January 25, 2013

Academic Affairs

CA: Cal State approves 120 semester-unit limit for most bachelor's degree programs
The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees passed a measure Wednesday that will cap credit requirements for most CSU bachelor's degree programs at 120 semester units, with the goal of helping student graduate quicker and reduce program costs. Currently, about 81 percent of CSU programs are aligned with the 120-unit cap. Some programs, such as music and architecture, will be allowed to exceed the cap, while others will require approval from the chancellor in consultation with faculty and others.

Los Angeles Times (Date posted: January 23, 2013)

Budget & Finance

AZ: Governor's budget plan includes funding boost for state universities
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) recently released a state budget proposal with a $58.6 million funding increase for the state's three public universities. University leaders said they were pleased with the funding increase, although they had asked for an $82 million increase in base funding and $120 million for one-time expenses, such as facility upgrades. The state's three universities currently receive $707 million in state appropriations, down from $1.1 billion before the recession. 

Arizona Republic (Date posted: January 23, 2013) 

GA: Gov. Deal calls for slight increase in higher education funding
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's (R) state budget blueprint includes a $42 million increase for the state's university system, a number aimed at covering student enrollment growth while accounting for a 3 percent across-the-board budget cut for state agencies. Half of the funding increase is expected to be used to cover employee and retiree benefit costs. Faculty salaries, however, have not increased in five years, allowing Georgia's public university faculty members to be recruited to other states. 

Florida Times-Union (Date posted: January 22, 2013)


CA: Cal State will not increase tuition next fall
California State University (CSU) officials said this week that they will not increase tuition next fall, despite receiving only $125 million of a requested $372 million funding increase in Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) state budget proposal. Brown has stated that he wants to increase the Cal State budget by 4 to 5 percent for four years, with the expectation of no tuition hikes during those years. CSU’s budget has been cut $1 billion since 2008. State lawmakers will consider the governor's budget plan later this year. 

Los Angeles Times (Date posted: January 22, 2013)

LA: Colleges seek tuition-setting authority
This week Louisiana’s higher education commissioner again called on state lawmakers to cede tuition-setting authority to the state’s public colleges and universities. The same proposal failed during the previous legislative session. According to the commissioner, $625 million has been cut from public higher education since 2008, with tuition costs only covering $331 million of the budget reductions. Louisiana currently has the second-lowest tuition rates in the South, according to data from the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

The Times-Picayune (Date posted: January 23, 2013)

National Reports

An Open Letter to College and University Leaders: College Completion Must be Our Priority (Press Release) (Report) (Related Story)
National Commission on Higher Education Attainment
This report calls for higher education leaders to make student retention and completion a top campus priority and recommends three main areas for reform: campus culture, cost effectiveness and quality, and data usage. 

The American Dream 2.0: How Financial Aid Can Help Improve College Access, Affordability and Completion (Website) (Report) (Related story)
HCM Strategists
A coalition of higher education leaders argues in this report that college completion remains a national economic imperative. The report includes a number of guiding principles and broad-based series of reforms to improve student retention and completion. 

Post-traditional Learners and the Transformation of Postsecondary Education: A Manifesto for College Leaders (Press Release) (Report) (Related story)
American Council on Education
This policy brief challenges college leaders to reform existing instructional, institutional and revenue models to better serve growing numbers of post-traditional students in higher education. It includes three principles for reform. 

Grapevine State Fiscal Support for Higher Education Summary Tables, (FY) 2012-13 (Website) (Related story)
Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University
Grapevine's website has been updated to reflect the latest state appropriations data for public higher education 

2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook (Website) (Executive Summary) (Report)
National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ)
This report explores and evaluates state teacher preparation policies. It includes a national summary as well as individual state reports.

State Reports

Minnesota: State Report 2011-2012 (Report) (Related story)
Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC)
This report from includes performance data on higher education in Minnesota, including comparisons with peer states. 

Washington: Critical Crossroads: A Call for Action (Report) (Related story)
Washington Student Achievement Council
This report identifies key challenges and priorities to increase Washington's educational achievement levels. It identifies five key challenges that should be addressed in the state's 10-year plan for higher education. 


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