Thursday, December 18, 2014

SIU preparing for budget cuts - Holden Kurwicki, WPSD

The Illinois Board of Higher Education recently asked SIU to prepare for as large as 20% cut in state support to their budget, or about $40 million. "Depending on where the state budget comes in we might have to look at tuition and fees to help replace some of that lost revenue as we go into fiscal year 2016," said SIU President Dunn. Outside of hoping for increased enrollment, the only other option would be to cut staff and service, in a worst case scenario. "It would have a terrible effect on the local economy, the regional economy in fact. We're going to look at other areas as much as possible to get savings. That doesn't mean that we might not have some layoffs that have to take place," said Dunn.

UAB players, coaches left seeking other shots as program ends - AP

UAB became the first major college program since Pacific in 1995 to shut down football. The university said keeping football would cost an additional $49 million over the next five years, including $22 million in facilities and upgrades. ''As we look at the evolving landscape of NCAA football, we see expenses only continuing to increase,'' UAB President Ray Watts said. ''When considering a model that best protects the financial future and prominence of the Athletic Department, football is simply not sustainable.'' Several hundred UAB students and fans gathered on campus for the third straight day to support the program that won six games to become eligible for a bowl game for the first time in a decade. Their efforts were futile, leaving coaches and staff looking for jobs.

Group Raises Concern Over University Budget Cuts - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The American Association of University Professors says it is looking into recently-announced budget cuts at the University of Southern Maine. The Portland Press Herald reports the group sent a letter to university president David Flanagan saying the cuts raise "significant issues'' about tenure, due process and academic freedom.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

George Washington University cuts $8.2 million from strategic plan funding after budget shortfall - Colleen Murphy, GW Hatchet

The University has trimmed $8.2 million in funding to support its blueprint for the next decade, after already instituting hiring freezes and slashing administrative spending to make up for a shortfall. Provost Steven Lerman said the money had been set aside in the University’s budget to help fund its strategic plan, but had not yet been “obligated” to specific programs. He said he hoped to add the money back into the budget in the future, but that would have to come after the University makes up for last year’s $20 million budget shortfall. “It means some things will be put into the plan implementation later than they would have been, but nothing has been dropped,” Lerman said. “It’s hard to actually know what things would have happened if we’d funded it.”

State panel to consider $12M loan for SCSU - T&D

The state’s Joint Bond Review Committee will consider whether South Carolina State University should receive a $12 million loan. The committee will review the budgetary plan recommended by the Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee set up by lawmakers to help guide the university out of its financial crisis. The advisory committee recommended the state loan the university $12 million over a three-year period. The institution would get its first year’s payment of $6 million in quarterly payments of $1.5 million with the requirement that it maintain a balanced budget. The first quarter transfer is contingent on S.C. State trustees adopting a balanced budget and the remaining quarterly transfers are contingent upon the university not being in a deficit.

Central Washington University closing $6.5 million budget gap by leaving 57 positions unfilled - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Central Washington University says it's closing a $6.5 million budget gap this year by not filling 57 positions. The university in Ellensburg says 41 positions are already vacant due to a hiring freeze. And, it will not replace people who are retiring. CWU is asking the Legislature for more funding or to allow tuition increases.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Favor for Ray

If you read my postings and live in/are from South Carolina, would you ping me?

I ask this as an informal poll to help me with an application. Thanks for following the blog, and I apologize for this tiny interruption. Best holiday wishes! @rayschroeder / -ray

Faculty Senate to hear budget cuts, library changes - Stephanie Markham, Daily Eastern

Grant Sterling, the chair of Faculty Senate, said members would likely have questions about why such a drastic change was implemented, and why it was implemented without warning the departments. He said the Tuition Recovery Model funds are critical parts to some academic programs, and coupled with the existing university-wide budget cuts, the departments are struggling. The Tuition Recovery Model Policies and Procedures was revised and signed by Paul McCann, the interim vice president for business affairs, on Nov. 21. Sterling said discussion on the elimination of the John Wiley periodicals would likely consist of similar questions on why such a decision was made and without consultation with faculty or the Faculty Senate.

VTC TO LAY OFF EIGHT FULL-TIME FACULTY, 27 Adjuncts May Not Be Hired Back Next Fall - HILARY NILES, Vermont Digger

Eight full-time faculty at Vermont Technical College in Randolph received layoff notices Monday. The action is part of a large-scale financial reorganization that could have major implications for the school’s course offerings. Senior professors are being offered cash incentives to retire early, and up to 27 adjunct instructors may not be hired back in the fall. The deeper the cutbacks, the fewer courses will be offered and the larger class sizes will likely to be.

USM announces 14 more layoffs in effort to fill $16 million budget hole - Seth Koenig, Bangor Daily News

Interim University of Southern Maine President David Flanagan announced 14 staff layoffs Monday as the latest part of a plan to close a $16 million budget gap for the coming fiscal year. The staff positions — eight of which are within the school’s administration — represent another significant wave of job cuts in a process that has already included the elimination of 51 faculty positions and five programs. None of the layoffs announced Monday were teaching positions. In a statement released Monday, Flanagan said more jobs may be reduced in the coming months as the university looks to reorganize its research administration. “Our budget-balancing focus has been on creating financial sustainability for USM.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Technology vital for accessible education says expert - Open Polytechnic

Technology holds the key to lowering the cost of quality higher education in both developed and developing countries, says international open and distance learning expert, Sir John Daniel. Visiting New Zealand at the invitation of Open Polytechnic and speaking at a hosted event in Wellington last night, the former Vice-Chancellor of the UK Open University described the “Iron Triangle” of cost, quality and access which he said had created in people’s minds an “insidious” link between quality and exclusivity in education. “Pack more students into the classroom to raise access and you will be accused of damaging quality. Try to raise the quality with more or better teachers and learning resources and the cost will go up. Cut costs directly and you may threaten both access and quality,” he said. “To stretch the triangle and achieve, simultaneously, wider access, higher quality and lower cost, you need technology.”

Vermont Tech College lays off eight faculty - Free Press

Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center is laying off eight faculty members effective Aug. 1, 2015, the president of the school announced Monday. In a message to faculty and staff, VTC president Dan Smith said the action is part of budget cutting actions dating to last spring. “We are driven to these steps by the same two factors that can pull us out of it: state funding and declining enrollment,” Smith wrote. “By virtue of its inattention to public higher education, the state has now put at risk the very programs it claims to need. I am committed to seeing both of those things change, and welcome your help in that effort.”

Why Maine’s university system says it has to keep streamlining - Christopher Cousins, BDN

The ongoing program cuts at the University of Southern Maine, the latest round of which was announced Monday, is part of a much larger initiative by the University of Maine System to eliminate some $90 million in spending it can’t afford over the next five years. UMS Chancellor James Page told the Bangor Daily News last week that no one within the system wants to see any programs or staff cut but that it is necessary, as the state’s public higher education system struggles with a shrinking population of college-aged Mainers and transitioning to an institution aimed creating a workforce for the jobs of the future.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

State Disinvestment in Higher Education Has Led to an Explosion of Student-Loan Debt - Elizabeth Baylor, Center for American Progress

The nation’s postsecondary education system is increasingly reliant on student-loan debt. According to the most recent accounting by the Department of Education, there are more than $1 trillion in federal student loans outstanding. During the 2007–08 school year, 24 percent of undergraduate students at public institutions borrowed federal student loans to pay for their education—the same level of borrowing recorded during the 2003–04 school year. However, the share of students borrowing at public colleges jumped sharply after the onset of the Great Recession to 30 percent during the 2011–12 school year.

State-Related Community Colleges - Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

State spending on higher education has improved since the depths of the recession. But competition for public funds is intense in most states, where K-12, Medicaid and pensions are the primary budget drivers. The funding outlook for public colleges is particularly dire in Illinois and Maryland, where incoming Republican governors have promised to roll back taxes in coming months. Potential cuts in Illinois would follow more than a decade of slumping support. Many Illinois community colleges, for example, now get roughly 5 percent of their revenue from the state, with larger portions coming from tuition and local government support.

Strike for Better Benefits - Kaitlin Mulhere, Inside Higher Ed

Hundreds of graduate student instructors at the University of Oregon exchanged teaching for picketing Tuesday as part of a strike over stalled negotiations on health benefits. The teaching assistants walked off the job during the last week of regular classes, just before final exams start next week and term papers are due. The strike comes after a year of negotiations between the administration and union members, whose previous contract expired in March. The Graduate Teaching Fellowship Federation was asking for a pay increase to bring wages closer to the cost of living in Eugene, as well as for better health benefits.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sacking Football in Alabama - Ry Rivard, Inside Higher Ed

The University of Alabama at Birmingham will eliminate its struggling Division I football program to save $50 million by the end of the decade. Instead of subsidizing poorly attended games played by a team that has struggled to win, university officials would prefer to invest in educating UAB's 19,000 students and tending to its hospital system, which is is one of the largest in the country and sees a million patients a year. The decision, effective immediately unless the football team gets into a bowl game, was announced amid widespread criticism by students and alumni in the football-friendly state.

UNC budgets cut by 2 percent, no jobs lost -SOFIA EDELMAN, Daily Tarheel

To delay the widely criticized nighttime parking fee, UNC’s administration had to cut administrative costs by $2.6 million. Matt Fajack, vice chancellor for finance and administration, told The Daily Tar Heel that recent administrative cost cuts saved students and staff from a night-parking fee. “Each non-academic unit was allocated a 2 percent budget cut,” Fajack said in an email. “The cuts were in many areas — such as in my unit we consolidated several departments in facilities services and reduced the number of times we clean each office and reduced several unfilled positions.” No positions had to be terminated due to these cuts.

What Will The Republican Surge Mean For State Higher Education Budgets? - Andrew Kelly, Forbes

Partisanship clearly shapes higher education policy in the states, but spending seems to be driven by the economy more than anything else. When budgets are tight, both parties have cut higher education funding. And when budgets recover, leaders from both parties spend more. In fact, one study suggests that governors, regardless of their partisanship, work to lower tuition in election years in an effort to help their party win state legislative elections. The intriguing question is where state higher education budgets go from here, and how it will affect the policy debate. It seems unlikely that they will return to prior levels, particularly in light of the Republican surge earlier this month.

Friday, December 12, 2014

For Millions Of Millennials: Some College, No Degree, Lots Of Debt - Selena Simons-Duffin, NPR

More than 40 percent of households headed by young adults with some college are dealing with student loans. And without the increased earnings that usually come with a college degree, managing even just a few thousand dollars in loans can be a huge challenge. Richard Fry, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center, says the real impact of student loans for those with no degree isn't even on how much money they make — it's on their overall wealth. "The 'some college educated' household that doesn't have the student debt? Their net worth is about $10,000, $11,000," he says. "As opposed to that, for the ones that are still sort of servicing their student debt? They have a net worth of about a grand. So you're looking at about a tenfold difference."

State Board of Education seeks increase in tuition for public colleges, which has been frozen for three years - LYNN ARDITI, Providence Journal

The Rhode Island Board of Education on Monday will consider budget requests for the next fiscal year to increase spending on the state’s public schools and colleges by more than $62 million. The proposed spending plans include $50.3 million more to run the state’s public schools and $12.6 million more for the state’s public colleges for fiscal 2016, which begins July 1, 2015. If the budget request for higher education is approved, students at Rhode Island’s three public colleges could see their first tuition hike in three years.