Category Archives: Higher Education

Labor Intensive or Labor Expensive? Changing Staffing and Compensation Patterns in Higher Education

Source: Donna M. Desrochers, Rita Kirshstein, Delta Cost Project, Issue Brief, February 2014

Faculty salaries, cuts in state aid, spending and “administrative bloat” all play a role in rising college costs. But a close look at staffing and compensation within the rapidly changing higher education workforce tells the full story. … This report looks at long-term employment changes on college and university campuses during the past two decades and examines fluctuations in faculty staffing patterns, growth in administrative positions, and the effects of the recent recession on long-standing employment trends. It goes beyond other studies to explore the effects of these staffing changes on total compensation, institutional spending patterns, and ultimately tuition…

Where Value Meets Values: The Economic Impact of Community Colleges – Analysis of the Economic Impact and Return on Investment of Education

Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., February 2014

From the abstract:
Community Colleges Contributed $809 Billion to Economy in 2012

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) released a report, “Where Value Meets Values: The Economic Impact of Community Colleges,” showing that community colleges are a boon to the American economy at large and to the individual student.

In 2012 alone, the net total impact of community colleges on the U.S. economy was $809 billion in added income, equal to 5.4 percent of GDP. Over time, the U.S. economy will see even greater economic benefits, including $285.7 billion dollars in increased tax revenue as students earn higher wages and $19.2 billion in taxpayer savings as students require fewer safety net services, experience better health, and lower rates of crime.

Students also see a significant economic benefit. For every one dollar a student spends on his or her community college education, he or she sees an ROI of $3.80.
See also:
* Executive Summary
* Economic Impact Study Fact Sheet
* Return on Investment: Social
* Return on Investment: Student
* Return on Investment: Taxpayer

Career and Technical Education (CTE): A Primer

Source: Cassandria Dortch, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report for Congress, R42748, February 10, 2014

Career and Technical Education (CTE), often referred to as vocational education, provides occupational and non-occupational preparation at the secondary, postsecondary, and adult education levels. CTE is an element of the nation’s workforce development system. As such, CTE plays a role in reducing unemployment and the associated economic and social ills. This report provides a primer on CTE to support congressional discussion of initiatives designed to rationalize the workforce development system.

CTE prepares students for roles outside the paid labor market, teaches general employment skills, and teaches skills required in specific occupations or careers. In order to focus and structure programs, curricula, and resources, practitioners at the local, state, and federal levels often organize CTE into 16 career clusters and various career pathways for each career cluster. CTE career clusters include several occupational areas, such as health science and manufacturing. Career pathways generally refer to a series of connected education and training strategies and support services that enable individuals to secure industry-recognized credentials and obtain employment within an occupational area and to advance to higher levels of future education and employment in that area….

Positive Collaboration: Beyond Labor Conflict and Labor Peace

Source: Richard Boris, Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy, Vol. 5, Article 1, 2013

From the abstract:
Institutions of higher education collectively constitute a major economic concentration that ranks—by whatever measure: resources, budgets, endowments, employees, constituencies—among the major industries in the United States. The unionized academic U.S. workforce ranks sixth among organized labor. Yet, when compared to the top-tier manufacturing industries of steel or automobile or to national unions such as the UAW or the Teamsters, both the public institutions of higher education and their academic unions lack national visibility, lack influence on national debates, and, most tellingly, lack major successes in the quest for public monies. Health care, the environment, energy policies, and the current global economic crisis drive both state and national discourse. Consequently, during the last two decades public funding—local, state, federal (including publicly guaranteed student loan debt)—for public institutions of higher education has diminished to the point that many if not most institutional budgets are dominated by non-public monies (student tuition, privately raised non-tax levy funds, grants, and gifts) and by savings achieved through use of cheap academic labor. Loss of public revenues demonstrates how politically impotent our public higher education institutions and their unions have become.

Collective Begging at Its Best: Labor-Management Relations in South Dakota

Source: Gary Aguiar, Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy: Vol. 5, Article 4, 2013

From the abstract:
Public employee labor unions in South Dakota possess a feeble set of bargaining rights, so weak it should be considered “collective begging.” However, our recent contract contains significant victories despite decades of playing defense. What lessons can be learned from this experience that might help other similarly situated faculty unions? What does this case study teach us about the disparity of power, especially where labor has fewer legal and political tools than management? I apply DiGiovanni’s (2011) typology of “intangible influences” on collective bargaining to explain our success. As DiGiovanni predicts, history and timing played a large role in influencing the outcome to labor’s advantage. In particular, the state’s rapid transformation of higher education from primarily undergraduate education to invest in research probably brought new participants into the negotiations process. After management imposed a contract, it seems likely that these outsiders pushed for a signed contract. Management was forced to concede on two issues to gain the single tool labor possessed: its signature on a collective bargaining agreement. Contrary to DiGiovanni, unrealistic expectations may have led to a positive labor outcome and an overly-combative labor leader did not prove poisonous.

Runaway Inequality at the University of California – How Students, Workers & Taxpayers Fund UC’s Executive Excess

Source: AFSCME Local 3299, January 2014

The University of California is one of the most prestigious systems of public higher education and health care delivery in the country, drawing students and patients from around the world. Yet in recent years, UC administrators have been increasingly criticized for adopting a culture of executive excess not befitting for a tax-supported, public institution. This culture not only runs counter to the University’s legacy as a land grant institution and California’s Master Plan for Higher Education, but it also contributes to a growing income inequality on UC campuses.

What emerges are the two faces of the University of California. On one hand, UC executives paid salaries that rival Fortune 500 companies. On the other, service workers forced to work one or two additional jobs to support themselves and their families. A growing income disparity also hits students and their families who have sustained unprecedented tuition increases in recent years. California taxpayers also pay for UC’s misguided priorities. As UC replaces career service jobs with temp jobs to offset executive excesses, it creates an increasingly vulnerable low-wage workforce forced to rely more and more on public assistance programs. …

The Top 10 Legislative Issues to Watch in 2014 / Plus six trending issues that could be big this year

Source: Ryan Holeywell, Liz Farmer, Mike Maciag, J.B. Wogan, Chris Kardish, Governing, Vol. 27 no. 4, January 2014

For states throughout the country this year, there’s a common theme: a climate of uncertainty coupled with a sense of genuine opportunity. Amid worries about the federal government’s failure to boost funding for infrastructure, many states are taking steps to produce that funding on their own. Congress seems to have stalled—again—in its efforts to reform the immigration system, but states are enacting bills designed to grant new rights to some of their undocumented residents. And after a period in which higher education programs faced dramatic cuts, states are putting money back into those programs—some of them more efficiently than in the past. Here are 10 big issues states will look to tackle in 2014, and six smaller ones they’ll also address. …

Medicaid … Income Tax Revision … Minimum Wage Laws … Public Pensions … Immigration … Safety Net … Higher Education … Employee Compensation … Transportation Funding … Drones …

Trending: 6 More Issues That Could Be Big

Abortion … Fracking … GMOs … Privacy … Social Impact Bonds … Autonomous Vehicles …

Why Silence Is Not Enough / Business schools are failing to promote higher morals

Source: Michel Anteby, Stanford Social Innovation Review, SSIR blog, January 22, 2014

The question of business ethics—or lack thereof—has rarely been more salient than in the past decade or so. From Enron’s 2001 bankruptcy in light of massive accounting fraud to JP Morgan’s 2013 $13 billion settlement over dubious mortgage practices, major corporations have fallen under increased scrutiny. Given that many of the people running these and other enterprises were trained in top business schools, their training grounds would seem a natural place to address the problem. What can business schools do about this? A lot more than they have, I would argue, since many schools have historically been—and to a large extent still are—reluctant to take clear institutional normative stands. MBA programs endow their students with formidable technical and analytical skill sets, yet remain silent about what might be the larger purpose of their students’ pursuits.

I learned this firsthand as a rookie professor in one of the oldest business schools in the country, the Harvard Business School; on one occasion, I did not remain silent. When teaching a case that centered on a production line in a manufacturing plant, I once asked my students what the line manager’s worst fear might be. “A union,” one student retorted. By that, he meant a strike led by the union that would stop the line. I had not yet learned that the school expected silence of me in such circumstances. Instead, I stepped in and reminded my students of the pros of unions, making my bias fairly evident. The discussion proved harder to restart. …

…. Despite their innovative curricula and cutting-edge research, business schools remain old communities in new clothes. They reflect and uphold the norms of older elites. Silence therefore benefits the established order. By remaining silent on moral goals, business schools make it easier to ignore glaring social inequities. If gaining market share is seen as being as important as creating jobs, flagrant injustices are hard to pinpoint, let alone address…..

How The Government Could Make Public College Free For All Students

Source: Bryce Covert, ThinkProgress, January 12, 2014

Tuition at public colleges came to $62.6 billion in 2012, according to the latest government data. That’s less than what the government already spends to subsidize the cost of college through grants, tax breaks, and work-study funds, which comes to about $69 billion. It spends another $107.4 billion on student loans.

That means that with the money it already spends to make college affordable, the government could instead subsidize public college tuition, thereby making it free for all students. This would not just mean anyone could attend a higher education institution without worrying about cost, but it could incentivize private ones to reduce their costs in order to compete with the free option.

It would also address the government’s current patchwork attempts to make college affordable, which isn’t working for many low- and middle-income families. Tax-based aid is mostly delivered to wealthy families, not the ones in need. Pell Grants, on the other hand, were cut in 2012, which meant students got less aid or kicked out altogether, after already covering the smallest percentage of college costs since the program was created. (House Republicans have had the program in their sights for even more cuts.)…

New York State Health Workforce Planning Guide 2013

Source: Center for Health Workforce Studies, School of Public Health, SUNY Albany, September 2013

This data guide is designed to inform regional stakeholder groups comprised of health care providers and educators who will collaboratively plan health workforce development to address identified gaps and future needs. Regional groups will conduct workforce gap analyses, using available data on health workforce supply and demand, the population, and the educational pipeline. By analyzing regional workforce needs in relation to SUNY degree programs, SUNY can maximize its educational offerings to align with a region’s needs and provide educational career ladders for existing workers hoping to continue their education.