Monday, June 21, 2021

Petitions couldn't save a popular Pennsylvania state university music professor's job, so his wife is speaking out - Bill Schackner, Post-Gazette

 For 13 years, her husband, Eddie, has taught music at one of Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities — that is until Friday, when he was to be laid off from his tenured position at Lock Haven University. “I decided to speak tonight because I’m tired — I’m tired of a lot of the rhetoric,” she said, invoking State System of Higher Education Chancellor Daniel Greenstein and others. “I’m really tired of witnessing the chancellor and upper management referring to my husband as being — and I’m quoting — ‘Excess teaching capacity, part of a headcount reduction and a faculty member needing to be shed to right size the university and the PASSHE system.’ I find this incredibly offensive.

The Money Not Everyone Wants - Sara Weissman, Inside Higher Ed

 California Community College system budget officers are at odds with faculty members and their union over what is usually a cause for celebration -- an increase in state funding. Faculty members are in favor of a budget proposal by the state Legislature that includes $170 million for the hiring of 2,000 full-time faculty members, which would make the system less reliant on adjunct instructors. But the system’s number crunchers are wary about the long-term implications of such a funding decision. They believe setting aside such a large sum specifically for faculty hiring is financially risky in the aftermath of steep enrollment drops during the pandemic, CalMatters reported.


Sunday, June 20, 2021

Coursera: The 'Amazon' Of Online Education May Grow By Magnitudes - Harrison Schwartz, Seeking Alpha

Increasing student dissatisfaction and declining enrollment suggest that many people are rethinking traditional methods of higher education. The historical value of universities is becoming defunct as the internet allows a more efficient, less expensive, and more accessible vector of transmitting knowledge. Innovative platforms like Coursera offer students a huge "marketplace" of high-quality courses far less expensive than those in traditional universities. Given Coursera's minimal barriers to growth and its massive total addressable market, I would not be surprised to see its annual revenue rise by 10X or more within years.

University Of Florida Recovering From $54.5M Shortfall Amid Pandemic - Associated Press

Florida’s athletic department had a $54.5 million shortfall during the 2020-21 fiscal year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Gators were able to weather the significant financial losses with a supplement from the Southeastern Conference and a sizeable reserve. The University Athletic Association released its annual budget summary amid the school’s two-day board of trustees meeting that ended Friday.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

EWU Board votes for athletics to stay Division I - Brenna Greene,KREM

 After nearly three weeks of taking public feedback, EWU’s Board of Trustees voted on Friday to keep their athletics programs at the DI level, including their football team. The Board voted 8-1, with the lone dissenter being the student trustee. In May 2021, Eastern Washington University Interim President David May recommended the same fate for athletics to the board. "I want to see the same thing that the trustees want to see, which is an actual budget and a realistic plan here because we haven’t been given any plan," said Syphers. "President May has said, ‘We’re going to make athletics stick to a budget.’ They don’t have a budget right now, and he’s not talking about the budget."

COVID-19 drives steep decline in US student enrollment - Nathan M Greenfield, University World News

One year into the COVID pandemic, American colleges and universities have suffered the greatest decline in enrolment in a decade, with 603,000 fewer Americans enrolled in college or university than were enrolled last year. This represents a 3.5% drop in the number of students in higher education, seven times greater than the year-on-year decline recorded in the spring of 2020 at the start of the pandemic, says a study from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC).

Friday, June 18, 2021

South Carolina Athletics Working Way Back to Pre-COVID Budgetary Status - Gamecocks Online

University of South Carolina Athletics will conclude the 2020-21 academic year with a budget deficit of approximately $27 million, due to the impacts of the pandemic. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Carolina Athletics Department under Athletics Director Ray Tanner had never finished a budget year with a deficit.

Who Can Fire a Professor? - Lilah Burke, Inside Higher Ed

The Hawaii Legislature has taken the unusual step of terminating a tenured professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa through the legislative budget process. It’s not unheard-of for a legislature to eliminate empty positions at different agencies, but the professor affected by the Hawaii Legislature’s decision is still occupying the role and has worked at the university since 1999.Senator Donna Kim, chair of the higher education committee, said the effort to sweep the position at the university was part of cost-cutting measures. The provision is in the main budget bill for the university. “We need to control the costs and we need to make sure that our students in Hawaii are being able to afford higher education,” she said.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Coding bootcamps and 4-year colleges have nearly identical percentage of alumni employed at Big Five - Jonathan Grieg, ZdNet

Coding bootcamps and 4-year colleges have nearly identical percentage of alumni employed at Big FiveThe study measured the bootcamps against computer science departments at eight colleges, finding that "coding bootcamps offered competitive employment results compared to computer science degrees from top universities, at around 10% of the cost." Most of the bootcamps had lower alumni employment rates at the major tech companies compared to the most prestigious institutions likes University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University, and Cornell University. But average employment at major tech companies was similar for computer science graduates and bootcamp alumni overall, according to the study. Product School, App Academy, and Coding Dojo managed to beat out alumni of the computer science departments at The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Georgetown University, and Boston University for jobs at the Big Five.

Despite $10M federal bailout, UNM athletics budget remains in deficit - Liam Debonis, Madeline Pukite, Daily Lobo

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the University of New Mexico’s Athletics budget was left bleeding. But the U.S. government offered a saving grace in late December: federal stimulus money allocated for colleges and universities through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds II (HEERF II). The Athletics department received over $10 million for the 2021 fiscal year as a result of a second pandemic stimulus package through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, according to documents from the UNM Controller Administration. Yet, in spite of the infusion of aid, the department still expects to fall short of meeting its budget goals by the end of the fiscal year.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

A university CIO's lessons: Fix security, power WFH, negotiate budget - Doug Drinkwater, CIO

 A spate of cyberattacks and security vulnerabilities gave the University of Salford CIO Mark Wantling some sleepless nights. His homework? Protect the network, pivot to home learning, accelerate digital transformation and ask the CEO for budget flexibility. But a brutal penetration test that successfully poked holes throughout his network in a matter of hours was what lit the touchpaper. It was this exercise which proved the catalyst for identifying and remediating zero-day vulnerabilities linked to the WannaCry and SolarWinds incidents, for issuing of 38,000 critical security patches and for bringing his IT operations and infosec teams together in process and tooling.

Idaho State spells out plan to absorb state budget cuts - Kevin Richert, Idaho Education News

Idaho State University will use a hiring slowdown and dip into reserves to absorb a $500,000 state budget cut. The Idaho State Journal reported Wednesday on the university’s cost-cutting plans — and the social justice backlash behind the budget cuts. “It is the goal of higher education in Idaho to educate Idaho citizens, provide opportunities and experiences, without compelling students to affirm any particular belief,” Idaho State President Kevin Satterlee said in written responses to questions from the Journal. “We respect and welcome all people and support the First Amendment, the free and open exchange of ideas and civil discourse.”

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Is the Future of Higher Education a Subscription Model? - JW Marshall interviews Ray Schroeder, MarketScale

Online learning was steadily growing pre-pandemic. Then it reached a considerable acceleration, but universities are taking a new look at their model to continue gaining new students and remaining solvent. The answer could be subscription-based learning. Discussing this topic and more, Voices of eLearning host JW Marshall spoke with Ray Schroeder, Associate Vice-Chancellor, University of Illinois-Springfield, and Senior Fellow, UPCEA (University Professional and Continuing Education Association). Schroeder has been an educator for 50 years and launched the University of Illinois-Springfield online learning program in 1997. After 24 years in higher ed online learning, he reported that of the last graduating class, 98% had taken at least one online course.

Laurentian – Insolvency, mass firings and the erosion of multiculturalism - Nathan M Greenfield, University World News

 Laurentian University, which became the first publicly funded entity in Canada to seek creditor protection after declaring insolvency earlier this year, has fired 100 academics, cut 69 programmes – and shattered what it proudly billed as its tri-cultural mandate by disproportionately cutting back francophone and indigenous offerings.

Monday, June 14, 2021

UVM Trustees Hear Update On Proposed Arts And Sciences Cuts - PAT BRADLEY, WAMC

“Some majors are retained," Falls said. "Some are retained and revised. Some that are going to be terminated but then incorporated as tracks in other majors. The second piece is that with my proposal on December 2nd I think a lot of folks got anxious and they really thought that we were talking about eliminating instruction. It was really never the intention but I understand the fear. Faculty are not going to lose their jobs. Faculty are going to continue to teach in these areas even if we don’t have a major in that area. So those are the two things I really wanted to update the Board on.”

South Dakota's college cost-cutting task force gavels out, will publish final report - Christopher Vondracek, the Globe

The buzzsaw of negotiations among lawmakers, business leaders and college officials to winnow the state's university budget is now silent — with months to prepare final recommendations for a further slimming of the state's public university system expenses. But it's still up-in-the-air what, if any, cuts — ranging from staff positions at the South Dakota Board of Regents central office in Pierre to faculty of low-enrolling courses to even food service vendors — will be endorsed by a report to the governor and the Legislature, expected by year's end.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

YSU budget includes tuition increase - SEAN BARRON, Tribune-Cbronicle

Youngstown State University’s Board of Trustees has approved a $172.6 million operating budget for fiscal year 2022, which includes a modest tuition increase.. Also discussed during the board’s quarterly meeting Tuesday were incentives to attract more students to the university. These are happening against the backdrop of a budget projection showing a 5 percent decrease in enrollment and an estimated $5.3 million decline in tuition dollars — largely because of a shrinking population in the Mahoning Valley and uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WKU to eliminate distance learning fee - Debra Murray, WKU

WKU plans to eliminate its $150-per-hour distance learning fee for online classes, President Timothy Caboni told the Staff Senate this week, saying he supports ending the fee to give students flexibility in how they take classes – even though it will cost the university $4.3 million in revenue. Caboni said the move to eliminate the fee comes after WKU waived it for 2020-21, when the coronavirus pandemic forced many classes into an online mode.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Online Learning Has Changed the Future of Higher Education - Milan Kordestani, Medium

Higher education looks completely different than it did a few decades ago. What does the future hold for students in an age driven by the Internet and technological innovation? Now, you can get a high-quality education — that actually carries weight in the job market — right from the comfort of your own home. That said, costs will still need to come down before most students can take advantage of these new opportunities. Thankfully, as more people come to take online education seriously, the market for online degrees will become more competitive. Tuition costs will come down, allowing even more people to see the benefits.

State support for higher ed ticked up 2.9% in fiscal 2020, report finds - Natalie Schwartz, Higher Ed Dive

Despite eight years of state funding increases, higher education institutions had historically low state support heading into the pandemic-induced recession, according to an annual report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. State appropriations per full-time-equivalent student increased 2.9% in fiscal 2020 when adjusted for inflation and including $428 million in federal relief funding, SHEEO found. But the organization's early estimates show funding for public colleges is expected to decline in most states in fiscal 2021.

Friday, June 11, 2021

University of Northern Iowa president asks for no raise due to budget issues - Andrew Wind, the Courier

 University of Northern Iowa President Mark Nook’s annual salary is not changing one year after he accepted a $92,000 cut in pay and deferred compensation. The Board of Regents Thursday set salaries for institutional heads and its executive director. Board members also officially approved the appointment of Jose Herrera as UNI’s new provost. “In light of the current budget situation at UNI, President Nook requested no increase in his salary and deferred compensation,” said Josh Lehman, Board of Regents spokesman. The board had met in closed sessions Tuesday and Wednesday to evaluate Nook and other institutional heads.