Thursday, January 21, 2021

TTU System ‘playing defense’ in Austin as state agencies try to avoid budget cuts - Blair Sabol, KCBD

 Now that the state legislature is back in session, the Texas Tech University System is working to ensure its top priorities are met in Austin. In 2019, both the veterinary school up in Amarillo and the dental school in El Paso were given the green light with state funding. But this year Chancellor Tedd Mitchell says they are “playing defense” on the legislative floor.

USF BOT approves $36.7 million budget reduction plan - Jorgelina Manna-Rea, Oracle

In a 10-minute meeting, the USF Board of Trustees approved the Strategic Budget Realignment Plan, which will cut 8.5% of the university’s budget in the coming fiscal year and be implemented July 1.  The USF Board of Trustees (BOT) unanimously approved the proposed Strategic Budget Realignment Plan for the 2021-22 fiscal year in a 10-minute meeting Tuesday afternoon. The plan will reduce $36.7 million in university spending as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

University of Minnesota, Minnesota State colleges make plea for state funding boost - Ryan Faircloth, Start-Tribune

 Leaders from the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State college systems pleaded for a state funding boost during a virtual Senate committee hearing Tuesday, telling lawmakers their investment is necessary to meet a growing number of student needs. The state's two public college systems are seeking relief as they wrestle with daunting budget deficits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

University presidents will not raise tuition if governor’s budget approved - Moscow-Pullman Daily Tribune

 University presidents in Idaho have pledged not to raise tuition for the 2020-21 academic year so long as a higher education budget proposed by Gov. Brad Little is approved by state lawmakers. Key features of the proposed budget include restoration of almost $15.4 million that was cut last year as part of a 5-percent holdback on education spending in response to the pandemic and $2.1 million for enrollment workload adjustment. The latter would be based on the average number of credit hours taught by each institution over the last three years. The move would mark the second consecutive year that Idaho universities declined to raise tuition.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

NWC considers budget reductions, with 11 layoffs proposed - Kevin Killough, Powell Tribune

 In the face of declining support from the State of Wyoming, the Northwest College Board of Trustees is considering a proposal that would cut $2.6 million from its budget. It would involve the elimination of 24.5 positions — with 11 employees being laid off. “I’m saddened by the losses … These are just numbers on a sheet, but there are real people behind it,” said NWC Interim President Lisa Watson.,28841

USF trustees approve $36.7 million in budget cuts - Divya Kumar, Tampa Bay Tribune

 The University of South Florida’s board of trustees approved a plan Tuesday that cuts recurring costs by $36.7 million in preparation for the upcoming legislative session, where lawmakers are sure to tighten state university budgets because of the pandemic. “In some ways it’s an exciting day, because it will allow us to be on a path to greater fiscal stewardship,” USF president Steve Currall said.

Monday, January 18, 2021

“The University Dismantled Before Your Very Eyes:” CUNY’s Budgetary Shortfall Forces Colleges to Scramble - Luca GoldMansour, CCNY

 But with the 2020 Fall semester wrapping up, those bearing the brunt of a new episode of accelerating austerity are voicing that “Chancellor Matos and the Board of Trustees cannot and do not serve the CUNY community,” as Stemberg states plainly. Stemberg is one among many who have grown livid with the administration’s submission to market forces in the wake of the pandemic and are gearing up for battle with Governor Cuomo, Chancellor Matos Rodriguez, the Board of Trustees, and union bureaucrats.

New Mexico ranks worst for college enrollment decline, but UNM, NMSU buck the trend - Tommy Lopez, Albuquerque News

 According to data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, New Mexico colleges saw a 9.5% decrease in the number of returning students for the Fall 2020, which was more than any other state.   More than two-thirds of all the classes at the University of New Mexico are not meeting in person this semester—just like in the fall. Those numbers look similar to other college in the U.S. However, as many people decide to put their higher education on hold until the pandemic eases up, officials with the University of New Mexico said enrollment is looking much better compared to other schools.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

UH president provides update on budget situation and planning - University of Hawaii

 University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner said there will be no formal layoffs, retrenchment or reductions-in-force of faculty or staff with employment security within the 10-campus UH system until the Hawaiʻi State Legislature approves a biennial budget and that budget is enacted by Gov. David Ige. Lassner made the statement in a budget presentation (PDF) to the UH Board of Regents at their January 7, 2021, meeting.

No tenured faculty layoff plans in sight despite budget cuts - Leda Alvim, USF Oracle

To maintain reasonable student-to-faculty ratios after the university paused hiring processes across all three campuses, USF President Steven Currall said at the Board of Trustees meeting Friday that the university is exploring all available sources of funding as well as “optimizing” teaching assignments and staff responsibilities. The Board of Trustees (BOT) held a Strategic Budget Realignment workshop Friday afternoon to present and discuss the $36.7 million, or 8.5%, target reduction plan for the 2021-22 fiscal year. As the university prepares to embrace the budget cuts, the risks and impacts of some decisions are becoming even more apparent as the year unfolds.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Philander Smith College sees enrollment fall, lays off 22 employees - Neal Earley, Arkansas Online

 Philander Smith College has laid off 22 faculty and staff members as a pandemic-induced drop in enrollment put the historically black college in a financial bind, its president said.  The Little Rock college laid off the employees in the first week of December after the fall semester ended, Roderick Smothers, president of Philander Smith College said. With enrollment numbers dropping, school officials projected a roughly $3 million to $3.5 million budget deficit that needed to be resolved through cuts.

No decisions yet about how UH-Hilo will address governor’s proposed $5.7M budget cut - STEPHANIE SALMONS, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

 While some short-term cost-saving measures have already been implemented, University of Hawaii at Hilo administrators say no decisions have been made about how the campus will address a $5.7 million budget cut proposed by Gov. David Ige. UH is facing systemwide cuts of more than $78 million as part of Ige’s proposed biennium budget, which was unveiled Dec. 21.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Trustees approve fee hike for ECSU - Reggie Ponder, Daily Advance

 In a related matter, the ECSU Board of Trustees signed off on a $1.2 million reduction to the university budget for the current fiscal year. The reduction takes the university’s budget from $40.7 million down to $39.5 million. By reducing the budget, 17 vacant positions won’t be funded, saving the university $977,941. Also, university travel budgets have been reduced by $226,244.

Sharing the vision - Catherine Saillant, Cal Lutheran

Cal Lutheran’s new president, Lori E. Varlotta, understands the vision, and sometimes pain, necessary to bring about change. Varlotta scratched the honeymoon period and swung into action. She asked her cabinet to work six days a week to identify $23.6 million in cuts that would have the least impact on students and faculty. They instituted a temporary partial reduction in hours for 52 staff members whose workload had been lessened by the pandemic and laid off 17 others. Additional savings will come from a pause in retirement contributions and reductions in supply and travel budgets.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

What Budget Crisis? Six Universities Spend $75 Million Firing Their Football Coaches - Michael T. Nietzel, Forbes

 Last Saturday, the University of Texas fired its head football coach Tom Herman. Herman’s buyout will cost the university about $15 million, in addition to an estimated $9 million for his assistant coaches. In his four years at Texas, Herman’s win-loss tally was 32-18, including a 7-3 record and a bowl win this year. Sound like someone you need to get rid of quick, right, to the tune of $24 million?

College football coach buyouts are getting out of hand - Trevor Woods, Maizenbrew

 During a year where the deficits of athletic departments have taken a huge hit leading to layoffs and some cuts to non-revenue sports programs, some college football coaches are getting fired and receiving big buyouts in the process. Texas head coach Tom Herman, who hasn’t lived up to expectations in Austin, but hasn’t been exactly the worst (4-0 in bowl games, 32-18 overall), is about to get paid $15 million in buyout money. The problem with the buyout is Texas has made it clear they’re not in a great place financially.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Guilford College professor credits grassroots group with saving his job NEWS - Rasheeda Kabba, Fox8

 Some Guilford College employees have their former students to thank for saving their jobs. This after budget cuts threatened to remove 19 majors and 16 tenured professors. Now, the grassroots group “Save Guilford” and college administrators are working together to ensure the school’s livelihood is preserved. School leaders said they have built collaborative teams which include faculty, students and alumni to create a sustainable path forward.

While many colleges are making big cuts, a few opt for permanent transformation - Jon Marcus - Hechinger Report

“What Covid did is it accelerated the innovation. Because in higher education we’re about tradition over innovation,” said Melik Peter Khoury, Unity College's president, casually dressed in a sweater in a conference room of the administration building. Melik Peter Khoury, president of Unity College in Maine, which will continue to offer a choice between in-person and online education, even after the pandemic. Beneath the quiet of the campus, the college has been busy drastically revising its academic calendar, reducing its prices and altering the way it provides education, so that courses are offered both in-person and online, not just during the pandemic, but forever.

Editorial counterpoint: Financial, Title IX realities drove U decision on sports - Ken Powell and Steve Sviggum, Star-Tribune

 According to ESPN, 352 NCAA sports programs have been cut since March. The University of Minnesota's painful decision in October to eliminate three sports proves we are not immune ("More clarity needed on U sports cuts," December 19). As all know, television, ticket and advertising revenue from football and men's basketball fuels college sports. What is underappreciated is how that revenue supports all of the other non-revenue-producing sports — and how that model is eroding.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Ige’s budget includes $5.7M reduction for UH-Hilo - Tribune-Herald

The University of Hawaii is facing budget cuts totaling more than $78 million as part of Gov. David Ige’s proposed biennium budget, which was unveiled Dec. 21. The cuts come from UH’s $526 million general fund base budget.  As part of the proposal, UH-Hilo is facing a $5.7 million loss, while the UH Community Colleges will see a proposed $23 million budgetary reduction. Ige’s budget also calls for a $35.6 million reduction at UH-Manoa, $3 million reduction at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, a $2.7 million reduction to UH-West Oahu and an $8.48 million reduction to system wide support.

Dartmouth College outlines losses due to pandemic - Valley News

 Dartmouth College is projecting that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a $91 million impact on its fiscal year 2021 budget, but that budget cuts and the use of some reserve funds are helping to close the shortfall. With the college only allowing about half of undergraduates on campus for the fall and winter terms and offering many classes remotely, Dartmouth Chief Financial Officer Michael Wagner this week said via email that the college is seeing a shortfall of about $46 million in tuition, room and board and fees.