Thursday, November 27, 2014

Owens falling faster than other community colleges: Enrollment drop among worst in Ohio - NOLAN ROSENKRANS, Toledo Blade

Since 2009, when Owens Community College saw its highest levels of enrollment, only Belmont College in eastern Ohio’s Belmont County has faced a faster rate of decline. Since 2009, when Owens Community College saw its highest levels of enrollment, only Belmont College in eastern Ohio’s Belmont County has faced a faster rate of decline. Owens Community College’s sinking enrollment, which will likely place it next year under fiscal watch, is not unique in Ohio, but its scale is. Enrollment at Ohio’s public two-year colleges has dropped since an upswing tied to the recession, with student counts at community colleges down nearly across the board. But Owens’ plummet outpaces nearly all of them, and shows its struggles in recent years is not simply a reversion to the mean. Statewide, Ohio community college enrollment is down 18.5 percent since 2010 and has dropped about 15 percent since 2009, when enrollment peaked. Only four of the 23 community colleges in the state have seen enrollment increases during that time.

Construction spending raises concerns as University of Cincinnati debt grows - Heather King, News Record

While brick-and-mortar spending expands, a growing university-wide debt looms, despite what University of Cincinnati officials call a strong financial rating. Over the past five years, UC spent more than $530.5 million to pay the principal cost and interest on money the university borrowed to finance renovation and building initiatives, according to university financial records. The figure for spending in 2014 was $112.8 million — enough money to provide 2,563 UC students with full scholarships for four years.

U Maine System creates campus-wide faculty subteams to explore possible budget cuts - Cameron Paquette, Maine Campus

The last 12 months have not been kind to the University of Maine System (UMS). Without changes, the UMS faces a projected $69 million deficit by 2019. In the most recent budget, approved in May, officials cut 157 positions and used $11.4 million in emergency funds to close a $36 million deficit in the system’s $529 million budget. The backlash from students, particularly at the University of Southern Maine, has been prominent. Many of the cuts, particularly to faculty positions and programs are seen by the student body as the wrong way to narrow the deficit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Universities warned state funding cuts could be severe in Illinois - WQAD-TV

The head of the Illinois Board of Higher Education is telling leaders at public universities in the state to brace themselves for severe budget cuts. Administrators received an email from Board Executive Director James Applegate that says schools need to prepare for up to 30-percent in-state funding reductions over the next two fiscal years. This, after meeting with Governor-elect Bruce Rauner’s budget transition team.

Louisiana College fall enrollment down 140, causing $1M budget shortfall, interim prez says bug - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Louisiana College's interim president says a 141-student drop in fall enrollment means a $1 million shortfall for the Baptist college in Pineville. Argile Smith is asking officials to tighten spending to avoid a deficit. His request came in an email last month to faculty and staff. The college also sent copies to The Town Talk and The Baptist Messenger.

Time-Starved Managers Turn To Innovative Mini-MBAs Online - Seb Murray, Business Because

“It acts as a complement,” says Peter Methot, managing director of executive education at Rutgers Business School, which runs up to 18 “mini MBAs” on topics such as entrepreneurship and digital marketing. “The mini-MBA also serves the purpose of focusing on a specific subject matter in a condensed period of time,” he adds. Where MBA degrees are expensive, mini courses cost as little as $5,000 and have relaxed entry requirements. They are targeting middle-managers, according to Alan Middleton, executive director of the Schulich School of Business’ Executive Education Centre. “The mini-MBA tends to get people later on in their careers,” he says, who want to move into broader responsibilities or more senior roles. “They don’t really have time to go back [to business school] for a year or an 18 month program,” Alan adds.

Moody's: Tuition Revenue Growing Slower than Inflation - Inside Higher Ed

Enrollment declines and the inability to increase actual tuition charges are putting pressure on colleges’ bottom lines, a new report by Moody’s Investors Service makes clear. Net tuition revenue will be unlikely to exceed inflation at half the public universities and 40 percent of the private colleges Moody’s surveyed. Moody’s received replies from 170 private colleges and universities and 120 publics. At the same time, smaller entering classes foreshadow continued and future strains on higher education revenue. About 37 percent of publics and 45 percent of privates project enrollment declines in the current fiscal year, which began this summer for most institutions.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

At College Where Alumni Pockets Are Shallow, a Struggle to Raise Money - GINIA BELLAFANTE, NY Times

Educational institutions and services remain the second biggest beneficiaries of philanthropy in the country, after religious organizations, but little of the money flows to community colleges, the mostly public institutions that now enroll 45 percent of the country’s undergraduates, most of them poor or working-class and many of them requiring extensive remedial learning.

Students protest financial issues outside UVa BOV meeting - Derek Quizon, The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress

About 20 activists gathered outside Friday’s board of visitors meeting at the University of Virginia demanding the right to speak to board members in public session. The activists — students and recent graduates calling themselves UVa Students United — said they want the opportunity to address the board on a variety of issues, including tuition increases, pay for university employees and cuts to the AccessUVa financial aid program. “All of us had different issues that brought us here,” said Nqobile Mthethwa, a second-year student, just before the meeting. “We found we had no avenues for addressing those issues with the board.”

More positions being cut at NHTI - IAIN WILSON, Concord Monitor

Slumping revenue and increased expenses prompted NHTI to cut additional full-time positions yesterday, just as the community college system asked the state to add an additional $3 million to next year’s budget. The Concord community college announced it cut five full-time positions and one part-time position. The school also reduced two full-time positions to part time, and nine part-time positions were reduced from 29 to 25 hours a week.

Monday, November 24, 2014

UNC-system budget committee deliberates budget-cut strategy - Laura Oleniacz, Herald-Sun

The budget committee for the UNC system’s governing board deliberated Wednesday about how to implement a proposed 2 percent state budget cut to each campus. As part of planning for Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed version of the next biennial budget, the state budget office has asked the UNC system and other state agencies to prepare their budgets with a 2 percent cut worked in, system officials said. Jonathan Pruitt, the systems’ senior associate vice president for finance, said they don’t know if the 2 percent reduction is where they’ll “end up.” That’s because the budget won’t be approved until the summer, following negotiations between lawmakers.

Facing budget crunch, University of Alaska Fairbanks to consider dropping programs - Jeff Richardson, News Miner

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has assembled a list of more than 40 academic programs that it will consider eliminating to help slash its budget. Departments were were notified of their status on the "special program review" list this week. The list consists of programs with low enrollment, significantly declining enrollment, or a low number of graduates, criteria set by UAF's Planning and Budget Committee. UAF programs go through the process each year, but the stakes are higher this time. The goal of the review is to achieve $3 million in annual savings, a target that can't be met without trimming academic offerings. Chancellor Brian Rogers has asked that $14 million in savings be identified overall.

Brookdale Community College’s layoff proposal detailed - Ken Serrano, Asbury Park Press

Layoffs under a proposal to cut more than 200 positions at Brookdale Community College and add 126 new ones came into sharper focus Friday as staff members holding the targeted positions were being notified. Brookdale cops increase patrols after layoff approval. The Board of Trustees approved the plan Thursday in front of a boisterous crowd of staff, students, parents and alumni. In all, there will be 51 layoffs.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Budget cuts coming to U of M Faculties preparing for 3 or 4 % cut, university faces $10.5 million shortfall - Ethan Cabel, the Manitoban

The University of Manitoba administration has instructed faculties and other non-academic units to prepare for budget cuts of between three and four per cent for the 2015-16 academic year. John Danakas, executive director of the marketing and communications office at the U of M, emphasized that U of M president David Barnard will be speaking to these matters next week. According to Danakas, the proposed cuts are contingent on how much the provincial government increases its annual operating grant for Manitoban universities.

Hocking College announces 36 layoffs, mandatory furloughs, other cuts - Athens News

Facing a $4.4 million budget deficit, Hocking College announced 36 layoffs Thursday afternoon, including nine administrative positions, 16 professional bargaining unit instructors, eight professional bargaining unit non-instructional positions and three support staff bargaining unit positions. The eliminated administrative positions also include three deans at the college, a news release said Thursday, but did not name which ones or their respective departments. "All efforts are being made to minimize the impact of our budget decline on our students, while protecting the areas critical to the mission of Hocking College," interim President Betty Young said in a news release.

Average College Grad Now Leaves School With $28,400 in Debt - Kim Clark, Time

A new report from the Project on Student Debt shows that many recent grads are drowning in student loans, but also offers advice for avoiding this destiny. Student debt has hit another record—with the typical 2013 college grad who borrowed commencing post-collegiate life with loan bills totaling $28,400, according to a Project on Student Debt report released Thursday. That number is up 2% over the class of 2012, who owed $27,850.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Salisbury U Imposes Hiring Freeze in Face of State Budget Shortfall - DON RUSH, Melmarva Public Radio

Salisbury University is imposing a hard hiring freeze in the wake of news that the state could be facing a budget deficit as high as $300 million in the fiscal year of 2015 with future reductions that could top $450 million. In addition, all current vacant positions for which there have not been offers already made are to be left unfilled.

Dowling faculty union agrees to $4.7 million in givebacks - CANDICE FERRETTE, Newsday

Dowling College's faculty union Wednesday approved $4.7 million in contract givebacks to help close the 2014-15 budget gap at the Oakdale liberal arts school, officials announced. The agreement includes professor buyouts, possible layoffs, deferred raises and new health insurance with higher deductibles. The plan amends a faculty contract that was due to expire in 2016.

Webster U to close three campuses, St. Louis location is safe - Koran Addo, Post-Dispatch

Webster University is set to close three of its U.S. campuses in the coming year as a way to balance its budget. The move comes as declining student enrollment in graduate programs has led to a projected revenue shortfall.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Standardized Tests for the Job Market - Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

Angst over the perceived “skills gap” and a dearth of trained workers is growing. Meanwhile, many complain that typical college transcripts say little about what someone knows and can do in the workplace. One way for employers to find better job applicants might be to require all potential hires to take a test. This “GRE-for-job” assessment could measure both soft and hard skills. Employers might even require all job-seekers to get a minimum cutoff score. There is a growing market for such workplace readiness tests in the U.S. One of the most established is ACT's WorkKeys. The suite of 11 assessments help employers select, hire, train and retain a “high-performance workforce,” according to the nonprofit testing firm.

The Shrinking Academic Workforce - Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

The Shrinking Academic Workforce - Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed The academic workforce is shrinking. Not by much, mind you: the number of faculty members and administrators at colleges eligible to award federal financial aid declined by a mere 7,500 from 2012 to 2013, according to new Education Department statistics. But the dip, however small, is the first in many years. The percentage drop in the number of employees, which the National Center for Education Statistics puts at 0.19 percent, to 3,969,396 in 2013 from 3,976,803 in 2012, is actually larger than the enrollment decline that the report also documents. Overall enrollments fell by about 300,000 (to 20.85 million from 21.15 million) in 2013, about evenly split between for-profit institutions and public two-year institutions.