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May 15, 2013, 3:51 pm
When the Tennessee Higher Education Commission contacted Berry College recently and demanded money, the president of the Georgia college, Stephen R. Briggs, was taken aback.
“We were kind of stunned,” he said. “You’ve gotta be kidding?”
At issue was a single billboard Berry had rented near Nashville that features a flattering view of the campus, the slogan “26,000 acres of opportunity,” and the college’s name and Web address.
The billboard doesn’t mention that the small private college is in Rome, Ga., about 200 miles down the interstate from Nashville. But the commission told Berry that, under Tennessee law, the out-of-state college needed to register as an educational institution in Tennessee—paying a hefty fee in the process—or face stiff fines.
Berry responded on Monday with a lawsuit filed in federal court against the Tennessee Higher Education…
March 26, 2013, 12:56 pm
They don’t call Portland, Ore., “Beervana” for nothing. The Northwestern city is as well known for its microbrews as for its Bohemians on bikes. It seems that you can’t pedal half a block in that city without running into a brewpub or eatery pouring local suds. Oregon itself consistently ranks in the top five among states with the most breweries per capita—it’s either first, second, or third, depending on your source.
This fall, Portland State University—which, by the way, has a beer named for it—will attempt to capitalize on that beer culture. The university is establishing an online certificate program in the “business of craft brewing,” which will give aspiring home brewers (along with distillers and cider makers) some of the basics of managing and marketing a small brewing concern.
Mellie Pullman, an associate professor of operations management, says the four-course…
March 26, 2013, 4:56 am
California’s community colleges must develop new sources of revenue and find more cost-effective ways of delivering courses in order to bridge the gap between education supply and demand, says a new report by the Public Policy Institute of California.
The report, based on community-college reports and a survey last fall of more than 100 senior administrators throughout the system, found that unprecedented cuts in state support for community colleges from 2007 to 2012 had reduced access to education and sent enrollments plunging to a 20-year low. The cuts totaled $1.5-billion in 2011 dollars.
The passage last fall of Proposition 30, a ballot measure that raised certain taxes and headed off additional budget cuts, replaced some of the lost money—$210-million in 2012-13 alone. But “the size of the increase pales in comparison to the size of the cuts in recent budgets,” the report…
March 18, 2013, 1:01 pm
Florida’s state and community colleges contribute $26.6-billion to the state’s economy each year, providing taxpayers there with a 9.4-percent rate of return on their expenditures, according to a report released on Monday at a news conference by the Florida College System Council of Presidents. The net added income generated by the system’s operations and spending by out-of-state students contributes a net $1.4-billion to Florida’s economy, the report says.
The report is good news for the state, which was among the hardest hit by the recession. A report released last week by a foreclosure-listing firm, RealtyTrac Inc., suggested that the state has a long struggle ahead of it: Florida led the nation in foreclosures last year, with one in every 282 households receiving at least one foreclosure-related filing. That is three times the national average.
On the positive side, Florida was…
March 15, 2013, 11:56 am
Iowa’s two public research universities are the latest to adopt policies aimed at attracting more industry-financed research by promising the sponsors simple—and low-cost—terms to license any inventions that result from the work.
Under the new policies, companies that sponsor research at the University of Iowa or Iowa State University and that pay an extra $15,000 fee upfront can receive exclusive rights to commercialize research results without paying additional licensing fees.
The sponsors must also pay the universities’ full overhead costs. In the event the invention becomes a blockbuster, with net sales worth more than $20-million, a 1-percent royalty fee would kick in.
“Certainty is one of the things that companies really prize,” said the University of Iowa’s vice president for research and economic development, Daniel Reed, and the new option for sponsors provides that…
February 27, 2013, 3:22 pm
Findings released on Wednesday by the Milken Institute corroborate a view many in higher education have found themselves defending in recent years: A college education pays.
In a report titled “A Matter of Degrees: The Effect of Educational Attainment on Regional Economic Prosperity,” the nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank says its research proves “the strong relationship between educational attainment and a region’s economic performance.”
The report associates education with increases in real gross domestic product per capita and real wages, linking the addition of one year in a worker’s average years of schooling to a 10.5-percent rise in a region’s real GDP per capita and a 8.4-percent rise in the region’s real wages. The regional jumps in GDP and wages grow even larger—to 17.4 percent and 17.8 percent, respectively—when applied to workers who already hold at…
February 7, 2013, 2:03 pm
For the first time in years, California’s public colleges have received good news from the state-budget process, with each of the three systems gaining a boost in support, thanks in part to the voter-approved tax measure known as Proposition 30. But some officials at California State University have already begun nervously asking for more money, not least because they—like their counterparts at the University of California and the California Community Colleges—still face billions of dollars in deferred maintenance.
The effects of California’s budget turmoil since the recession have been evident throughout the state’s higher-education system as officials have scrambled to balance their budgets with tuition increases, restricted class offerings, and mandatory furlough days for faculty and staff members. Even with the restored support in Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed state budget, …
February 6, 2013, 5:05 pm
Declining state appropriations, unstable endowment returns, a projected drop in the number of high-school graduates—there’s no shortage of grim news for higher education of late. But a new analysis from the State University of New York at Albany’s Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government says institutions in the Northeast may be hit harder than the rest.
In a report released on Wednesday, Jason E. Lane, the institute’s director of education studies, argues that data show this gloomy scenario could lead to more closures and consolidations of higher-education institutions in the region.
Mr. Lane based his analysis on data in a recent report from Moody’s Investors Service, which suggested that the negative outlook for higher education is worse than previously thought, and a recent report from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. The commission’s report says …
January 15, 2013, 2:13 pm
The State University of New York is, in theory, a system of 64 college and university campuses. But it has often been accused of operating like a big group of warring fiefdoms competing for money and students, with no interest in cooperating with one another.
Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher has been trying to unify the system since she took office, in 2009, with measures that have a lot to do with how the colleges receive and spend their money. She laid out her latest proposals to advance that ideal in her state-of-the-university speech, delivered on Tuesday morning.
Starting in 2014, she said, all of the system’s colleges will use the same data systems in order to better compare their academic outcomes and to award money to campuses that are improving their performance.
All of the colleges will also use new technology to track financial aid and student debt. The program is meant to…
January 8, 2013, 4:49 pm
A new analysis of state spending on higher education finds that states with a diverse economy, low unemployment, and a history of support for higher education are likely to maintain public spending on colleges. Conversely, states that do not have those characteristics have a hard time overcoming fiscal challenges to create a robust system of higher education.
The study, described in a report titled “College Funding in Context: Understanding the Difference in Higher Education Appropriations Across the States,” was conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities’ department of organizational leadership, policy, and development. It found that states that are leaders in higher-education spending tend to stay at the top of that category, creating a kind of “virtuous cycle.” The study was published by Demos, a nonpartisan organization that studies and advocates for…