Category Archives: Higher Education

Public university sector mostly stable, but with pockets of stress

Source: Moody’s, Sector In-Depth, July 17, 2017
(subscription required)

Public colleges and universities continue to demonstrate overall financial stability with steady enrollment, solid cash flow margins and retained financial flexibility, according to our fiscal 2016 sector medians. However, heading into 2018, revenue and expense pressures will emerge, pressuring performance for some. The challenges will mostly affect some moderate and small universities lacking the revenue diversity and brand strength of large research, or comprehensive, universities…..

Physician Workforce: Locations and Types of Graduate Training Were Largely Unchanged, and Federal Efforts May Not Be Sufficient to Meet Needs

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), GAO-17-411: Published: May 25, 2017

From the summary:
The federal government has reported physician shortages in rural areas; it also projects a deficit of over 20,000 primary care physicians by 2025. Residents in graduate medical education (GME) affect the supply of physicians. Federal GME spending is over $15 billion/year.

We found that, from 2005-15, residents were concentrated in the Northeast and in urban areas. And, while many trained in primary care, primary care residents often subspecialize in other fields. Federal efforts to increase GME in rural areas and primary care were limited. In 2015, we recommended HHS develop a plan for its health care workforce programs—it has yet to do so.

Why Some States Are Making Short-Term Training Free

Source: Sophie Quinton, Stateline, May 3, 2017

Community colleges are known for their associate degree programs. But these days, many community colleges award more certificates than degrees. Certificates typically take less than two years to complete and promise to prepare students for entry-level jobs in fields such as medical insurance coding or welding.

Now Kentucky and Indiana have created scholarships that would make some certificates tuition-free. The new grants draw inspiration from the free college idea pushed by Democrats like former President Barack Obama and embraced by Oregon, Tennessee and New York. But they’re less focused on reducing soaring tuition prices and more focused on training students for jobs that are sitting open. …. Arkansas recently put its own twist on free college with a grant that makes two-year degrees free for students of high-demand subjects, such as computer science. ….

Quality Jobs, Quality Education, Better Futures: What We Heard About Precarious Work In the Post-Secondary Sector

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), June 2017

From the summary:
Precarious work deeply impacts people’s lives, health and well-being, and ultimately, their communities. That’s the number one thing CUPE heard in a series of town halls on precarious work in the post-secondary sector held earlier this year.

In a new report, CUPE outlines the key lessons we heard from our members and our allies. These include important distinctions about what precarious work looks like on campuses today, such as the reality that precarious work is not just about filling temporary vacancies or short-term roles: some temporary employees have been in their positions for years and have even risen to the rank of supervisor or department chair.

Furthermore, our report reveals, more schools are using students for labour without offering adequate wages or protection. In particular, reliance on undergraduates to provide academic and support work is growing.

The growing reliance of post-secondary institutions on precarious work has serious consequences for workers. Precarious workers have higher levels of stress, greater difficulty defending their rights, limited ability to make life choices that many of us take for granted, and lower access to government programs and services. Precarity also makes it harder for workers to be good at their job, as well as making it harder for other workers to do their jobs.

Our report concludes with a list of ways that CUPE National, CUPE locals, CUPE members, and our allies can fight back against precarious work. Strategies include organizing, collective bargaining, and getting involved in politics.

CUPE will continue to make fighting precarious work a priority and to call on universities and colleges to make every post-secondary job a respectable job.

The Condition of Education 2017

Source: Joel McFarland, Bill Hussar, Cristobal de Brey, Tom Snyder, Xiaolei Wang, Sidney Wilkinson-Flicker, Semhar Gebrekristos, Jijun Zhang, Amy Rathbun, Amy Barmer, Farrah Bullock Mann, Serena Hinz, Thomas Nachazel, National Center for Education Statistics, NCES 2017144, May 2017

The Condition of Education is a congressionally mandated annual report summarizing important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. The 2017 Condition of Education report presents 50 indicators on topics ranging from prekindergarten through postsecondary education, as well as labor force outcomes and international comparisons. Also included in the report are 4 Spotlight indicators that provide more in-depth analyses on selected topics.
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Strategy Labs Postsecondary Legislative Tracking

Source: Education Commission of the States, 2017

As a partner supporting the Strategy Labs platform, Education Commission of the States tracks legislative activity across several key issue areas, providing valuable and timely information on state postsecondary legislation. This map displays postsecondary education related bills for the 2017-18 sessions.

Legislation is tracked from introduction through final action. To sort by state, click on a state on the map and the bills will display below the map. To sort by issue and sub-issue, click an issue area bar then a sub-issue bar to display the bills. Click the arrow at the right side of the bill list to see specific information related to the bill. To reset the map, use the “reset” button at the bottom of the page.

What Trump’s Proposed 2018 Budget Would Mean for Higher Ed

Source: Adam Harris, Chronicle of Higher Education blog, May 23, 2017

Updated (5/23/2017, 2:19 p.m.) with details on the budget proposals for scientific and medical research.

The Trump administration on Tuesday released its budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year. All told, the budget would cut federal education programs by more than $10 billion. The Department of Education’s total operating budget would be slashed by $9 billion, and spending on secondary-education programs would be redirected to school-choice initiatives — the chief policy goal of Betsy DeVos, the education secretary.

President Trump’s budget would eliminate the public-service loan-forgiveness program, subsidized Stafford Loans, and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants; begin to phase out the National Endowments for the Arts and for the Humanities; and allow the Perkins Loan program to expire. It would also cut spending in half on Federal Work-Study programs, slash the budget of the National Institutes of Health by a fifth, eliminate programs that foster foreign-language study, and reduce spending that supports international-education programs and exchanges, such as the Fulbright Scholar program, by 55 percent….

Staff in Higher Education Salary Survey – 2016

Source: College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), 2017
(subscription required)

From the summary:
The Staff Salary Survey (formerly the Non-Exempt Staff Salary Survey) collects annualized salary data for positions commonly found in higher education institutions. The positions in the survey are mostly non-exempt, meaning that job incumbents are generally paid an hourly rate and are eligible for overtime. To ensure comparability of data across respondents, all institutions are asked to report the annual salary each incumbent would receive for working 2080 hours in 12 months without overtime. All survey positions are matched to BLS Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes to facilitate completion of IPEDS reporting requirements.

For the first time, information on exempt status, gender, ethnicity, years in position, and age was collected for each position on the Staff in Higher Education Salary Survey. Data for each of these variables is summarized in the report and available in DataOnDemand.
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