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.
Yale University on Monday announced a $150 million gift to renovate several historic facilities and to create a campus hub for student life with a mix of educational, cultural and social functions. The gift is from Stephen A. Schwarzman, the Blackstone founder and a Yale alumnus.
Norfolk State University announced Friday that it will eliminate 97 jobs -- some of them currently vacant -- to deal with a $16.7 million deficit in the budget for the next academic year, The Virginian-Pilotreported. Norfolk State is a historically black college that is struggling with enrollment and, as a result, with finances. Enrollment for the fall is expected to be about 5,100 -- a drop of 900 in a year. Of particular concern is that only 500 freshmen are expected.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's plan to give state colleges autonomy while substantially cutting their funding was axed by Republican legislators Tuesday.
Legislators said they planned to decrease Walker's proposed $300 million in higher education cuts. By how much they weren't sure.
Walker had planned to create a separate authority for the University of Wisconsin System, but instead legislators are now proposing very limited autonomy gains, such as freeing the Wisconsin system from state procurement guidelines. "We think it's an idea we should look at. We're just not prepared to implement it in this biennium," said State Senator Alberta Darling, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University, last month sent an appeal to alumni on behalf of 180 seniors who were on track academically to graduate this month, but who would be blocked from doing so because they owed money to the university. The Washington Post reported that Frederick described the seniors' circumstances (hometowns, majors, grades and debts) without giving their names. Their balances ranged from $313.50 to $27,871.75. The students collectively owed about $380,000 when Frederick sent out the appeal. So far the university has received $160,000 in response.