News:

Welcome to the new (and now only) Fora!

Main Menu

Colleges in Dire Financial Straits

Started by Hibush, May 17, 2019, 05:35:11 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Hibush

Cal Maritime will merge with Cal Poly SLO. The West's only maritime academy has seen an enrollment decline from 1107 students to 761 in the last few yeas. That's unsustainable.

The FAQ linked above is informative, addressing the questions people are most likely to ask.

This is a college with very clear and in-demand career outcomes and a distinctive training. That distinguishes it from other small schools in trouble.

But it is a too-small school in an already financially stressed (straightened?) CSU system. The expectation is that it will not regain its former headcount.

The school is in Vallejo (Bay Area), whereas SLO is on the central coast a few hundred miles away. I would have thought merging with a closer CSU like Sonoma or East Bay would be logistically easier. But the powers that be thought the mission alignment was better and more important.

marshwiggle

Quote from: Hibush on June 10, 2024, 05:23:07 PMCal Maritime will merge with Cal Poly SLO. The West's only maritime academy has seen an enrollment decline from 1107 students to 761 in the last few yeas. That's unsustainable.

The FAQ linked above is informative, addressing the questions people are most likely to ask.

This is a college with very clear and in-demand career outcomes and a distinctive training. That distinguishes it from other small schools in trouble.

But it is a too-small school in an already financially stressed (straightened?) CSU system. The expectation is that it will not regain its former headcount.

The school is in Vallejo (Bay Area), whereas SLO is on the central coast a few hundred miles away. I would have thought merging with a closer CSU like Sonoma or East Bay would be logistically easier. But the powers that be thought the mission alignment was better and more important.

Well, it sounds like the programs that presumably need access to the coast are staying put.
QuoteCal Maritime's specialized degree programs, three of which lead to a Merchant Marine license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, would continue to be offered at the Vallejo campus.
It takes so little to be above average.

spork

Pittsburgh Technical College has closed.
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

apl68

Quote from: spork on June 11, 2024, 08:20:44 AMPittsburgh Technical College has closed.

I see from recent news coverage that they're a former for-profit trade school that went non-profit a few years ago.  And that their President has been battling whistleblowers, resignations of most of the Board of Trustees, a faculty vote of no-confidence, and now a state investigation.  As I said above, I can see why schools have to pay out a lot to get qualified leaders, but with some of these people it's hard to see that they're actually earning their pay.
God gave Noah the rainbow sign
No more water, but the fire next time
When this world's all on fire
Hide me over, Rock of Ages, cleft for me

Ruralguy


Also, keep in mind that many university presidents are maybe making 2x the pay of the highest paid professors, and not 10x or more. Primarily that's a limitation of their small institutional budgets, but its also a statement on the limits of their impact. We know the names even of *failed* (particularly of failed?) Harvard presidents, but no one out there is obsessing over the president of Millsaps or Washington and Jefferson College (unless you work there or live in surrounding town). I guess that's just another way of stating the risk issue: if we give you a lot of money, we want you to take big risks, and maybe you get to stay. If we give more than any professor, but not a huge amount, then maybe expected risk is a bit lower, but we still want you to go for a bit more than middle management or a Physics prof (they might take *personal risks*, but they aren't expected or usually willing to take institutional risks). But as Dismalist said, that's not really meant to be a precise defense of a particularly high (or low) salary, jut a general explanation of why it happens that way.

spork

Goddard -- how not to close a college:

https://www.highereddive.com/news/goddard-college-vermont-closure-final-days/718361/

I'll note that federal pandemic aid kept the lights on at Goddard for two years.
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

kaysixteen

WRT Goddard:

1) Does anyone think that a school this, ahem, divergent from standard American collegiate norms was a real college?   The stories regarding various of its academic decisions detailed in this piece have to give one wonder....

2) Is it at all normal, let alone acceptable, for a college to outsource various vital administrative functions/ offices, to outside third party vendors?

3) What is the law wrt what is to become of the campus' physical assets?  Who gets to provide the oversight needed to ensure that no fraud/ conversion takes place here?

apl68

Much of what Goddard did sounds kind of crackpot, all right, but there are a rare few schools with highly motivated students who seem to make this sort of extremely individualized independent-study approach work.  They must have been doing something right pedagogically to have lasted as long as they did. 

It looks like maybe the already small niche they filled has been shrinking even further.  That's been catastrophic news for so many little schools that filled little niches.
God gave Noah the rainbow sign
No more water, but the fire next time
When this world's all on fire
Hide me over, Rock of Ages, cleft for me

spork

It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

mythbuster


Hibush

Quote from: apl68 on June 14, 2024, 07:57:14 AMMuch of what Goddard did sounds kind of crackpot, all right, but there are a rare few schools with highly motivated students who seem to make this sort of extremely individualized independent-study approach work.  They must have been doing something right pedagogically to have lasted as long as they did. 

It looks like maybe the already small niche they filled has been shrinking even further.  That's been catastrophic news for so many little schools that filled little niches.

They were good at filling  niche that was unavailable in the 60s when the school was founded. Together schools like that are having trouble drawing 0.1% of the total undergraduate population. I wish there were more outlier students like that--highly motivated with the different drummer beating an emphatic pace.

Communication from administration has been ridiculously poor. But it seems naive for a professor to say "I thought they were just going to close the campus, I never imagined the school itself was in trouble." Closing the campus is not just a red flag, it is an evacuation order with sirens.

selecter

How can a school that size have a "rank and file"? It seems like the whole disagreement could fit at a card table.

apl68

Quote from: Hibush on June 14, 2024, 12:33:02 PMBut it seems naive for a professor to say "I thought they were just going to close the campus, I never imagined the school itself was in trouble." Closing the campus is not just a red flag, it is an evacuation order with sirens.

Wishful thinking, one would suppose.  Wishful that the school could somehow stay open after closing the campus and pivoting entirely online, and perhaps also wishful of being able to work from home or on the road forever without ever having to go into the workplace again.  So many consider having to go to a physical workplace to be so last-century.
God gave Noah the rainbow sign
No more water, but the fire next time
When this world's all on fire
Hide me over, Rock of Ages, cleft for me

kaysixteen

I get that there are/were a very very small quantity of students for whom what Goddard had to offer was just right up their alley... but the problem remains, was what it had to offer sufficiently close to 'bachelor's degree', to have made them legit purveyors of that degree?   Sadly, the same could well be said of many recently-developed Christian colleges, etc.

apl68

Quote from: mythbuster on June 14, 2024, 12:03:23 PMAlso not dire, but truly embarrassing for Florida A+M and their fly by night mega-donor.

Florida A&M, a dubious donor and $237M: The transformative HBCU gift that wasn't what it seemed

That is embarrassing.  It makes the university's leadership look about as savvy as somebody who gets a scam call saying they've won the "sweepstakes," and calls the local TV station to announce the news, and then books a round-the-world cruise.

People who say they're going to make massive donations like this that they can't back up must be unhinged in some way.  You can see wanting to bask in the adulation, but can they really not realize how bad they're going to look when the inevitable happens and they get outed?  It reminds me of the brain trust behind the Fyre Festival.
God gave Noah the rainbow sign
No more water, but the fire next time
When this world's all on fire
Hide me over, Rock of Ages, cleft for me