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Curated content on higher education presented by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).
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California Cuts Threaten the Status of Universities

California Cuts Threaten the Status of Universities | SCUP Links |

Nathan Brostrom, executive vice president of business operations for the University of California, said the system was now in the middle of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. In the last year, the state has cut $750 million from the system’s budget. This year, for the first time, the system receives more money from tuition than from state aid — but that only makes up for roughly a quarter of the cuts from the state. Over all, the budget is the same as it was in 2007, when there were 75,000 fewer students enrolled.

In recent years, many campuses have made a more concerted effort to recruit out-of-state students, who pay more in tuition. But some have criticized the practice, and last month one state lawmaker introduced legislation to cap the number of out-of-state students.

Part of the problem, officials say, is that the amount of money provided by the state has been unpredictable, making long-term planning difficult.

“If we don’t get some kind of change this year, we are going to have an immediate unfathomable situation that really has the potential to completely change the university,” Mr. Brostrom said. [end quote; emphasis added]

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Response to the Challenge | University Business Magazine

Response to the Challenge | University Business Magazine | SCUP Links |

Roy Flores, chancellor of Pima County Community Colleges on preserving the institution and achieving its mission despite the new economic "normal."

"Underlying the cuts seems to be a shift in culture, a change in the tenor of the public conversation regarding higher learning. Of course, some of the talk is mere political theater, such as characterizing as “snobs” those who think everyone could benefit from some postsecondary education. But the trend seems to be that education is fair game when attempting to advance political agendas for short-term, tactical gain.

Now, I am not so naïve or nostalgic to believe that the good old days were free of hard dealing in education. But underneath the Realpolitik was a core belief that having people attending college is a public good. In statehouses, in some quarters of the nation’s capital and elsewhere, that fundamental proposition is being assailed."

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NJIT president proposes collaborating with UMDNJ to create research lab in Newark

NJIT president proposes collaborating with UMDNJ to create research lab in Newark | SCUP Links |

"The notion for the facility, which would be called the Newark Laboratory for Life Sciences Innovation, is six months in the making but has not yet been discussed publicly..."

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Is This the Answer to the Student Debt Crisis? FixUC's 5% Solution - DailyFinance

Is This the Answer to the Student Debt Crisis? FixUC's 5% Solution - DailyFinance | SCUP Links |
College tuition just keeps rising, and student loan debt is at an all-time high, leading to hefty loan payments that can overwhelm earners early in their careers.

What if students were indebted for 5% of the annual income for the 20 years after graduation?

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In conversation: UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau – Macleans OnCampus

In conversation: UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau – Macleans OnCampus | SCUP Links |

UC Berkeley chancellor stepping down. He's a former U of Toronto president. He's interviewed in Macleans On Campus, covering a broad range of issues about the UC system, Canadian higher education, and the challenges of the chancellor's roll. Planners will find it worth a quick read.

"Q: Just how bad did it get at Berkeley?

A: When I arrived there was a commitment from the government that our funding for paying faculty and staff salaries would go up four to five per cent a year. If that compact had held we would have $600 million this year. In fact, we have $240 million. So in five years, we’ve lost more than half of our money from the government to pay those salaries.

Q: How did you bridge that shortfall?

A: We were not naive about the budget. We whined somewhat, but we also knuckled down and said, “Okay, we need a comprehensive financial strategy.” I was president of U of T for four years, and I learned a lot. Some of the good management practices we introduced at Berkeley we had already introduced in Toronto.

Q: What did you borrow from U of T?

A: One thing is that every large institution like Berkeley and the U of T always has a large amount of money sitting waiting to be spent. Typically these amounts were of the order of [$750 million] to a billion dollars, and they’re sitting in accounts yielding the lowest interest rate. In Toronto we realized we were wasting money and began aggressively investing about half—$400 million or so. We introduced that at Berkeley and ended up generating an additional $30 million to $40 million a year in income."

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Why Tuition Has Skyrocketed at State Schools

Why Tuition Has Skyrocketed at State Schools | SCUP Links |
The reason college tuition at public schools has grown so quickly in recent decades is that states have shifted more of the cost of education away from taxpayers and onto students.

“If you’re a state legislator, you look at all your state’s programs and you say, ‘Well, we can’t make prisoners pay, but we can make college students pay,’” said Ronald Ehrenberg, the director of the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute and a trustee of the State University of New York System.

College students do end up paying more. But in the past, after the economy recovered, most states did not fully restore the funds that were cut. As cuts accumulated in each business cycle, so did tuition increases.

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Nebraska project aims to revive depopulating rural areas | Inside Higher Ed | Planning News & Resources

Nebraska project aims to revive depopulating rural areas | Inside Higher Ed | Planning News & Resources | SCUP Links |

"A new role for land grant institutions? "As modern economics continue to encroach on the family farm and as jobs move to cities, people – especially young people – are fleeing rural America."

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California facing higher $16 billion shortfall

California facing higher $16 billion shortfall | SCUP Links |

California's budget deficit has swelled to $16 billion and will force severe cuts to schools and public safety if voters fail to approve tax increases in November, warns Gov. Jerry Brown.

More pain for our colleagues in California. 

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Community college leaders told privatization is wave of the future | Inside Higher Ed

"Some say they are already functionally "private": Both Curtis and Glasper referenced a table created by D. Bruce Johnstone, a leading scholar of higher education who is former chancellor of the State University of New York. In the table, Johnstone looked at various qualities such as 'mission,' 'ownership,' and 'sources of revenue,' and established a continuum from "high 'publicness' " to 'high "privateness."'" For sources of revenue, the continuum goes from public funds as the primary source of college budgets to tuition funds as the primary source.

By such measures, Curtis said, his college is private. By next year, he said, the college will be close to having two-thirds of its revenue come from tuition revenue. But Curtis stressed that his college is embracing many other characteristics of privatization 'and they are not all bad.'"

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California Vocational Schools Operating Without Approval

California Vocational Schools Operating Without Approval | SCUP Links |
The job prospects of hundreds of thousands of California students are at risk as the regulatory board says it doesn’t have enough resources to enforce the rules.

Is this another sign of disruption?

"But lax state oversight also means that even state-approved schools can be risky investments for students. Oikos University of Oakland, where seven people were shot to death earlier this week by a former student, was approved by the Postsecondary Bureau even though state records show that only 16 of its 48 graduates in 2010 found jobs after graduation. Only 41 percent of Oikos’s vocational nursing graduates passed the national licensing exam in 2011, according to Russ Heimerich, a spokesman for the California Department of Consumer Services, which oversees the Postsecondary Bureau. That is among the state’s lowest rates."

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Performance (De-)Funding in Indiana | Inside Higher Ed

The fact that higher education has become such a salient issue in Indiana speaks to the changing times and the urgency of increasing credentials in a state that ranks 42nd in educational attainment and 41st in income per capita, Lubbers said.

“When you look at a knowledge-based economy,” Lubbers said, “it’s very difficult to believe you don’t need more students in your state to have higher education.”

The state will rely on performance-based funding to hasten some of the changes. Five percent of state allocations are now based on those measures, and a current budget proposal would up that one percentage point in each of the next two years.
“Performance funding is just now getting to the point where it’s at a level where these people need to consider it very seriously,” Lubbers said.
Those discretionary funds will give campuses incentives for working within the new strategic plan, which asks for a set of common core courses to be in place statewide by next year and for limiting degree requirements to 120 hours. The plan also calls for campuses to calculate and reduce the cost for each degree, but Lubbers acknowledged that’s hard to do while accounting for differences in institutional missions.

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State Cutbacks Curb Training in Jobs Critical to Economy

State Cutbacks Curb Training in Jobs Critical to Economy | SCUP Links |
State colleges are cutting financing for technical, engineering and health care programs as the need for training in those fields grows.

Not a good thing.

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