Category Archives: Higher.Education

Outsourcing on the Table

Source: Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, September 27, 2016

Information technology staff members across the University of California system are holding their breath to see if the layoffs and outsourcing at the San Francisco campus represent an individual cost-cutting measure or the beginning of a trend. The UCSF Medical Center told staffers this July that — because of decreasing federal health care reimbursement and cost increases associated with the Affordable Care Act — it would cut 97 IT jobs by Feb. 28. Some of the positions will be outsourced to the Indian IT services company HCL Technologies. The university has also contracted with Dell and FireEye for data center and cybersecurity services, respectively. … The layoffs affect UCSF’s IT office broadly, covering staff members responsible for application support and development, email and phone systems, and data center and network center operations and more, according to an email from university CIO Joseph R. Bengfort. Excluding contract and vacant positions, 49 career employees will lose their jobs. … Other staff members bristled at the thought of training the workers who will replace them. To aid the outsourcing efforts, some staff members have had their organizational goals updated with a target of completing the transition plan by Feb. 14, with a stretch goal of Jan. 31. A staff member with about 20 years of experience at the university said he feels as though the university is rewarding employees for making themselves expendable as fast as they can. …

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University of California hires India-based IT outsourcer, lays off tech workers
Source: Patrick Thibodeau, ComputerWorld, September 7, 2016

The University of California is laying off a group of IT workers at its San Francisco campus as part of a plan to move work offshore. 9 things to check after installing wireless access points Whether you’re upgrading equipment or building out a whole new Wi-Fi network, use this handy checklist READ NOW The layoffs will happen at the end of February, but before the final day arrives the IT employees expect to train foreign replacements from India-based IT services firm HCL. The firm is working under a university contract valued at $50 million over five years. … UCSF, which runs professional schools in dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy as well as a medical center, has a 565-member centralized IT department. This layoff affects 17% of UCSF’s total IT staff, broken down this way: 49 IT permanent employees will lose their jobs, along with 12 contract employees and 18 vendor contractors. This number also includes 18 vacant IT positions that won’t be filled, according to the university. …

UC San Francisco Outsourcing IT Ops to India
Source: Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, September 9, 2016

The university is focused entirely on health areas, with four schools: dentistry, nursing, medicine and pharmacy. According to UCSF’s website, there are currently 3,114 students enrolled in degree programs, 1,479 residents and 1,127 post-doctoral scholars. However, that small student body belies the size of the overall institution, which is currently the second largest employer in the city. UCSF’s paid workforce comprises 22,000 staff and nearly 2,800 faculty. … The work being taken over by HCL primarily includes what some might consider “commodity” services: data center and network operations, as well as unified communications and application maintenance for PeopleSoft, C#, .NET and Java. University representatives told Thibodeau that the service provider would also deliver “application development augmentation services.” The individuals affected include 49 IT permanent employees, 12 contract employees and 18 vendor contractors, the article stated. Also, the university will stop attempting to fill 18 vacant IT jobs. … What isn’t being outsourced, Bengfort stated, were IT functions “that require direct knowledge of UCSF and its mission.” Those include jobs requiring skills in developing new programs for analytics and high-performance computing. Likewise, those jobs with a “direct and consistent interaction with end users” will remain with university employees; that includes the help desk. …

University of California’s outsourcing is wrong, says U.S. lawmaker
Source: Patrick Thibodeau, ComputerWorld, September 9, 2016

A decision by the University of California to lay off IT employees and send their jobs overseas is under fire from U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif) and the IEEE-USA. 9 things to check after installing wireless access points Whether you’re upgrading equipment or building out a whole new Wi-Fi network, use this handy checklist READ NOW The university recently informed about 80 IT workers at its San Francisco campus, including contract employees and vendor contractors, that it hired India-based HCL, under a $50 million contract, to manage infrastructure and networking-related services. The university employees will remain on the job until the end of February, but before then they are expecting to train their foreign replacements. … Peter Eckstein, the president of the IEEE-USA, said what the university is doing “is just one more sad example of corporations, a major university system in this case, importing non-Americans to eliminate American IT jobs.” This engineering association has some 235,000 members. … HCL, and other firms in the offshore industry generally, use H-1B temporary visa workers. HCL was one of the contractors at Disney, which cut around 250 workers last year. Two former Disney employees filed a lawsuit in January in federal court challenging HCL, a second contractor and Disney over the use of foreign workers. … The H-1B visa program was intended to provide people for specific workforce needs. But over the last 20 years, the program’s major users have been IT services firms that use visa workers to help outsource work overseas. U.S. IT workers have complained repeatedly about having to train workers on temporary visas as a condition of severance, and often accuse the U.S. government as being a party to their layoff. …

WSU approves privatizing management of campus housing

Source: Kim Kozlowski, Detroit News, September 23, 2016

As Wayne State University works to address a housing crunch and transform itself from a commuter school into a residential campus, the Board of Governors on Friday approved privatizing the management of its on campus housing. The proposal created a 40 year agreement between the university and Corvias Campus Living to manage the on-campus housing. The Rhode Island-based company will be responsible for all property management while WSU will staff the buildings and provide programming. … The issue emerges as student occupany has exceeded on-campus capacity of the WSU’s three residence halls and three apartment buildings for three consecutive years. Overflow students have had to live in the Hotel St. Regis Detroit, or temporary housing – living space in the residential halls that normally is used as a lounge area. In 2005, WSU’s three residence halls and three apartment buildings were not filling with 2,437 students, according to spokesman Mike Brinich. But this year, all six units are at capacity with 3,131 students – and a wait list. …

Rock Valley College to explore outsourcing, eliminating paid days off

Source: Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, September 21, 2016

Rock Valley College will explore outsourcing and the elimination of paid days off as it continues to face state budget uncertainty. RVC President Mike Mastroianni informed members of the college’s Operations Committee tonight that he would like to get a financial analysis on the outsourcing of auxiliary services — functions such as snow plowing, landscaping, information technology, publishing, printing and purchasing co-ops. … The number of employees that could be affected by outsourcing is not known at this time, Mastroianni said. The college went for almost a year without state aid payments. It was anticipating $7.1 million to support college operations for FY 2016 and ended up getting $1.2 million in April after several months of receiving no revenue. Rock Valley made about $1.3 million in staff cuts in December. Classes and educational programs remained intact, but students lost men’s and women’s tennis and men’s golf programs. The college also placed a moratorium on unnecessary travel, community sponsorships, catering expenses and cellphone allowances. In March, it approved a nearly 9 percent tuition increase. …

For-profit trade schools offer more debt, fewer jobs

Source: Jill Rosen, Futurity, September 16, 2016

Students from disadvantaged neighborhoods are often drawn to for-profit trade schools after high school, seeing them as the quickest route to jobs. A new study finds the streamlined, focused curriculum that makes for-profit schools appealing is also the reason many poor students drop out, however. A new study of 150 black youths from some of Baltimore’s lowest-income neighborhoods shows that young people who attended for-profit institutions ended up in more debt and with fewer job prospects than they might have had they attempted two- or four-year nonprofit schools. The findings, which shed new light on what attracts students to for-profit institutions and why they struggle to complete certifications, appear in the journal Sociology of Education. …

… Most of the young people in the study, 53 percent, pursued certifications at for-profit trade schools that offer occupational training programs in fields like cosmetology, auto mechanics, computer networking, and phlebotomy. Most students who enroll in these programs are very low-income, and studies show the number of disadvantaged students choosing for-profit programs is increasing. … These young people had very grounded career expectations; most hoped to find working-class jobs, the research shows. And because of their family and financial circumstances, they wanted jobs as soon as possible. … Although most of the for-profit trade programs lasted less than two years, they were expensive. Unlike nonprofit schools, they didn’t allow undecided students to switch courses of study once a program was paid for upfront. Once enrolled, the young people tended to realize they’d committed to occupations they either weren’t qualified for or didn’t enjoy. They dropped out, or hopped from one program to another, or tried taking several programs at a time, racking up debt and increasing chances they would quit it all before earning certification. Of the young people who enrolled in a for-profit college, only 31 percent earned certification by the time the study ended. …

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“Why Wait Years to Become Something?” Low-income African American Youth and the Costly Career Search in For-profit Trade Schools
Source: Megan M. Holland1 & Stefanie DeLuca, Sociology of Education, September 15, 2016

Abstract:
Increasing numbers of low-income and minority youth are now pursuing shorter-duration sub-baccalaureate credentials at for-profit trade and technical schools. However, many students drop out of these schools, leaving with large debts and few job prospects. Despite these dismal outcomes, we know very little about students’ experiences in for-profit programs and how these institutions shape postsecondary attainment. Using data from fieldwork with 150 inner-city African American youth, we examine why disadvantaged youth are attracted to these schools and why they struggle to complete certifications. In contrast to previous research, we find that the youth in our study have quite modest ambitions and look to for-profit trade schools as the quickest and most direct route to work. However, youth receive little information or guidance to support such postsecondary transitions. Therefore, the very element that makes for-profit trade school programs seem the most appealing—a curriculum focused on one particular career—becomes an obstacle when it requires youth to commit to a program of study before they have explored their interests. When youth realize they do not like or are not prepared for their chosen career, they adopt coping strategies that keep them in school but swirling between programs, rather than accumulating any credentials.

EKU weighs outsourcing custodians, ground workers

Source: Dan Klapheke, The Eastern Progress, September 15, 2016

In Kentucky’s current state of budget-strangling and uncertainty, Eastern Facilities Services in the hotseat with the possibility of outsourcing custodial and grounds maintenance staff. The news came August 29 after the office of Finance and Administration informed Facilities Services personnel that EKU would be requesting proposals from third party vendors for custodial and grounds services. The request for proposal (RFP) was sent out September 9. … According to the RFP, companies that bid on the project must include proposal for both custodial and grounds services together, as well as one for each service separately. It also stipulates that all current EKU custodial and grounds employees be offered a full 40-hour, 52-week position with the new company and no break in health insurance coverage, according to the RFP. … But workers are worried. Rumblings and rumors have circulated throughout the affected employees, and eight year custodian Carl Shanks said staff is frustrated and waiting anxiously. …

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EKU will look at outsourcing custodial, grounds services
Source: Bill Robinson, Richmond Register, August 30, 2016

As Eastern Kentucky University looks for cost savings in the wake of continued state funding cuts, it has asked for proposals from vendors that could take over its custodial and grounds-keeping operations. As directed by the board of regents, facilities services personnel were told Monday that a request for proposals from potential vendors will be advertised as early as next week, according to a statement released Tuesday on behalf of Barry Poynter, EKU Vice President for Business/Finance. … If it chooses to outsource custodial and grounds keeping services, EKU’s goal will be to have current staff hired by a third-party vendor that will offer “comparable benefit packages,” the statement added. It acknowledged the RFP would likely raise “questions and concerns” among university employees, which it did. Some contacted The Register and said they feared the briefing was an early warning that custodian and grounds employees could eventually lose their jobs or find themselves working for a third-party employer that offers less desirable benefits. EKU employees receive tuition waivers as well as health insurance and retirement contributions from the university. … RFP responses are expected by Oct. 10. They will be evaluated and presented to the regents for review at their October meeting, according to the statement. …

ITT Tech shuts down all its schools; one student says he’s ‘angry times 10 million’

Source: Jim Puzzanghera and Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times, September 6, 2016

The company that operates the for-profit chain, one of the country’s largest, announced that it was permanently closing all its campuses nationwide. It blamed the shutdown on the recent move by the U.S. Education Department to ban ITT from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid. … The shutdown will affect about 35,000 students who were preparing for the start of classes this month. It will also cost more than 8,000 employees their jobs. Those students and others who left the school within the last 120 days would be eligible to have federal loans for their ITT education forgiven if they want to start over at another school, Education Department officials said. … ITT Educational Services Inc. said it would focus on helping its students obtain their records and pursue their educations elsewhere. … The company has operated vocational schools on more than 130 campuses in 38 states, often under the ITT Technical Institute name. Last year, it enrolled 45,000 students and reported $850 million in revenue. … ITT’s closure comes after Corinthian Colleges Inc. shut the doors of its schools and filed for bankruptcy last year. The Education Department agreed to forgive $171 million in loans owed by former students, most of them in California. …

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ITT Tech shutdown creates uncertainty for 40,000 students, 8,000 employeesSource: Robert Channick, Chicago Tribune, September 7, 2016

ITT Technical Institute is ceasing operations at its more than 130 campuses nationwide after the Department of Education cut off access to federal financial aid for new students. The immediate closures by for-profit ITT Educational Services will end the fall quarter before it starts for 40,000 students, and will leave more than 8,000 employees without a job, the Carmel, Ind.-based company said Tuesday. It also raises questions about everything from outstanding student loans to finding a new school. Secretary of Education John King Jr. addressed those issues in a blog post Tuesday. … Last month, the Department of Education banned ITT Educational Services from enrolling new students using federal financial aid funds after it was determined the company was “not in compliance” with accreditation criteria. It also announced stepped-up financial oversight of ITT, building on measures put in place in 2014 due to “significant concerns” about the school’s organization and “financial viability.” In a statement Tuesday, ITT said the federal sanctions were made “with a complete disregard by the U.S. Department of Education for due process,” forcing the decision to close its doors after 50 years. … Citing increased financial risk, the Department of Education told ITT on Aug. 25 the company needed to increase its $94 million surety requirement to more than $247 million, which represented 40 percent of the federal financial aid received by its schools last year. …

New Dining Company Replaces Aramark on Campus

Source: Univeristy of Texas-Tyler Patriot Talon, September 1, 2016

The University has expanded dining options, such as tacos and upgraded convenient store, beginning this school year by hiring a new company in charge of food on campus. The company is called Sodexo and it has replaced the previous leadership of Aramark.  Sodexo is bringing with it better quality and selection in the Met, facility upgrades to the C-Store, later upgrades to Chick-fil-A and Subway, Wholly Habaneros and Einstein Brothers Bagels, University Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Business Officer William O’Donnell said. … O’ Donnell said the contract with Aramark was expiring and the University had to accept proposals from other interested companies.   “Five companies submitted proposals to operate the UT Tyler dining operation.  The campus was seeking the best option to provide quality food, reasonable pricing and better catering for the benefit of students, faculty and staff,” O’Donnell said.  Sodexo was chosen because there would be no increase in the meal plan rates for students, food quality would improve, its selection and service and quality catering, O’Donnell added. …

ETSU hosts grand opening ceremony for Marketplace cafeteria

Source: Zach Vance, Johnson City Press, September 1, 2016

On Thursday, that request was granted with the grand opening of the reinvigorated Marketplace cafeteria on the third floor of the D.P. Culp University Center. … In April, Sodexo was chosen over Aramark as ETSU’s new food service provider. Sodexo’s bid on the contract included renovations to the dining hall, adjustments to retail operations on campus and extending the dining hall’s hours. … Noland and Shah were joined by Sodexo Vice President Cal Thetford and Marketplace general manager Kelvin Tarukwasha during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the dining hall’s entrance. Aesthetic improvements inside the cafeteria include a larger dining area, an increased number of serving stations and an expansion of seats. Shah said Sodexo made the dining hall appear more welcoming, like a cafe …

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Could this be the end of Aramark? ETSU to end contract with food service provider early
Source: David Floyd, Johnson City Press, September 30, 2015

ETSU sent a notification two weeks ago informing Aramark that the university will end its contract with the company in June 2016 rather than June 2019. This prevents the contract from expiring when the school finishes work on a $41 million renovation to the D.P. Culp University Center in the summer of 2019. … Aramark will be eligible to resubmit a bid to the university when the school issues a request for proposals in January 2016. … The termination of the contract provides the university with a degree of flexibility in the planning process, enabling the new food service provider to have input on the kinds of renovations the university will perform to the Culp Center.

Purdue won’t outsource overwhelmed dining system

Source: Meghan Holden, Lafayette Journal & Courier, August 30, 2016

Purdue University is mulling multiple solutions to feed an influx of hungry students, but outsourcing dining operations is no longer one of them. … Concerns arose in the community last spring after the university hired an outside consultant to study its dining services and recommend necessary changes to prepare for an increased on-campus student population. Outsourcing was one option being considered because it would offer financial incentives, Vice Provost for Student Life Beth McCuskey previously told the Journal & Courier. … Sullivan said the purpose of the dining study was to determine how the university can accommodate and feed the extra students living on campus with the new 800-bed Honors College and Residences, while also shortening lines in the dining halls. The study also took into consideration Purdue’s plans to produce an additional 1,900 more beds in the next few years as part of its goal to increase housing options so at least half of its students can live on campus. … The study, conducted by Envision Strategies, found that Purdue runs an effective dining setup, so the university made the decision to now focus on where and what types of food services need to be added, Sullivan said. … The study still is being analyzed, he said, and a master plan will hopefully be done by the end of the year. …

It’s official: UNT, Dallas Cowboys go forward with plans to partner up

Source: Anna Tinsley, Star-Telegram, August 9, 2016

The Dallas Cowboys and The University of North Texas are proceeding with their plans to team up. After months of negotiations, officials formally announced Tuesday that they are forming a partnership — the cost of which could top the $1 million mark — to bring students unique academic and athletic jobs with the world-renowned football team. … In May, the University of North Texas Board of Regents agreed to move forward with negotiations to let the college become a sponsor and exclusive higher education partner with the Dallas Cowboys. UNT officials at the time said they didn’t know how much the partnership could cost, but agreed that a multi-year deal could easily top the $1 million mark. And they did note that no tuition, fees or legislative money would be involved in any partnership with the Cowboys. … Officials have noted that this proposal would be two-fold — one part involving advertising and promotions and another a public-private partnership. UNT board documents have shown a multi-year agreement with the Cowboys could include letting UNT use the Dallas Cowboys star and other logos; present displays in “select event exhibit space;” place radio ads on game days; participate in television commercials; and put ads on the DallasCowboys.com website. …