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Colleges in Dire Financial Straits

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

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polly_mer

Quote from: rth253 on June 08, 2019, 10:27:55 AM
What do you all think of Vermont's strategy to combine Johnson State College (enrollment=~1400) with Lyndon State College (enrollment=~1100) into Northern Vermont University while maintaining the two separate campuses?

I think that's a bad idea that misunderstands how leveraging synergies while avoiding duplication works.  That seems to me like adding an additional set of complications while retaining all the drawbacks of being a smallish institution.
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

polly_mer

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-usc-social-work-20190606-story.html

It turns out the USC online master's degree of social work program is losing money and facing big cuts in faculty.
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

polly_mer

Ohio Northern University is laying off faculty and staff and cutting programs to save $4-8M (https://www.apnews.com/b55bcf53686143cba58ff5296e1ad90f)
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

tuxthepenguin

Quote from: polly_mer on June 10, 2019, 05:00:54 AM
Ohio Northern University is laying off faculty and staff and cutting programs to save $4-8M (https://www.apnews.com/b55bcf53686143cba58ff5296e1ad90f)

Clicking through to the linked story, the total number of positions eliminated is 51 (35 currently unfilled positions will never be filled) and they're cutting 10 programs. The financial problems must be severe for a school of that size to cut so much.

Hibush

Quote from: tuxthepenguin on June 10, 2019, 10:58:42 AM
Quote from: polly_mer on June 10, 2019, 05:00:54 AM
Ohio Northern University is laying off faculty and staff and cutting programs to save $4-8M (https://www.apnews.com/b55bcf53686143cba58ff5296e1ad90f)

Clicking through to the linked story, the total number of positions eliminated is 51 (35 currently unfilled positions will never be filled) and they're cutting 10 programs. The financial problems must be severe for a school of that size to cut so much.
If eliminating 10 programs only affects 45 students, it must not be that drastic.
One of the eliminated programs is Master of Law. I have been led to understand that that is one of several law-related programs that bring in a significant tuition without providing the student with any expanded career opportunities. If so, that cynical effort to raise cash won't be missed.

tuxthepenguin

Quote from: Hibush on June 10, 2019, 11:35:40 AM
Quote from: tuxthepenguin on June 10, 2019, 10:58:42 AM
Quote from: polly_mer on June 10, 2019, 05:00:54 AM
Ohio Northern University is laying off faculty and staff and cutting programs to save $4-8M (https://www.apnews.com/b55bcf53686143cba58ff5296e1ad90f)

Clicking through to the linked story, the total number of positions eliminated is 51 (35 currently unfilled positions will never be filled) and they're cutting 10 programs. The financial problems must be severe for a school of that size to cut so much.
If eliminating 10 programs only affects 45 students, it must not be that drastic.
One of the eliminated programs is Master of Law. I have been led to understand that that is one of several law-related programs that bring in a significant tuition without providing the student with any expanded career opportunities. If so, that cynical effort to raise cash won't be missed.

They will let current students finish out their programs, so that measure doesn't capture the effects of the cuts. None of the 35 positions that won't be filled will affect current students (by definition) but it's still a drastic cut - their website claims 652 faculty and staff.

spork

The link to the local paper's story is https://www.limaohio.com/news/359144/onu-to-lay-off-16-cuts-10-programs.

The story says ONU currently has 70 degree programs and it's eliminating 10 of those. My employer has 61 degree programs. According to IPEDS, the 2017 total FTE at ONU was ~ 3,000. For my employer, the figure was ~ 2,500. So roughly that's about the same number of degree programs across both institutions yet my employer has 17 percent fewer students.
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

Hibush

Quote from: spork on June 10, 2019, 01:47:00 PM
The link to the local paper's story is https://www.limaohio.com/news/359144/onu-to-lay-off-16-cuts-10-programs.

The story says ONU currently has 70 degree programs and it's eliminating 10 of those. My employer has 61 degree programs. According to IPEDS, the 2017 total FTE at ONU was ~ 3,000. For my employer, the figure was ~ 2,500. So roughly that's about the same number of degree programs across both institutions yet my employer has 17 percent fewer students.

What is a financially efficient size for a degree program at your place? The average is 40, or ten students per class. That seems small to me, in that you'd probably want to average 15 or so in each upper division course. It would also limit the number of offerings you might have in specialties.
But the bigger problem would the the programs with five students. That has to be expensive. And perhaps very big degree programs if they are really expensive (computer science could be such a program).

Do you have either of those expensive operations?

spork

Try two departments with a combined fourteen tenure-track faculty lines that between them graduate two or three majors per year. And a history department where tenure-track/tenured faculty teach 10-student upper-level courses instead of the 35-student 100-level courses.
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

spork

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

mamselle

Sorry to see that. Seriously disturbing.

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

spork

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

polly_mer

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions-community-college-dean/illusion-solidity has an overview of how some colleges go from circling the drain for decades to closing.  Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

apl68

So Newbury and some of those other struggling little Boston-area colleges were originally family-owned for-profit trade schools that tried to reinvent themselves as more traditional four-year colleges.  Sounds like even before the economic downturn they were having a hard time trying to be something they really weren't.  "Circling the drain for decades" may be a bit of an overstatement in this case, but it has indeed evidently been a long, long time since they were truly thriving at what they originally did best.
To us a child is born, to us a son is given
And the government will rest upon his shoulders;
And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor,
The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father,
The prince of Peace.
Of his government and peace there will be no end.

tuxthepenguin

Quote from: polly_mer on June 13, 2019, 04:37:36 AM
https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions-community-college-dean/illusion-solidity has an overview of how some colleges go from circling the drain for decades to closing.  Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

There's also denial at a lot of large universities right now. Not for the most part in terms of shutting down, but for a financial crisis in the coming years.