Public universities in Illinois and Louisiana, two of the three states facing massive higher education cuts may get reprieve. But public universities in Wisconsin remain threatened with $300 million in reductions.
Duquesne University announced Wednesday that it is increasing its minimum wage to $16 an hour, far above the $7.25 required by federal and state law. Last year, the university set its minimum wage at $15 an hour. In addition to the extra dollar an hour, the university announced that it will give employees whose salaries are below $34,000 a 0.5 percent raise. Further, the university is making a $500 contribution to employees' dependent-care flexible spending accounts.
The College of Saint Rose on Monday announced that it would eliminate 40 administrative and staff positions, 17 of them vacant, in a push to cut costs, The Albany Times-Union reported. The college's enrollment of 4,500 is down by about 800 since 2008. The college is also changing the way it covers employee health insurance. The college has covered 90 percent of costs and is maintaining that for those earning less than $30,000 a year. But those earning more will have to pay for a larger share of the costs.
The University of California at Los Angeles on Wednesday announced a $100 million gift for its business school -- the largest ever for the business school. The donation is from Marion Anderson. The UCLA Anderson School of Management is named for her late husband, John E. Anderson, in recognition of an earlier gift by the couple. UCLA will use $60 million from the new gift for financial aid, fellowships and research funding. The remaining $40 million will be seed funding for a new building.
Many states are moderately restoring higher education funding, but major cuts during the 2008 recession have made for an uphill battle.
In 47 states, per-student public funding for higher education remains well below prerecession levels, according to a report released Wednesday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. That's in spite of the fact that 37 states increased higher education funding last year by an average of nearly 4 percent. The average state is spending $1,805 per student, or 20 percent less than before the 2008 recession. In severe cases -- like in Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and South Carolina -- funding has been reduced by 35 percent.
“Deep state funding cuts have had major consequences for public colleges and universities. States (and to a lesser extent localities) provide roughly 53 percent of the revenue that can be used to support instruction at these schools,” stated the report.