When colleges move down in the rankings, they respond by raising tuition, according to a new study.
Using data from U.S. News & World Report rankings between 2005 and 2012, researchers found that colleges are likely to set tuition higher after a sharp decline in status -- especially if their rivals are already charging higher tuition, and if they appeal widely to prospective students.
In higher education, status is a primary organizational goal, the authors write. For many universities, the higher price is strategic. Instead of reflecting the value of the institution, the price may be intended to send a message about the status a university aspires to.
Eastern Illinois University on Monday announced the layoffs of 198 civil service employees, the Associated Press reported. The move is the latest in efforts by public colleges and universities to deal with the failure of the state to adopt a budget and provide funds. Others who work at Eastern Illinois will face one furlough day a week. If the university starts to receive state funds by March 12, the layoffs will be rescinded.
Raymond Burse, president of Kentucky State University, warned in a letter to students, faculty members and alumni that budget cuts being proposed by Governor Matt Bevin, a Republican, could force the historically black college to close, Kentucky.com reported. The governor wants a 4.5 percent cut in the current fiscal year, followed by a 9 percent cut over the following two years. With enrollment falling, the university can't absorb such reductions, Burse said.
Chicago State University on Thursday declared that it was in a state of financial exigency due to the state failing to adopt a budget and provide funds, The Chicago Tribune reported. All public colleges and universities in the state have been voicing concerns about the impact of the state's inaction, but Chicago State has been warning that it may run out of money by next month. A state of financial exigency, under guidelines of the American Association of University Professors, means that a college's financial condition is so dire as to justify speedier elimination of faculty jobs, including tenured faculty jobs.
Concordia College will discontinue nine majors and one concentration, the Moorhead, Minn., college announced Friday. Instructors in those majors could lose their jobs by the end of May, while tenured professors will have one year’s notice, Inforum reported. Faculty members over 55 are being offered an incentive to retire early.
Concordia has been struggling to make up for declining enrollment, and it cut 5 percent of its workforce in April. Now, the college is aiming for $2.7 million in savings and new revenue.
Five of the discontinued majors are foreign languages -- Latin, Latin education, French, French education and German -- along with the classical studies, classics, health, humanities and Scandinavian studies concentration. There are currently 38 students enrolled in the discontinued majors, and 12 of those are scheduled to graduate this year. The rest will be able to complete their majors through special arrangements, independent studies and substitution of requirements.
Harvard University, which has lagged other colleges in selling naming rights for academic colleges, has done so twice in recent years, in return for large gifts. That has prompted debate at its medical school over whether an extremely large gift (not yet on the table, but people are talking about a $1 billion gift) would justify renaming the medical school, STAT reported. Proponents say a gift of that size could bring the already prestigious institution to a new level.
But some faculty members worry about the implications. “If the school sells naming rights, it makes the school feel like it’s a football stadium,” David Jones, a professor, said. When faculty members publish articles with the new name of their medical school, “everyone on the faculty, and all of the students, become an advertisement for whoever bought the naming rights.” He added that professors also fear that they may not like the record of the donor, given that there are relatively few people with the ability to donate a gift of the size Harvard would want. “If they named it the Trump School of Medicine, half of the faculty would resign,” Jones said.
Two Boston music colleges -- the Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory -- on Tuesday announced plans to merge. The combined institution will be known as Berklee and the conservatory will be called the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Eight conservatory trustees will join the board of the combined institution, which will then have 43 board members. While both colleges are music schools, they have different academic and performing strengths, which officials say will create more opportunities for students. The conservatory is known for classical music, opera and dance. Berklee is known for programs in contemporary music, technology, the music business, music therapy, sound design, production, film and online education.
The University of Cincinnati has agreed to a $5.3 million settlement with the family of Samuel DuBose, who was shot and killed by a university police officer in July. The officer who shot DuBose has been charged with murder in a police shooting widely seen as unwarranted. The university will pay the family $4.85 million and will also provide an education free of tuition and fees for each of DuBose's 12 children. The university's president, Santa Ono, issued an apology, saying, “I want to again express on behalf of the University of Cincinnati community our deepest sadness and regrets at the heartbreaking loss of the life of Samuel DuBose. This agreement is also part of the healing process not only for the family but also for our university and Cincinnati communities."