Friday, October 31, 2014

Burse named president of KSU - Mike Wynn, The Courier-Journal

The interim president of Kentucky State University, who took a pay cut this summer to benefit low-wage workers, has signed on to head the school for an additional three years. Raymond Burse, a retired corporate officer and general counsel at General Electric, was installed by the KSU Board of Regents on Friday as the 14th president of the only historically black university in Kentucky. Burse stepped in as a one-year interim on July 1, following the retirement of former President Mary Evans Sias. Under the new deal, he will remain at the helm through summer 2018.

ISU board OKs $425.6M budget - Lenore Sobota, Pantabraph

At a work session last month, several trustees expressed a desire to be more involved in the budget process. Although that issue did not come up at Friday morning's meeting, Chairman Rocky Donahue said trustees want to be kept up to date and understand the options as work continues on an fiscal year 2016 budget. “There is potential stormy weather ahead,” Donahue said, referring to uncertainty about what the legislature will do regarding income taxes and shifting pension costs.

USM must balance its budget before tackling larger issues - Christopher Quint, Portland Press Herald

The most pressing result of USM’s decline in enrollment is more administrators, faculty, staff and academic programs than the university can afford for its current student body size. The 15 percent enrollment decline over the last five years has left USM with a structural budget gap of $16 million for our next fiscal year that cannot be ignored and must be addressed now.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

USM board to vote on budget cuts - Nell Gluckman, Bangor Daily News

A proposal to cut two programs at the University of Southern Maine — undergraduate French and graduate applied medical sciences — could move one step closer to finalization on Wednesday. Members of the board of trustees academic and students affairs committee will vote whether to approve these program cuts at a meeting on USM’s Portland campus. If they do, the full board will vote whether to finalize the eliminations on Friday. The program eliminations are just one part of a plan presented by USM President David Flanagan earlier this month to cut $6 million from the university’s budget.

Budget cuts, layoffs made at Spring Arbor University due to lower than anticipated enrollment - Leanne Smith, MLive

Lower than anticipated enrollment has prompted Spring Arbor University to make a 5 percent reduction in its overall budget this year. University officials declined to release specifics, but said the reductions were made in the operating and personnel budgets. Layoff notices have been issued to employees. "While the reductions are difficult for us to walk through as an institution, we remain very optimistic for what the future holds," Malachi Crane, SAU's associate vice president for enrollment and marketing, said in a prepared statement.

Oberlin College layoffs first in more than decade - Anna Merriman, Chronicle Telegram

Three Oberlin College engineers will have to make a difficult decision in the next two weeks after years of working for the college: Take a pay cut or find another job. In October, three heating plant workers and members of United Auto Workers Local 2192 received a “notice for the opportunity for voluntary layoff,” according to the college. The notice means the three workers could either accept the layoffs or take a lower-pay-grade position at the college. The layoffs would be the first for UAW workers at Oberlin College in more than a decade. It’s a difficult decision and one that needs to be made by Nov. 5, said UAW Chairman Milton Wyman.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

NMSU Makes Progress On Budget Cuts - KRWG

New Mexico State University President Garrey Carruthers updated the Las Cruces campus Friday afternoon on measures NMSU is taking to reduce budget expenses following a decrease in fall enrollment. A decline in enrollment has a direct impact on NMSU’s finances, as revenue collected from tuition and fees supports the university’s I&G (Instruction and General) budget. As a result of that decline in enrollment, university leaders spent the last few weeks meeting with stakeholders from colleges and units across campus to identify about $4.8 million in reduced expenditures to make up for the reduced revenue, which amounts to about 2.5 percent of NMSU’s unrestricted I&G budget.

Online Learning Revolution Energized By New Business - Seb Murray, Business Because

The online learning revolution is coming to the office. Mooc makers and business schools are selling customized online courses to businesses – a lucrative market. The online learning revolution has broken into the boardroom. The developers of Moocs – massive open online courses – are teaming up with business schools to train executives in potentially lucrative courses ranging from cybersecurity to marketing. These developers have drawn huge audiences of millions globally to their free content which is developed by industry professionals and leading academics. For MBA and business school students, it means an online network of additional knowledge to tap into outside of the classroom, free of charge. For the learning technology companies that produce the courses, it is a way to turn their enormous popularity into cash, and widen their student pools.

Students jump at chance for free college tuition - Dave Boucher, Tennessean

When Gov. Bill Haslam announced the creation of the Tennessee Promise scholarship program, the state anticipated 20,000 students might apply. A little more than a week before the Nov. 1 application deadline, the number of students embarking down the path toward free tuition at a Tennessee community college or college of applied technology is closer to 45,000. Essentially two-thirds of all seniors in the state have applied. That doesn't pose a monetary or logistical problem though, said Mike Krause, the man leading Haslam's push for 55 percent of adult Tennesseans to have a college degree by 2025.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Funding Cuts put Student Counselling Service at Unprecedented Risk = Sinéad Baker, University Times

Speaking to The University Times, Deirdre Flynn, director of the counselling service, confirmed that the situation with regard to budget cuts was not “fully clear”, saying: “I understand that there will be reductions on all budgets across the College. As the exact budget cuts have not yet been confirmed, I don’t yet know what the impact on service levels will be”. She further confirmed that: “I can assure you that the Service will do the best it can within its resources to find ways of responding to students’ needs”. These fears come at a time when the counselling service is being used more than ever before. Due to these increased numbers, and the potential staff shortages that could result from vacancies, resignations, illness and maternity leave, and which “threaten service quality”, over fifty students waited longer than three weeks for an initial appointment with Student Learning Development (SLD).According to the report, the counselling service has also lost its full-time co-ordinator which has resulted in a decrease in workshop service provision.

SSU cuts budget across campus - Joseph Pratt, Portsmouth Daily Times

In September, the Shawnee State University Board of Trustees discussed plans to address a $2.5 million shortfall to SSU’s current operating budget, a result of declines in the university’s fall enrollment. The strategy included addressing a portion of the shortfall ($1.5 million) with reserves, leaving $1 million to be reduced in the current operating budget. Reserves include the university’s assets, including cash savings, long-term investments, inventory, equipment, buildings, and receivables.

Hocking College working to address budget issues - Associated Press

Officials at a small college in southwest Ohio say they're trying to address a budget deficit and a dwindling enrollment. The Columbus Dispatch reports administrators at Hocking College in Nelsonville briefed employees on the college's budget last week. The school is running a deficit this year, searching for ways to fill a $4.7 million hole in its $23.4 million yearly budget. The college's enrollment has dropped to less than 3,500 students this semester. That's down from the nearly 6,600 students enrolled in the fall of 2010.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Shaw University reveals $2 million cost-savings plan - News Observer

The interim president at Shaw University rolled out a cost-savings plan on Friday that could save nearly $2 million in the coming year. Gaddis Faulcon, who has been the acting president of the South’s oldest historically black college since January, offered few details in a news release sent out Friday. Efforts to reach him since then have been unsuccessful. Faulcon, who joined the Shaw faculty in 1998 and has been a longtime professor and dean there, said the savings would come from the elimination of positions that have been vacant, restructuring contracts and “limited personnel reductions.”

State cuts tough on growing Mary Washington campus - LINDLEY ESTES, THE FREE LANCE-STAR

For the University of Mary Washington, which is in the midst of an $85 million effort to update its student facilities, Virginia’s budget cuts couldn’t have come at a worse time. UMW recently opened the $26 million Information Technology Convergence Center, and construction continues on the $43 million Campus Center, which will open in fall 2015. In addition, $16 million in renovations are underway on two academic halls. But now, university officials are preparing for the worst-case budget scenario—a 5 percent reduction in operating expenditures during the current fiscal year and 7 percent next year.

N.J. Assembly passes 7 bills on higher education - Matt Friedman, NJ Advance Media

A bill that would allow New Jersey college students to pay the same tuition for nine straight semesters is one step closer to becoming law. The state Assembly today voted 48-21 to pass the bill, which was one of seven bills the lower house passed today that are intended to rein in college costs. “The time for change in higher education has come,” said Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union), a sponsor of the bills. “For the last 20 years New Jersey’s families have been at the mercy of what I would say is an oligarchy of presidents of higher education who determine their financial future.”

Sunday, October 26, 2014

NMSU President Carruthers provides update on measures to reduce budget expenses - Justin Bannister, New Mexico State University

In the end, about 61 percent of NMSU’s reduced expenditures will come from administrative budgets at the university and about 38 percent will come from academic budgets. A good share of the reduced expenditures is directly related to salary savings from delaying when vacant positions are filled. The university also saw significant savings from sweeping carry-forward money from budgets and from adjusting energy usage.

Why ‘potential completers’ should matter to your institution - Ron Bethke, eCampus News

31 million students have left college without earning a degree in the last 20 years, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, leaving a huge amount of almost-students degree bereft. Welcome to the term ‘potential completers’: a specific set of students characterized by a set of personal issues (financial struggles, simple boredom, family concern, lack of time) that forces them to quit a traditional degree pathway, though ideally they’d like to continue with their education. Many of these people go on to accumulate a respectable skill set after leaving college, enabling them to become experienced “potential completers” down the line, said President of Excelsior College in Albany, New York, Dr. John Ebersole, LPD. “They should be valued and honored.”

Budget Cuts - Chelsey Kimmel-Kendrick, Grand Views

For weeks now, administration has been contemplating a budget cut and on Thursday, Oct. 2, the final decisions were made. Due to the decrease in enrollment on campus this year, the staff had to face some tough decisions in order to lower the spending. Along with the toilet paper cuts on campus from a few weeks ago, some other changes have been put in place, which should not affect the students. “The most important guiding principle in our decision making was to make sure our budget adjustments do not impact the quality of education or other experiences our students receive,” President Kent Henning said. “No faculty members, academic programs, athletic programs are being eliminated.”

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Benedictine University to lay off 75, end undergraduate program for traditional students - John Reynolds, State JournalRegister

Benedictine University at Springfield will be laying off about 75 of its 100 full-time employees next year when it ends its undergraduate program for students who are just out of high school. Michael Bromberg, president of the Catholic university, said Benedictine will be focusing on programs for nontraditional students. He added that the decision to end the traditional program came after it was determined that it would cost the university about $40 million in capital improvements to stay competitive. “If we did nothing and ignored the tea leaves, at some point down the road, maybe two years or five years, we would be at a point where the traditional program was draining so many resources we would find ourselves in a crisis as to whether we should stay in Springfield,” Bromberg said.

The Real Revolution in Online Education Isn’t MOOCs - Michelle Weise, Harvard Business Review

Something is clearly wrong when only 11% of business leaders — compared to 96% of chief academic officers — believe that graduates have the requisite skills for the workforce. It’s therefore unlikely that business leaders are following closely what’s going on in higher education. Even the latest hoopla around massive open online courses (MOOCs) amounts to more of the same: academics designing courses that correspond with their own interests rather than the needs of the workforce, but now doing it online. But there is a new wave of online competency-based learning providers that has absolutely nothing to do with offering free, massive, or open courses. In fact, they’re not even building courses per se, but creating a whole new architecture of learning that has serious implications for businesses and organizations around the world. It’s called online competency-based education, and it’s going to revolutionize the workforce.

Should Oregon borrow millions to endow college scholarships? Voters will weigh in - Betsy Hammond, the Oregonian

Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler makes an unusually frank and modest case for why voters should approve Measure 86, which would allow the state to borrow money to endow a fund for college financial aid: >> Taking on state debt isn't the best way to endow a scholarship fund, since all the debt has to be repaid with interest; directly allocating money from the state budget would pack nearly twice the wallop, Wheeler says. >> Even if the fund were to grow as large as $400 million, which would take many years, that wouldn't solve the problems that make college unaffordable for many Oregonians; it would make only a dent, Wheeler acknowledges.