Sunday, March 1, 2015

Special panel to keep ISU board involved in state budget - Lenore Sobota, Pantagraph

A special committee has been formed by the head of the Illinois State University Board of Trustees as the university faces what he called an “alarming” budget proposal. Chairman Rocky Donahue announced formation of the committee at Friday morning's board meeting, where the budget was a big topic of conversation. The State Affairs committee will make sure the board stays more closely involved in and informed about the state budget situation, he said. After the meeting, Donahue said he might call a special meeting of the board in April rather than wait for the board's next regularly scheduled meeting on May 8. It's a further sign of the intention of Donahue and the board to be more involved in the budget process — a change that was signaled with a special work session last September that focused on the budget.

Chancellor: Budget reduction is closer to $4.6m - U Wisconsin Green Bay

The revenue gap facing the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay under the governor’s proposed budget will in reality be closer to $4.6 million annually than to the initial projection of $4 million, Chancellor Gary L. Miller said Friday morning (Feb. 20). Miller addressed an audience of more than 200 faculty, staff members and students in an informational budget “town hall” session in the University Theatre. The difference relates to inclusion of a budget provision that would trim $600,000 from UW-Green Bay’s allotment for cost-to-continue items in the second year of the biennium. Despite the new, higher figure, the Chancellor expressed confidence that UW-Green Bay administrators and campus planning groups are making headway in identifying ways to manage the impact of a reduction in state-allocated taxpayer support.

UW-Eau Claire prepares for severe budget cuts - WEAU

The University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire is researching several possible outcomes for what could be the biggest budget cut it has ever seen. The university's three division, the chancellors, student affairs and academic affairs, are hard at work. They are planning for several possible outcomes. The budget reduction the university is up against breaks down into two areas. The first is UW-Eau Claire’s part of the proposed state funding reduction of $300 million, it’s an estimated $7.6 million dollars. Then, there’s the structural budget deficit of $4.5 million the university was already facing. That's a projected total of $12.1 million.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Amid budget concerns, Elmhurst College plans staff cuts, offers voluntary retirement - Suburban Life

With a goal of reducing expenses by $3 million by 2015-16, Elmhurst College is cutting faculty positions and offering a voluntary retirement program to qualified employees, according to a college statement. The planned cuts caught the attention of the student body, whose newspaper, The Leader, used an expletive in its cover headline about the cuts, garnering media attention. The paper reported the 2015-16 college budget will see cuts in excess of $7 million and the departure of 41 faculty and staff members.

Southern again weighing leadership merge to handle catastrophic budget cuts - ELIZABETH CRISP, the Advocate

Faced with what could be catastrophic budget cuts in the coming year, Southern University leaders are again considering whether to merge the system president and Baton Rouge campus chancellor roles. By Children's Health — As the days get shorter, the weather gets colder, something else is in the air – this year’s influenza virus. Learn how to protect your children. CONTINUE READING → The move comes just months after leaders considered, then abruptly dropped, talks on joining the two positions, as LSU did a few years ago. The proposal of putting Southern’s main Baton Rouge campus and other Southern University institutions around the state under a single leader is one that System President Ron Mason has long advocated. Mason’s contract expires at the end of June, and the system’s Board of Supervisors voted against a contract extension last year.

One vision of tomorrow’s college: Cheap, and you get an education, not a degree - Kevin Carey, Washington Post

Higher education — increasingly unaffordable and unattainable — is on the verge of a transformation that not only could remedy that, but could change the role college plays in our society. Can you imagine the benefits of colleges having little bricks-and-mortar overhead, of each student being taught in ways scientifically tailored to their individual needs, of educators, students and researchers being able to capi­tal­ize on global intelligence? In “The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere,” Kevin Carey, director of the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation, a public-policy think tank in Washington, lays out a provocative history of how the university system got to this point and one vision of the revolution that’s beginning because of digital innovation.

Friday, February 27, 2015

U Of Illinois Responds To Governor's Budget - SCOTT CAMERON, WUIS

Christophe Pierre, the U of I's Vice President for Academic Affairs, calls today's (Wednesday's) budget proposal disappointing. He says the university has other sources of revenue, but many come with restrictions on how the money is spent. "for example, research that we need to spend according to the stipulations of the sponsor and for scholarships, for faculty chairs according to the gift agreements. So, the proposed cut is very significant." Including tuition, grants, gifts and other revenues, the proposed state funding would cut about 6 percent from the U of I's overall budget.

Higher education budget cuts come with a price - Ethan McSweeney, Daily Wildcat

Have you heard of the Arizona Public Enterprise University? One senator wants to remake and rename Arizona State University into “an autonomous, quasi-public, nonprofit corporate entity,” with a bill introduced this session. While Eileen Klein, president of the Arizona Board of Regents, said the governing board is not taking a position on the bill from Sen. Jeff Dial, R-Chandler, she said it does go in the direction of a “public-private” model the regents would like to see for state universities. With further cuts looming over higher education in Arizona, public universities are finding ways to rely less on the state for funding at the expense of the students they serve.

Gov. Rauner’s budget plan to cut $209 million in University of Illinois funding - Josh Winters, Daily Illini

Under the budget proposal, state funding for higher education would decline by 31.5 percent, just over $387 million. The University faces massive cuts in state appropriations under the governor’s budget, which will amount to nearly $209 million. “A budget cut of that magnitude would substantially harm our students and the people of Illinois by most severely impacting the University’s core education and research missions,” said President Robert Easter in a statement. “Between now and the end of the legislative session, the U of I will be in the Capitol to participate vigorously in this debate, stressing the twin aspects of prudent (and) responsible stewardship of public resources.” University Spokesman Tom Hardy said the University had originally been directed by the Illinois Board of Higher Education to prepare a budget scenario in which the University would reduce its budget by 20 percent. The cuts put forward by the governor, Hardy said, greatly exceed what the University expected, and could affect everything from student services to faculty salaries to class sizes.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2 Law Schools in Minnesota Will Merge - Inside Higher Ed

William Mitchell College of Law, a free-standing institution, and the law school of Hamline University will merge, the institutions have announced. Both are located in St. Paul. The combined law school will be known as Mitchell|Hamline School of Law and "will be an autonomous, nonprofit institution governed by an independent board of trustees, with a strong, visible and long-lasting affiliation to Hamline University," said a statement from the Mitchell law school.

LSU launched a state budget website, but what are the other schools doing? - Julia O'Donoghue, The Times-Picayune

Last week, LSU launched its own website about the state budget to keep its faculty and students informed about the nearly $400 million in higher education cuts on the table in Louisiana next year. The site -- called the LSU Budget Hub -- invites people to share their ideas for staving off the cuts. It also offers some basic facts about what the proposed reductions might mean for the flagship campus. But LSU isn't the only campus facing dramatic funding reductions. If anything, Louisiana's other colleges and universities are more at risk of financial fallout, because they tend to get less private support than LSU.

Debt of Ohio public universities tops $6.5B - Chelsey Levingston and Amanda Seitz, Dayton Daily News

College graduates aren’t the only ones finding themselves deep in debt. Ohio’s 14 public universities have more than doubled the debt they owe in recent years to an unprecedented $6.5 billion. Nearly all of the money college officials have borrowed is a result of building booms on Ohio’s campuses. Among the projects financed with debt: an $80 million football stadium at the University of Cincinnati, a $37 million neuroscience research center at Wright State University, a $25.8 million “state-of-the-art” recreation center at the University of Akron and a $1.1 billion medical center expansion at The Ohio State University.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Walker budget could mean layoffs at UWMC - Bob Dohr, Daily Herald

If proposed cuts to the University of Wisconsin System are approved, UW Marathon County would lose $480,000 in state funding and might have to cut 7.5 positions — on top of two dozen jobs eliminated in recent years. The new round of layoffs would be necessary if Gov. Scott Walker's budget were approved by the Legislature and the funding cuts for UWMC were translated solely into paring jobs, said UWMC Campus Dean Keith Montgomery. "It depends on what areas we have to make reductions in," Montgomery said.

Scott Walker budget would remove oversight of for-profit colleges - Jessie Opoien | The Capital Times

A proposal in Gov. Scott Walker's two-year budget would likely make Wisconsin the only state without oversight of for-profit colleges, at a time when many others are ramping up their level of supervision over colleges that face heavy scrutiny throughout the nation. "I don't know of any other state that would not have some kind of vetting of for-profit institutions," said David Dies, director of Wisconsin's Educational Approval Board. Walker's budget would entirely eliminate the EAB, which has overseen for-profit schools since the passage of the G.I. Bill in 1944 — then as the Governor's Educational Advisory Committee. It's been known under its current name since 1968.

Minnesota, Wisconsin reciprocity hangs in the balance with proposed budget - BRENDA MCINTIRE, Badger Herald

Gov. Scott Walker’s University of Wisconsin System budget proposal could give the UW more autonomy over a number of systems which are currently run by the state, including the Minnesota reciprocity system, which provides residents of Minnesota near in-state tuition rates at UW schools and vice versa. The proposal — which would cut $300 million from the system over the next two years — could leave the UW System looking for ways to increase revenue, which potentially puts into question the longevity of the reciprocity system.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

UW-Superior meeting focuses on proposed budget cuts - Maria Lockwood , Duluth News Tribune

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed $300 million cut to the UW System budget over the next biennium is just that, a proposal. Even if it is approved, there has been no decision made on how such a cut would be split among the state’s campuses, according to UW System President Ray Cross. He told Wisconsin Public Radio reporter Danielle Kaeding earlier this month that they’re still weighing how cuts may come down. “We’re going to be doing that very quickly, trying to get some preliminary numbers to the campuses so they can begin planning and preparing,” Cross said. UWS is already working to cover a $4.5 million budget gap with cuts and increased revenue. Additional cuts at the state level could lead to fewer faces on campus.

Projected enrollment dip could mean University of Montana budget shortfall of $2.3-$10M in '16 - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

If projections for a dip in enrollment at the University of Montana are realized, the college could face an estimated $2.3 million budget shortfall in the 2016 fiscal year, according to a UM official. The shortage jumps to an estimated $10 million if the university wants to fund new proposals, UM vice president of administration and finance Michael Reid said. The preliminary figures are based on enrollment, which becomes more definitive in March.

California Assembly to apply zero-based budgeting to UC budget - TONI ATKINS AND KRISTIN OLSEN , Sacramento Bee

In hearings beginning this week, the Assembly will apply the principle of zero-based budgeting to the UC budget. Through the zero-based budgeting approach, every line item of an organization’s budget must be approved, rather than only changes from the previous year. This allows for a thorough public discussion of the items contained in an organization’s budget, and it gives the agency the opportunity to show that each dollar is being spent for the intended purpose and in the right way. Under the leadership of the Assembly Budget Committee, these hearings will give UC the opportunity to show efficiencies it has made – and to identify further efficiencies needed. The hearings will also give the Legislature an opportunity to scrutinize whether each dollar that could be spent holding tuition at its current level would be better spent on a different UC priority, as UC President Janet Napolitano suggests. Read more here:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Illinois public universities brace for Rauner's proposed budget cuts, plan to counter them - DAVID MERCER Associated Press

Faced with Gov. Bruce Rauner's surprise plan to cut their state funding by almost a third, Illinois' public universities are preparing to argue such drastic reductions would be a mistake while also mulling what to do if they're enacted. The 31.5 percent cut Rauner proposed as part of his budget address Wednesday is part of the Republican governor's starting point in what will be months-long negotiations with Democrats who control the General Assembly. But university administrators fear big cuts, even if they are successful at pushing back. "It's so Draconian that to walk it back some still leaves you in a bad place," said Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and an expert on public university funding.

Closing the Door on Public Colleges? - Matthew Rocco, Fox Business

With states seeking to restore financial order, budget woes at public universities may be reaching a tipping point. Lawmakers in South Carolina are pushing for a temporary shutdown of South Carolina State University, hoping to give the 119-year-old school a clean slate. In Ohio, where schools face the possibility of reduced funding, Gov. John Kasich is asking schools to make cuts. Other states such as Wisconsin also are looking for universities to slim down. Today, students cover a larger portion of their attendance costs than taxpayers. Tuition collected by public colleges topped state funding by 2012, according to a Government Accountability Office report published in December.

Legislators criticize cuts, urge UW-L community to speak out - Nathan Hansen, Lacrosse Tribune

Local legislators did not pull any punches in their criticism of Gov. Scott Walker’s approach to higher education at a legislative forum held Friday afternoon on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus. Rep. Steve Doyle, D-Onalaska, told the crowd of faculty, students and staff that one of the measures of a great leader is their ability to unify, and by that measure, Walker’s budget for the University System has done much to unify people in opposition to his plans.