Budget Cuts

A President's Last Stand

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Of his 16 years as president at Berea College, Larry Shinn has found the last year to be the most contentious, challenging, and potentially transformative. While grappling with budget deficits, Shinn has fended off student critics who say he makes too much money and taken shots from faculty members for a controversial plan that would dismantle existing departments.

To top it all off, Shinn’s former provost is calling on his old boss to resign.

“We went through a very messy process,” Shinn says.

'Why I Lost My Secretary'

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In the past year, many faculty members and students who never paid much attention to the concept of "endowment payout rates" and their rolling averages have had reason to learn about them. In short, the idea is that colleges and universities shouldn't decide each year what share of their endowments to spend, but should have a standing philosophy on the appropriate payout rate, and should average that rate out over several years to avoid spending too much or too little based on a particularly good or bad financial year.

So Long, Southampton

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Samuel L. Stanley Jr. has learned the hard way that it’s tough to keep bad news quiet. The recently minted president of the State University of New York’s Stony Brook campus whispered the details of a controversial plan to lawmakers Tuesday, only to find the discussions picked up by media within hours. That left Stanley and his staff scrambling Wednesday morning, trying to explain why and how Stony Brook’s Southampton location will be largely shuttered by fall.

“It was really disturbing that a meeting we felt we had in confidence was let out,” Stanley said.

Shared Sacrifice

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DAVIS, CALIF. -- The receptionist who once sat outside Stan Nosek’s office has been replaced … by a bell.

“Please ring for service,” a small sign reads.

Nosek, special assistant to the chancellor at the University of California’s Davis campus, walks past the bell and points toward several cubicles that once housed employees.

“Empty,” he says.

“Empty,” pointing toward another.

A few strides.


Waiting for Recovery

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DENVER -- State support for higher education tends to be cyclical -- a fact that's been comforting to many who study or teach at public colleges and universities that have been facing budget cuts these past two years.

Tough Times For Nest Eggs

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At a time when tenure track jobs are drying up and faculty pay is mostly stagnant, some fear the latest threat to the professoriate will actually be realized years from now. As budgets tighten in states across the country, a number of legislatures are re-evaluating the popular pension plans that have been a key benefit for faculty.

Disappearing Departments

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Kean University department chairs have spent a year on the endangered species list, and now they appear headed for all-but-certain extinction.

Wells Faculty Cry Foul

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A budget cutting proposal that would eliminate faculty and staff positions at Wells College has rankled faculty, who say they were sidelined from discussions as the plan took shape.

Faculty approved a resolution last week, expressing opposition to a plan that could use layoffs, pay cuts and program eliminations to reduce next year’s budget by $1.5 million.

Power Play

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Some U. of California academic senators are poised to remove chairman, but their ability to do so is unclear.

A Desperate Student's Craigslist Posting?

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Everyone at Columbia Basin College is talking about a Craigslist posting -- and it's not even lewd.


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