Sunday, February 7, 2016

Western Illinois University laying off 30 due to state budget impasse - Associated Press

Western Illinois University is firing 30 faculty members as the school tries to cut costs while it waits for long-overdue state funding. University trustees voted Monday to cut the faculty jobs to save up to $2 million. University spokeswoman Alisha Looney said Wednesday that Western Illinois is notifying the affected assistant professors, instructors and others. Looney said some will not actually lose jobs for months due to contract provisions.

University Presidents React to Governor Bevin’s Budget Plan - STU JOHNSON (KPR) & ROB CANNING, WKEU

Governor Matt Bevin’s budget speech Tuesday night contained some sobering news for those in the higher education community. Governor Bevin’s first budget plan calls for cuts to state cabinets and higher ed by 9% each over the next two years. The proposal caught Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson a bit off guard. “Well I think we’re all kind of stunned," Benson said. "We had heard a cut was coming, but nothing to the magnitude of what we heard tonight."

UND deals with the reality of budget shortfall - Anna Burleson, Bismark Tribune

While a short-term solution for this fiscal year is in sight, a state budget forecast means those at University of North Dakota have an even larger task in front of them to balance the school's budget in coming years. UND receives budget appropriations from the state on a two-year basis. In the 2015-17 biennium, UND already faces a $5 million deficit partially due to a legislatively mandated tuition increase cap of 2.5 percent when a 3.7 percent increase was needed to cover costs.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

$4 million in more cuts possibly needed at John A. Logan College - WSIL TV

It doesn't really matter if the General Assembly and governor agree on a new state budget tomorrow. The money won't arrive in time for this school year, John A. Logan's chief financial officer told the college's board Tuesday night. With a graph projected on two screens showing a dramatic below-zero drop-off in cash flow, Brad McCormick --- whose formal title is vice president for business services and college facilities --- showed trustees what will happen in the coming months if Springfield still does not produce a state budget.

College students caught in battle for state budget - SARAH MUELLER, Peoria Public Radio

College students are caught up in the political battle over the state's budget. Those who are eligible for tuition grants haven't received them this school year because the government didn't fund them. Some universities are picking up the tab, but students may have to pay the schools back. Donnie Lewis, the student trustee at Richland Community College in Decatur, says Governor Bruce Rauner is holding these students hostage.

University of Montana students react to budget cut announcement - Eric Clement, KPAX

School is back in session at the University of Montana just days after President Royce Engstrom announced how many jobs will be lost to budget cuts. UM president Royce Engstrom announced in a letter to students and staff Friday that 27 people will be laid off. Some 192 full-time positions will be reduced by June 30th of this year. A number of those FTE reductions come from positions that already are vacant, which are 46 open positions. Other openings were handled by retirements, and some FTE reductions come from combining offices to create efficiencies.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Colleges Must Address Debt Challenges - Phoebe A. Haddon, Diverse Education

A college degree is an investment in the knowledge and skills that give students a competitive edge that defines their careers and enriches their lives. For generations, this has been hard-wired into our conceptions about the “American Dream.” However, the price of higher education forces most college graduates to carry a heavy burden long after they earn their degrees. With more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt—$38 billion in New Jersey alone, according to the U.S. Department of Education—making college affordable is imperative. As the economic and social costs of student loan debt continue to rise, it is essential for universities to do more to address these debt challenges.

Ivy Tech programs with low enrollment could be cut - Margaret Fosmoe, South Bend Tribune

The vast majority of Ivy Tech Community College students in this region enroll in one of three popular majors: general studies, health care specialist or business administration. More than 7,500 students were enrolled in those majors in 2013-2014 at the South Bend, Elkhart County or Warsaw campuses, according to data provided by the college. Some other degree or certificate programs? Not so much. And they could soon be on the chopping block. “Ultimately some of these programs will be eliminated,” said Thomas Coley, chancellor of Ivy Tech’s north central region, on the heels of a review of Ivy Tech degree programs statewide by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

My Turn: We need will to invest in higher ed - Catherine Miranda, Arizona Central

Wednesday's front page of The Arizona Republic reported that, according to experts, the key to our state's economic competitiveness is producing more college graduates. "We could have a break out here if we can have an education system that produces enough skilled people to cover the jobs that will ultimately come to this state," said Rich Nickel, president and CEO of the non-profit College Success Arizona, which commissioned the report. This fact seems obvious and irrefutable, yet the proposed executive budget for next year only gives our three state universities $8 million after seeing their budget slashed by $99 million this year and hundreds of millions over the past few years.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Chicago State University in danger of closing: Alumni speak out - Eddy "Precise" Lamarre,

The state of Illinois is strapped for cash. Governor Rauner has yet to pass a budget and people are feeling the pain. Chicago State University is in the crosshairs of the battle. It has been reported that the school may close in early March. At this moment, the school has enough money to meet one more payroll. The school has been open for 150 years and is a fixture in the community, where 80% of the students are African American. Reportedly, 30% of the school’s operating budget comes from state funding and until the budget is passed, the fate of the university is in limbo. Rolling out spoke with a few graduates to get their feelings on this current situation.

Kaskaskia College Looks at Employee and Program Cuts As State Budget Impasse Continues - Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The Kaskaskia College Board Monday night will be asked to suspend programs, some sports, and cut about 20 full and part-time employees. The cuts are part of the college's efforts to cut expenses as a result of the continuing state budget impasse that has resulted in the college not receiving most of its state funding since last July. KC Board Chair Bill Hawley confirms the board will be asked to suspend the auto body and industrial technology programs on the main campus as well as the entire educational program at the Centralia Correctional Center.

Layoffs coming at UMSL as budget hole grows - Koran Addo, St. Louis Today

The University of Missouri-St. Louis will lay off employees this year as the school tries to plug a $15 million hole in its budget. UMSL Chancellor Thomas George said it’s yet to be decided how many employees will be affected. “I don’t know how or how many, but we will be doing layoffs,” he said. “We will also have some retirements and closing of open positions.” UMSL’s budget woes first came into picture in November when George announced the school was coping with an unexpected enrollment decline — administrators expected a 2 percent increase but got a 4 percent decrease, instead.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Illinois state budget's stalemate could impact college students - KMOV

Universities throughout Illinois could see an enrollment drop linked to the state’s budget stalemate. Currently, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE) is seeing one of its largest spring enrollments, but officials there are not sure how long it will last. Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Scott Belobrajdick said there is certainly a feeling of worry if the stalemate continues. The university has 3,000 students who rely on the MAP Grant Funding, which is money the state promises low-income students.

More cuts coming to Louisiana higher ed - Shannon Roberts, American Press

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne in a recent email said Louisiana’s universities should prepare for a $131 million cut to higher education if state lawmakers and the governor don’t agree on how to raise revenue. Candace Townsend, McNeese State University public information director, said the University of Louisiana system faces a 29.03 percent cut. That means that each of the system’s nine universities, including McNeese, would face a $2.9 million cut. This cut would be 32 percent of McNeese’s appropriation from the state, Townsend said. The university will now have to look at the expenses that it can freeze or reduce. “It’s very, very difficult to cover a midyear cut,” she said.

Stranger pays-it-forward to Illinois college student - CNN Wires

It’s been a roller coaster of a month for Jacqueline Suriano since she found out that Illinois’ budget stalemate could cost her an extra $2,360 this semester. But she can stop scrambling now that Wayne Randall, a complete stranger, decided to donate enough money to cover her bill. “It felt like all that stress melted away,” Suriano said. “I think I’m going to have to send him a framed picture of me with my diploma when I finish.” Illinois’ budget mess has tied up state funds for grants usually awarded to thousands of low-income college students.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Budget Standoff Pulls State Grants from College Students - Matt Dietrich, Reboot Illinois

When the budget impasse moved into late summer and the start of the fall semester, most colleges absorbed the cost of the missing MAP funds, assuming they’d arrive whenever lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner agreed on a budget. But as schools begin the second semester, some can no longer afford to make do without the promised funding. Some students who can’t make up the missing funding — including some community college students for whom MAP grants cover most or all tuition and fees — have opted to drop out. This week in Springfield, a group of college students gathered to bring attention to the problems the missing MAP funding has caused.

Why the price tag of a college degree continues to rise - Jeff Selingo, Washington Post

Every year, researchers at the Delta Cost Project, which is run by the American Institutes for Research, attempt to make sense of higher education spending by explaining in detailed reports where the money to pay for college comes from and where it’s spent. Its latest report was released this month. Here are two key reasons its researchers said colleges costs continue to rise even in an era of low inflation: 1. Students demand more services outside the classroom and colleges are providing more amenities to attract applicants. 2. Students are shouldering much more of the cost of their degree at public colleges and universities.

Budget crunch may force UMSL layoffs - DALE SINGER, St. Louis Public Radio

The chancellor of the University of Missouri-St. Louis says a $15 million hole in the campus’ budget, prompted by reductions in state support and student enrollment, will probably lead to layoffs later this year. In a campuswide message Friday, Chancellor Tom George notes that the $160 million operations budget for the campus comes primarily from state funding and student tuition. UMSL instituted a hiring freeze in December 2014 when enrollment dropped after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson. At the time, George cited a $2 million budget deficit.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Pima Community College eyes workforce cuts - Carol Ann Alaimo, Arizona Daily Star

Pima Community College expects to downsize its workforce to cope with lost state funding and a serious enrollment slide now in its fifth straight year. The college must cut about $5 million from its budget for the upcoming school year, making it “extraordinarily likely we will be eliminating positions,” David Bea, the school’s finance boss, said Friday. “We hope they won’t be positions with people in them,” Bea told members of the college’s finance and audit committee in a meeting at PCC headquarters.

Louisiana colleges face $131 million cut without budget fix - Kevin Litten, NOLA

Louisiana State University President F. King Alexander sent a letter to students Friday (Jan. 22) warning of a $131 million budget cut to higher education that could mean $65 million in cuts for the LSU System statewide. Alexander said he received the warning from Gov. John Bel Edwards' commissioner of administration, Jay Dardenne, late Thursday. The cuts are being threatened because of the state's $750 million current-year shortfall, and Alexander said the university system has four days to "provide a general plan of how we will respond to the potential cuts."

Community College Students Hurting In Budget Battle - SARAH.MUELLER, WUIS

Illinois community colleges students are caught up in a political battle between the Republican governor and Democratic legislators. The state paid nearly 40 million dollars last year to help 42,000 low income college students go to a community college. For the current school year, it has paid nothing. Michael Monagham, executive director of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association, represents 39 community college boards of trustees. He said the schools want the state to pitch in for grants and other programs.