Dowling College said on Wednesday that it is exploring a partnership with an international network of institutions that may allow it to stay in business, one week after announcing that it would shut its doors because of financial problems. An announcement on the Dowling website said that its Board of Trustees is engaged in "sustained strategic negotiations" with Global University Systems, which operates institutions, mostly professional schools, in Asia, Europe and North America.
A local television station on Long Island quoted the head of the college's alumni association as saying Dowling had received an infusion of cash from Global University Systems to keep the institution alive.
The Louisiana Legislature has placed an item on the fall election ballots that will allow voters to shift control over public university tuition rates from the Legislature to university governing boards, The Times-Picayune reported. If the measure passes, many expect tuition rates to rise more than they would under legislative control.
Chestnut Hill College, in Pennsylvania, is dealing with a deficit by canceling all raises for the 2016-17 academic year, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The frozen salaries apply to faculty and staff members. In addition, 17 non-faculty employees have agreed to salary cuts or reductions in hours. With those changes, no layoffs are planned.
New Jersey's comptroller's office has issued a report finding that Kean University violated state rules when it purchased a $219,000 Chinese-made conference room table without competitive bidding or state approval, NorthJersey.com reported. In fact, the comptroller's office found that the university spent even more money -- $250,000 -- than had been previously reported. The university released a statement criticizing the report and saying that Kean had “acted legally and with transparency throughout the process.”
Saint Xavier University, which is based in Illinois, announced that it will close its campus in Arizona less than a year after it opened, The Arizona Republic reported. Gilbert, Ariz., spent millions of dollars to bring in Saint Xavier, which could face penalties for pulling out of a 15-year lease on a facility in the city. A Saint Xavier spokeswoman said the university made the decision because of continued uncertainty over the state budget in Illinois. Like many private colleges in the state, Saint Xavier and its students depend on a state financial aid program that assists students at private colleges.
Dowling College on Tuesday joined the ranks of small independent institutions that could not overcome economic downturns, demographic changes, and some questionable management. The private college on Long Island announced its immediate closure after a last-ditch effort to form an alliance with another college apparently failed.
The institution has had 7 leaders in 12 years, and its enrollment had fallen by more than half (to about 2,000) since 2009.
“As painful as this announcement is, we want the student body, faculty and alumni to know that we made every effort to form a suitable academic affiliation so that we could keep the college open,” President Albert Inserra said in a written statement.
Summer classes were supposed to start this week, but a stark announcement on Dowling's home page said that the summer sessions had been canceled.
The Century Foundation on Wednesday published a report that is critical of state policies that link funding of public colleges with measures of their performance, such as graduation rates and degree production numbers. Roughly 35 states are either developing or using some form of performance-based funding for higher education.
The new report's author, Nicholas Hillman, an assistant professor of education at the University of Wisconsin at Madison who has studied such state-based formulas, argues that performance-based funding is rarely effective.
"While pay for performance is a compelling concept in theory, it has consistently failed to bear fruit in actual implementation, whether in the higher education context or in other public services," Hillman wrote. "Performance-based funding regimes are most likely to work in noncomplex situations where performance is easily measured, tasks are simple and routine, goals are unambiguous, employees have direct control over the production process, and there are not multiple people involved in producing the outcome."