures, cutting $2.5 million in financial aid, exploring the development of additional minors and expanding the campus’s programming associated with pre-collegiate and international students. The campus’s finalized 2018 budget calls for more than $20 million in cuts to academic, research and administrative division expenses to meet a goal of reducing the campus’s $110 million structural deficit by about $53 million over the next fiscal year.

Report argues private colleges have been improving their financial status but shows at least some small and poor institutions are struggling - Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed

Time after time, the fiscal struggles of small private colleges are bursting into headlines. Institutions from the College of New Rochelle in New York to Mills College in California have decided to lay off faculty members this year in the face of steep budget challenges. Others have taken more drastic steps, such as Marygrove College in Detroit, which last week announced plans to end its undergraduate programs and become a graduate-only institution after the fall semester. The headlines come after a prominent 2015 prediction from Moody’s Investor Service of a coming uptick in the number of institutions closing, with small private colleges facing particular pressure.

Friday, August 18, 2017

College of Letters and Science bets on philanthropy to meet budget targets - AUDREY MCNAMARA, Daily Cal

The College of Letters and Science is aiming to reduce its budget deficit to $383,000 for fiscal year 2018, a target that will require a $203,000 reduction in expenses and a doubling of gift revenue from $50 million to $100 million. With an unfamiliar flair of transparency, the campus released online the entirety of its annual budget early last week, publishing more than 40 documents detailing each division’s strategy to reduce the campus’s $110 million deficit — the majority of which reiterated Letters and Science’s increased revenue tactics.

Community colleges embrace state plan for four-year degrees - RACHEL ABBEY MCCAFFERTY, Crains Cleveland

A small entry in Ohio's fiscal year 2018-2019 operating budget will mean a big change for the state's community colleges, as they soon will be able to offer certain four-year degrees. The colleges say this will allow them to offer students affordable, convenient degrees in fields where there's clear demand. The colleges will be allowed to offer what are called "applied bachelor's degrees" — degrees focused specifically on particular career fields and with an emphasis on hands-on learning, instead of more general bachelor's degrees. But the state still is determining the process for approving such programs.

Faculty leave growing programs at the University of Montana - KEILA SZPALLER, Missoulian

An assessment of 105 programs at the University of Montana had identified just 10 as "ready for growth," including Fillmore's small but robust Surgical Technology unit. The report noted that with additional staff, those programs could take off. But the additional resources never materialized. And now, at least some programs identified as set for growth in 2015 are instead losing faculty. Fillmore, former associate professor and once head of Surgical Technology, took an early retirement buyout, and she's one of multiple faculty members leaving from programs earlier identified as ready to grow, according to data from UM.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ga. college leaders fear big impact of threatened research cuts - Eric Stirgus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Educators at several Georgia colleges and universities are increasingly fearful that federal funding for research, currently topping $1.2 billion a year, may be significantly cut under President Trump’s proposed budget, which they say could force widespread layoffs, disrupt some research and curtail training. The presidents of eight of the state’s most influential research institutions, most of them in metro Atlanta, wrote a letter last month to former Georgia congressman Tom Price, now the nation’s Health & Human Services Secretary, warning him of the potential impact of some cuts to the National Institutes of Health and other biomedical research awards.

As departures rise at NDSU, some faculty worry more could follow - Patrick Springer, Forum News Service

Faculty resignations and retirements at North Dakota State University are rising, and some worry it could be an early sign of more departures to come in the face of steep budget cuts. This year 61 faculty members – including deans and department heads as well as professors and lecturers – are resigning or retiring, according to university figures. That compares to 53 resignations and retirements last year and 36 in both 2014 and 2015. This year’s increase is partly from early retirement incentives NDSU offered to faculty and staff due to budget cuts, including a 17.9 percent reduction for the 2017-19 budget, which followed 6.55 percent cuts in the last biennium.

Some employees voice concerns about budget issues at Tennessee Tech - Keith Trager, WSMV

There are growing tensions between faculty and administrators at Tennessee Tech University. Recent budget shortfalls have resulted in layoffs, but News 4 has learned some administrators are getting pay raises. It has been more than three months since Tennessee Tech administrators laid off 19 clerical staff and maintenance workers. The school’s board of directors is now giving university President Philip Oldham a three-percent raise. Faculty and staff are getting state-mandated raises based on merit, so some will only get one percent. “MTSU just straight out said, great, we’re giving everybody a three-percent cost of living raise. And our board chose not to do that,” said Dan Alcott, a Tennessee Tech professor.