Friday, September 19, 2014

Governor Malloy unveils plan to make college more affordable - Ann Marie Somma, Greenwich Time

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Tuesday proposed an array of tax credits, loan refinancing and other measures to make college more affordable for Connecticut students. "The average cost of a loan for students leaving school is $28,000," Malloy said in a visit to Western Connecticut State University's Westside campus. "I want to make it affordable for students to study and come to state universities." Malloy, who is running for re-election, unveiled his plan at a college affordability roundtable, which included stops at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Norwalk Community College and the UConn branch in Stamford.

Downward mobility in US higher education - Libby Nelson, Vox

Nearly 30 percent of American men age 25 to 34 aren't as well-educated as their parents. In most developed countries, education builds from generation to generation: Adults often have more education than their parents, and they expect their children will be better-educated still — or at least they expect their children won't slip behind. But data released from the OECD shows this isn't happening in the US nearly as much as it does elsewhere. America has more students falling behind their parents than most other developed countries. Almost 1 in 4 American adults age 25 to 34 has less education than his or her parents.

Enrollment drop costly for RCC - Bob Shiles, Robesonian

The Robeson Community College board of trustees on Monday adopted a 2014-15 state budget that is down 7.5 percent from its 2013-14 budget. “This is a tight budget, but we are ready for it,” said Tami George, the college’s vice president in charge of Finances. The state budget of $18.67 million is part of the college’s total budget for the new fiscal year of $34.56 million. The amount of money coming from the state is down because of a decline in student enrollment. “How much money we get is based on the number of student hours provided the year before,” RCC President Pamela Hilbert said. Mark Kinlaw, the college’s vice president of Instruction, presented the trustees a report showing that enrollment is down at the college about 1,000 students over the past two years.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

EIU President Perry updates Eastern staff on budget cuts - JG-TC

Eastern Illinois University President Bill Perry sent an e-mail to staff members Friday detailing steps officials have taken toward cutting the college's budget. In the e-mail, Perry noted the actions taken for Fiscal Year 2015 will result in approximately $8.5 million in budget reductions. While several personnel reductions were made, the university expects it will not cut any more positions during the fiscal year beyond seasonal or usual adjustments, he said. "Of course, the hiring freeze will result in many positions not being filled," Perry said in the e-mail. The university has also reduced positions through attrition and has reduced equipment and permanent improvement budgets, the e-mail read.

Iowa Governor Branstad proposes fixed prices for college degrees - Jason Noble, DesMoines Register

Gov. Terry Branstad wants to add a prix-fixe menu to the degree offerings at Iowa's three public universities. Branstad, a Republican running this fall for an unprecedented sixth term, announced new proposals at Iowa State University here on Tuesday aimed at making higher education more affordable and giving graduates a new option for paying off their student loan debt. The most eye-catching element of the plan is a fixed $10,000 price on popular majors for in-state students at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.

University of West Alabama approves budget to cover $764K shortfall - Ed Enoch, Tuscaloosa News

The University of West Alabama Board of Trustees approved a fiscal year 2015 budget Monday that will use reserve funds to cover a $764,227 deficit in its online education budget. The fiscal year starts Oct. 1. The trustees approved a preliminary plan for its $42 million fiscal operating budget in June when they approved a 5.5 percent tuition increase. Trustee Alex Saad said in June that the university took the unusual step of splitting the vote on components of the budget because of the situation surrounding the ouster of former President Richard Holland. Monday, Saad praised work by the university staff to review the budgets and find savings. "Nobody lost their job, that was the No. 1 thing," Saad said. "We wanted to make sure the students didn't pick up the tab for something that could have been, should have been done."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cal State trustees raise scenario of transfer-only university system - CARLA RIVERA, LA Times

Cal State trustees, warning on effect of funding shortfall, raise scenario of turning away all new freshmen Could California State University one day limit enrollment to transfers, admitting burgeoning numbers of community college students but turning away new freshmen? The idea sounds far-fetched, but that scenario was raised Tuesday by trustees who cautioned that insufficient state funding could radically reduce the mission of the nation's largest university system. The warning came during a discussion of the preliminary 2015-16 budget, which predicted growing demand for the 23-campus system. The Cal State system drew a record 761,000 applications for the fall 2014 term.

Tugged in Two Directions - Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

A surge in new competency-based degree programs has created challenges for the accreditors tasked with approving them. They must seek to ensure academic quality without quashing promising ideas, while also dealing with sluggish and sometimes confusing guidance from the federal government. That was the message from top officials of three regional accrediting agencies, who spoke to a group the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) brought together here. Competency-based education needs quality control to really take off, said Barbara Gellman-Danley, who became president of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools two months ago. That’s because the entrance of “bad actors” -- low-quality programs that look like diploma mills -- could trigger a backlash.

USM will survive and prosper by becoming a ‘metropolitan’ university - DAVID T. FLANAGAN, Portland Press Herald

Despite its desirable locations in the population centers of the state, the University of Southern Maine has seen enrollment declines over the past several years, and as a result faces a projected $15 million budget shortfall for the academic year beginning September 2015. There are many reasons for this shortfall, including the shrinking number of high school seniors, an overbuilt public university and community college system, competition from online and other universities and an overstretched state budget.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Federal college-ratings could hurt minorities, Vandy professor says - The Tennessean, WBIR

The idea may seem reasonable enough — ensure that federal student aid is directed to colleges that deserve it. But one year after President Barack Obama floated a college-ratings system that would grade schools on access, affordability and outcomes such as graduation rates and graduate earnings, the plan continues to find critics in the higher education world. A main point of contention: If the system emphasizes students' ability to earn degrees, schools that serve higher percentages of African-American or Latino students would be unfairly graded and inadvertently hurt.

Changes in Ohio higher education funding now extends to two-year schools - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

State funding formulas for Ohio's two-year public colleges are now tied to graduation rates and course completion rather than enrollment. The changes that kicked in Thursday have been in effect at Ohio's four-year schools. Two-year colleges will now be able to join four-year institutions in offering students a single tuition rate during their time on campus and the new funding formula provides more money for some low-income, minority and older students.

Increase in student transfers worrying alumni offices - Jon Marcus, Hechinger Report

Maya Gunaseharan spent her first year in college at American University, then transferred to Cornell. And that was after 12 years at a private school in New Jersey. Now all three ask her to contribute money. “I do feel a pull, because I had a really great first year at American,” said Gunaseharan, who is 24. “But I’ve seen a very clear return as a result of my degree from Cornell. So I absolutely feel the tension about who to give to.” Universities and colleges are feeling it too. Already dealing with financial problems on many fronts, they’re worried that the large proportion of students transferring from one school to another will make it harder to solicit alumni donations. Today, one-third of all students change schools at least once in five years, and a quarter at least twice, according to the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks this.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Part-time professors face challenges as they fill important roles on local campuses - Ashley Jost, Columbia Tribune

According to the American Association of University Professors, more than 50 percent of all faculty members hold part-time appointments. The median pay for a three-credit-hour course is $2,700, according to the association. Gary Massey, dean of adult higher education at Columbia College, said for a school that spans 34 campuses — physical and online — adjuncts are essential. He said the college has about 1,800 part-time faculty members altogether. There are 53 adjuncts and 69 full-time professors working on the Columbia campus. “We have a rigorous hiring process that shows how we treat adjuncts like they’re full-time faculty,” Massey said. “We expect nothing less from them even though they’re temporary or part-time.”

Questions arise around Iowa higher education funding changes - Vanessa Miller, the Gazette

The Iowa Regents board on June 4 — following a presentation and discussion that lasted just over an hour — approved the new funding model, which ties 60 percent of state appropriations to in-state enrollment, 15 percent to progress and attainment, 10 percent to access, 5 percent to sponsored research and 5 percent to graduate and professional student enrollment. The remaining 5 percent is left for the regents to decide. The approved model did include one amendment, as Downer predicted. Instead of tying 5 percent to job placement and continuing education, as originally proposed, it associates that portion with graduate and professional enrollment. If enrollment figures remain unchanged, UI could lose $12.9 million a year, and ISU eventually would become the top-funded university in the state. UNI would see the biggest boost — nearly $24 million — to its overall allocation.

Fort Valley State University takes action to fight declining enrollment - Patrick Davis, Macon Political Buzz Examiner

On Wednesday, September 3, Fort Valley President Ivelaw Griffith announced a plan of action in an effort to combat continuing budget cuts and declining enrollment. Griffith -- the university's leader for a year--came into an already tough situation and local media had reported the loss of seven million dollars in revenue. Additionally, more than a dozen employees are likely to lose their jobs in an effort to reduce costs.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

State College Regents Ask Major Funding Hike - GREGORY B. HLADKY, Courant

Facing declining enrollment and worried about potential tuition increases, the governing board for Connecticut's public college systems voted Friday to ask for a 9.9 percent increase in state funding over their current budget. The Board of Regents for the four state universities and 12 community colleges and the online Charter Oak College unanimously approved the request for an increase of about $60.3 million for 2015-16 over current spending. There was almost no debate on a proposal that's certain to draw plenty by the time it reaches the 2015 General Assembly. Members of the board said their plea for more state assistance is keyed to holding student fee-and-tuition hikes next year to no more than 2 percent.,0,4489633.story

Ivy Tech Kokomo adopts 2014-15 budget with 3 percent cut - Lauren Slagter, Kokomo Tribune

Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region will be adapting to a budget that’s $712,792 less than last year’s after the board of trustees approved the 2014-15 budget proposal Thursday. A 3 percent cut to the operating budget leaves Ivy Tech Kokomo with almost $21 million for the 2014-15 school year, $18.7 million of which can be allocated while the other $3 million is set aside to carry forward for the next academic year.

Valdosta State cuts jobs to balance budget - Christian McKinney, WALB

Valdosta State University is cutting jobs and eliminating positions in order to balance its budget. Students may notice fewer employees in places like the book store and the dining services. 11 auxiliary service employees were terminated Tuesday to balance the university's budget for the current 2015 fiscal year. The cuts came from the book store, dining services, parking and transportation, and housing areas. But employees were not the only thing the university cut back on in order to eliminate the close to one million dollars that they were over budget. "We reduced operating budgets, we reduced our student and temporary employee budgets," said Finance and Administration Vice President Traycee Martin.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Budget cuts lead to layoffs - Richard Cracchiolo, the Northerner

Putting the plans it devised last spring to deal with its budget problems into action, NKU had to make some layoffs over the summer. According to President Geoffrey Mearns the university had to terminate between 40 and 45 staff positions this past June. However, of those positions, only 25 were occupied and eight of those staff members were relocated to different positions around the university. “Overall, there were about 15 or 16 people who exited the university as a result of the reduction,” Mearns said. At the spring 2014 budget address in April, Mearns said that NKU not only faced the same 2.5 percent budget cut that all other universities faced across the state, which would have meant $1.2 million cut from NKU, the university also needed to give $4.8 million to the Kentucky Educational Retirement System.

Yale University predicts balanced budget by next year - ADRIAN RODRIGUES, Yale Daily News

Despite a multi-million dollar deficit last year, University administrators maintain confidence in the future of Yale’s budget. In an August email to the Yale community, University President Peter Salovey wrote that he expects the budget to be balanced by fiscal 2016 — the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015 and ending on June 30, 2016. In fiscal 2013, the University had a $39 million central operating deficit. As a result, Salovey and Provost Benjamin Polak issued three- and five-year budget targets to units throughout the University, asking them to reduce spending. These targets are the first projections expected to bring the University into the black since before the onset of the 2008 recession.

Resignation caught college trustees by surprise - Tim Johnson, Burlington Free Press

Four days after the surprise resignation of its president during a face-off with student protesters, Burlington College introduced a temporary leadership team charged with guiding the school through its grim financial plight and internal tumult. The new leaders, experienced executives drawn from outside the college, were recruited by the Board of Trustees in a whirlwind of activity over the weekend, according to board chairman Yves Bradley, who made it clear that President Christine Plunkett's decision had caught the board by surprise. After she emerged from a board meeting Friday morning in downtown Burlington, Plunkett was confronted by students who reiterated their demand that she resign. They followed her into the parking lot, stood behind her car —impeding her from backing out — and engaged her in a brief, spirited debate before she blurted out, "OK, I resign. Happy?"