Month: November 2016

Jindalism Casts a Long Shadow

ACADEME BLOG

This is the opening of an article on Louisiana’s continuing budget crisis, written by Heath Allen for WDSU News:

“Louisiana’s state colleges and universities face another $18 million in budget cuts as part of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ plan to fill a looming $312 million budget shortfall.

“But during a meeting of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee this week in Baton Rouge, the administration agreed to postpone the cuts for a month as lawmakers try and find the dollars needed to avoid cuts to higher education.

“The cuts, though, are likely inevitable. The immediate $312 million budget hole will be followed by one of similar size just after the first of the year.

“’Another hundred million, they say anywhere from $100 to $500 million dollars for next fiscal year, that we are going to be off on the revenues. I mean, it’s just staggering numbers,’ said Sen. Jack Donahue…

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The “Relentless Rise” in Administrative Positions

ACADEME BLOG

Here is a short but telling item from the Hechinger Report:

“The number of executive, administrative and managerial employees on university campuses nationwide continued its relentless rise right through the recession, up by a collective 15 percent between 2007 and 2014, federal data show.

“”Hear a SpareMin podcast on this topic here with Matt DeMello and the Hechinger Report’s Jon Marcus.

“The ranks of administrators have expanded far faster than the numbers of students and faculty. At many four-year institutions, spending on administration has increased faster than spending on instruction, according to the Delta Cost Project, which tracks this.

“There has also been a little-noticed but surprising shift underway that suggests new resolve in some places to centralize some administrative functions, Hechinger has reported, in the hope of improving the efficiency and productivity of stubbornly labor-intensive higher education.”

URL: http://hechingerreport.org/college-costs-rise-number-administrators/.

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Quotation of the Day: The Permission Slip as an Unintentional Ironic Device

ACADEME BLOG

Daniel Radosh, the head writer for the Daily Show, sent the following note along with a signed permission slip that would permit his son to read Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 as part of a school book club:

“I love this letter! What a wonderful way to introduce students to the theme of Fahrenheit 451 that books are so dangerous that the institutions of society schools and parents might be willing to team up against children to prevent them from reading one. It’s easy enough to read the book and say, ‘This is crazy. It could never really happen,’ but pretending to present students at the start with what seems like a totally reasonable ‘first step’ is a really immersive way to teach them how insidious censorship can be. I’m sure that when the book club is over and the students realize the true intent of this letter, they’ll be…

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OCAAUP 2016 Annual Meeting: Resolution 2–Instruction First

ACADEME BLOG

Whereas the primary mission of Ohio’s colleges and universities is to educate students,

Whereas colleges and universities have increasingly and irresponsibly devoted resources to bloated administrative bureaucracies, to equally ambitious and expensive sports programs supported by ever-more elaborate and more expensive athletic facilities, and a seemingly endless succession of other expensive consturction projects, siphoning state monies and tuition dollars away from the academic mission,

Whereas the aforementioned misplaced priorities have reduced the number of full-time and tenured faculty in favor of part-time or adjunct faculty who receive compensation equivalent to that of fast-food workers and no benefits,

Be it resolved that the Ohio Conference AAUP encourages Ohio’s colleges and univeristies to adopt an “Instruction First” approach to budgeting to ensure that high- quality instruction for students can be guaranteed before allocations are made to enterprises and activities clearly outside of our institutions’ core missions.

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OCAAUP 2016 Annual Meeting: Resolution 1–Increased State Funding

ACADEME BLOG

Whereas the state funding for public higher education has been declining for the last 30 years,

Whereas the State Share of Instruction (SSI) accounts for only about 13 percent of institutional budgets,

Whereas Ohio ranks 12th in the nation for highest average student debt,

Whereas it is no longer possible for an Ohio student to fund a public university education with low-wage employment,

Whereas state tax cuts have reduced revenue, compromising the ability of the state to provide adequate funding for higher education,

Be it resolved that the Ohio Conference AAUP urges the Governor and General Assembly to avoid further tax cuts and to pursue fair tax policies;

Be it further resolved that the Ohio Conference AAUP urges the Governor and General Assembly to continue restoring funding to higher education.

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Some Decline in Total Student Loan Debt

ACADEME BLOG

The following page is from a College Board Report on Student Debt:

decline-in-student-debt

Of course, one of the factors in this decline has been the closure of several of the largest for-profit chains with dozens of campuses nationwide and the dramatic decline in enrollment at the major online for-profit institutions. So, although the total annual debt has declined, the average debt per student has continued to increase, as has the total cumulative debt and its economic impact.

The complete report can be found at: https://trends.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/2016-trends-student-aid.pdf.

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Sandusky Costs Penn State Almost $10 Million More in One Week

ACADEME BLOG

This is from the Department of Education’s Office of Communications:

The U.S. Department of Education today announced that it is seeking to impose on Penn State University a record fine of nearly $2.4 million for failing to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act after a comprehensive review prompted by on-campus sex offenses involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

The penalty–-the largest ever assessed for Clery violations–-covers 11 serious findings of Clery Act noncompliance related to the University’s handling of Sandusky’s crimes and the university’s longstanding failure to comply with federal requirements on campus safety and substance abuse. Sandusky was convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing several young boys over multiple years, including several incidents on campus.

“For colleges and universities to be safe spaces for learning and self-development, institutions must ensure student safety – a part of which…

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