Saturday, April 18, 2015

Tuition is rising but it's not the university's fault: Napolitano - Trent Gillies,

College tuition is on the rise across the U.S., and University of California President Janet Napolitano says she knows why. In a report last year, the College Board showed the price of a four-year degree rose faster than the rate of inflation, with private tuition climbing by 3.7 percent to an average of $31,231. At public universities, the picture was scarcely better: Costs jumped by 2.9 percent during the academic year to $9,139. However, in an interview with CNBC's "On the Money," Napolitano says UC students should blame state budget cuts—and not the universities themselves—for higher tuition bills.

University of Nebraska might raise tuition - Kate Howard, World-Herald

A freeze that has kept University of Nebraska tuition the same for two years is unlikely to be possible again next year, according to the NU budget director. Chris Kabourek, budget and planning director, told the NU Board of Regents Friday that the Legislature is unlikely to fund all the university’s requests for the next biennial budget and that a tuition freeze is unlikely. “If we have to consider a tuition increase, it will be moderate and predictable for Nebraska families,” Kabourek said. The university engineered a freeze along with former Gov. Dave Heineman and the Legislature that held tuition steady for the last two-year budget. The state agreed to increase funding to cover the revenue NU would have made in a tuition increase.

Arizona universities look to hire political consultants, PR firm as budget cut fight with Ducey, Legislature continues - Mike Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal

Arizona’s state universities are looking to hire new public relations, lobbying and political consulting firms as they battle with Gov. Doug Ducey and the Republican Legislature over $99 million in budget cuts. The Arizona Board of Regents — which oversees Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona — issued a new request for proposals seeking a variety of outside consultants including speechwriters, policy researchers, graphic designers as well as PR and political firms. Bids for the RFP are due May 5.

Friday, April 17, 2015

NAU maintains Pledge guaranteed tuition program despite $17.3M state budget cut - Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University’s Pledge program will continue to keep tuition stable for undergraduate students currently on the eight-semester plan, which accounts for 96 percent of Flagstaff undergraduates. “As part of a strategy to maintain a sound financial model in the face of severe state budget cuts, actions are being taken across the university to allow us to stay committed to our guaranteed tuition program and stay true to our goals and values as an institution,” said NAU President Rita Cheng.

UWSP prioritizes teachers in face of budget cuts - Sari Lesk, Stevens Point Journal Media

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point leaders say they are trying to prioritize teachers and advisers while preparing for the proposed budget cuts to the University of Wisconsin system. The UWSP campus is facing a cut of $9.6 million to its budget, or 25 percent of its state funding, based on Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget. Although campus leaders do not yet know what the final budget will look like or how big the cut will be, they are discussing and preparing plans for how to deliver its services while slimming down its staff. Administrators hosted a forum Friday afternoon to address information circulating the campus about the possibility of the school eliminating the administrative structure of the College of Fine Arts and Communication and moving oversight of the programs to other campus colleges.

Budget cuts could mean fewer instructors at Barton Community College - KWCH

The college says the state could cut more than million dollars from its budget next year and they are looking to cut five positions and not renew two faculty positions if the state decides to cut the community college's funding. Administrators say they are looking at several ways to deal with the cut-back. The college has raised tuition three dollars across the board, but says that is a small piece of its overall operating budget. The college is working with a community group on ways to improve the schools overall situation-- out of that collaboration the college is looking for ways to make education more affordable.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tuition increase approved for Georgia colleges, universities - BITA HONARVAR, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Parents and students at Georgia’s 30 public colleges and universities will pay more to attend school in the fall after the state’s board of regents approved another tuition hike on Tuesday. Tuition at twenty of the schools in the University System will increase by 2. 5 percent, with rates at the remaining 10 schools increasing between 3 percent and 9 percent. Students at Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, which are research institutions, will pay the top rate, along with students at Atlanta Metropolitan College and Middle Georgia State College, which was approved for university status last month.

UW-Eau Claire releases update on impending budget cuts - Josh Spreiter, WEAU

"We need to be strategic about reductions by preserving the student experience and in some ways enhance it," says Mike Rindo with UW-Eau Claire. Here's how they're looking to accomplish that goal. First, the voluntary separation incentive program announced last month gives employees 50% of their yearly salary if they voluntarily leave. They need to be older than 55 and have five years of service to the university. Mike Rindo says 325 of the university employees were eligible to apply. They received 115 applications. "Our intention is to accept as many applications for the incentive program and possible, and so they're may be some critical positions that we may not do without," says Rindo. Secondly, the university has also recently created what it calls the "Rapid Action Task Force." Its job is to look at overlapping programs while maintaining a set of standards, or "guideposts."

UW chancellor warns of budget’s effects on Manitowoc - Phillip Bock, HTR Media

Students returning to UW-Manitowoc next fall may see a reduction in staff and a smaller class list as a result of a proposed $300 million cut to the University of Wisconsin System budget, the new chancellor of UW Colleges and UW-Extension, Cathy Sandeen, said. “Before (students) walk in the door, when they are putting together their schedule of courses, they will probably see a reduction in the variety of courses offered,” Sandeen said during a visit to the UW-Manitowoc campus recently. “They will be able to find the courses they need to pursue their programs, but they may need to come to classes at times that wouldn’t be their preference.”

Gov. Ducey: University Budget Cuts Could be Permanent - ASSOCIATED PRESS

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey wants the board that oversees the state's three public universities to come up with a new strategic plan that cuts administrative expenses and makes college more affordable. But Ducey also made no promise to the university Board of Regents on Thursday that they might see higher funding to help cover that goal. Instead, he said deeps cuts in university and other funding he signed off on in the upcoming budget might be "permanent." Ducey's appearance comes about five weeks after he signed a budget that cut 13 percent from state funding of universities.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

University of Alaska president outlines grim budget picture - Jeff Richardson, News Miner

University of Alaska President Pat Gamble recited a list of programs Thursday that are being eliminated or are in serious jeopardy, then capped off his report to the Board of Regents with a grim conclusion — expect the same process next year. Gamble told the regents that the rough patch at UA won't end in fiscal 2016. He said the need to fill a sizable budget gap — expected to be $30 million or more this year for the university— will likely continue for several more years. "We see nothing to suggest that '17 is going to be any better," said Gamble, who met with regents at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel.

Area legislators propose exempting 2-year UW campuses from budget cuts - Larry Lee, WSAU

The proposed 300 million dollar cut to the University of Wisconsin System budget would be too hard on the state's two year campuses, like Marshfield and Wausau. That's according to State Representative John Spiros, who says he is working with other lawmakers including Representative Dave Heaton of Wausau to try saving the two year campuses from the budget cuts. "In our two year schools, I know that we have one in the campus here at Marshfield, there's campuses throughout that would be hurt immensely from those budget cuts." The motion would exempt these smaller campuses from the cuts.

Senate votes to keep Meriden community college campus open despite proposed budget cuts - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A bill blocking efforts to close a community college branch in Meriden because of anticipated state budget cuts has cleared the state Senate. Besides preventing the closure of the Middlesex Community College satellite campus, the bill requires future legislative approval to close any higher education campus or manufacturing program. It now moves to the House of Representatives for final legislative action. The bill stems from the Board of Regents' decision last week to close the campus and a manufacturing firm in response to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's proposed budget. Meriden Democratic Sen. Dante Bartolomeo, leader of the higher education committee, said she received no advanced notice. She said 638 students would be adversely affected.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Five things you need to know about Bobby Jindal's budget proposal for colleges and universities - Julia O'Donoghue, The Times-Picayune

Higher education officials warned the Louisiana Legislature of the dire consequences to the state's higher education system if lawmakers refuse to raise money for its public colleges and universities. Louisiana's higher education institutions are facing as much as an 82 percent cut -- around $600 million -- in state funding for the next school year, officials said during a Louisiana House Appropriations Committee meeting Wednesday (April 8). Gov. Bobby Jindal has proposed closing that gap significantly, but much of his budget proposal is already facing pushback from state lawmakers. If the legislators don't find an alternative to the governor's proposal -- or agree to adopt Jindal's budget -- some higher education institutions and programs would have to shutter.

College tuition is getting more expensive. Here’s who’s actually to blame. - Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Washington Post

Tuition accounted for 25 percent of school revenue by then, up from 17 percent in 2003. During that time, state funding fell from 32 percent to 23 percent. That's a huge difference from the 1970s, when state legislatures supplied public colleges with nearly 75 percent of their funding, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. As state subsidies suffered during the recession, the federal government kicked in more money through programs like the Pell Grant, which awards money that does not have to be repaid to students whose household incomes are typically $60,000 or less. But that program has failed to keep pace with the cost of tuition. The maximum Pell award covered 77 percent of the cost of attending a four-year public university in 1980, but that fell to 36 percent by 2011, according to the Education Trust.

SCSU should show patience with its solutions - DICK ANDZENGE, St. Cloud Times

For the second time in about five years, St. Cloud State University is going through a campuswide program review aimed at addressing a looming budget shortfall and long-term enrollment decline. While it's understandable university administration is anxious to find viable answers, the campus and the broader community might be better served if solutions implemented the past few years were given more time to make an impact instead of adopting another review process aimed at creating a whole new set of solutions. Instead, a peer allocation steering group has been formed and is scheduled to hear program reviews as it aims to guide future growth and develop the university's fiscal 2016 budget.

Monday, April 13, 2015

George Washington University lays off 46 employees - Nick Anderson, Washington Post

George Washington University disclosed Wednesday that it is laying off 46 employees as part of an effort to reduce administrative costs at the largest higher education institution in the nation’s capital. Last month, GW President Steven Knapp said that all administrative units had been asked to cut their budgets by 5 percent because of a shortfall in revenue related to declining enrollment in graduate and professional programs. GW has about 25,000 students, more than half in graduate and professional programs. As of fall 2014, it had 5,242 full-time employees. GW, with a sticker price of $60,550, also has one of the highest sticker prices in the country, joining 56 other schools charging more than $60,000 a year.

SIU system works together to avoid budget cuts - Cody King, ASLESTLE

Student Government proposed Senate Resolution 15-09-02 during its meeting Friday, April 3, to recommend a reduction in the upcoming budget cuts heading for SIUE. If the budget cuts are enacted toward higher education as proposed, SIUE and other state universities can expect a 32 percent cut. According to Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Narbeth Emmanuel, even a 15 percent cut would have a negative effect on the university. “Fifteen percent will begin to have an enormous impact on our ability to provide our level of excellence,” Emmanuel said. With the senate bill in motion, SIUE has united with SIUC to provide the SIU system with a voice. Student Body President Nasir Almasri said other universities are likely to take the same approach.

Lawmakers: We won’t be swayed by University of Wisconsin System president’s threats - Courtney Mullen, Wisconsin Watchdog

Republican lawmakers say they won’t be influenced by University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross‘ threat to step down. “Legislators are accountable to their constituents, not threats from bureaucrats and administration officials,” state Rep. David Craig, R-Big Bend, wrote in an email. “Cross’ threat does not give me any concern,” Rep. Scott Allen, R-Waukesha, said.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

UW-Oshkosh to cut men's soccer, tennis - Nathaniel Shuda, Oshkosh Northwestern

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will cut men's soccer and men's tennis as part of an ongoing effort to deal with what officials call a $7.5 million funding cut in the proposed state budget. In addition to cutting the two programs, which both will complete their full 2015-16 seasons, the university also will combine both men's and women's track and field and men's and women's cross country under a restructured coaching staff, according to a university news release. The decision will reduce the number of varsity sports from 21 to 19, eliminate two coaching positions and affect 35 student-athletes.

George Washington University plans budget cuts - Nick Anderson, Washington Post

George Washington University, the largest higher education institution in the nation’s capital, plans to cut spending in the coming year to help offset declining enrollment in graduate and professional programs. GWU President Steven Knapp announced last month plans for an across-the-the board cut of 5 percent in all administrative units. “Managers of those units will be making some hard decisions, which in some cases may involve the elimination of staff positions,” Knapp wrote in a message to the university community. “But we will not be cutting undergraduate student aid, abandoning our fixed tuition policy or backing away from our commitment to expand student health and career services.”