Home Tag "Accountability"

The High Cost of Failing Programs in Higher Education

Burning Glass Technologies, a data analytics company that matches labor data with institutional degree data, published a white paper this week entitled Bad Bets: The High Cost of Failing Programs in Higher Education. The data team at Burning Glass accessed Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data searching for institutions that offered new degree programs in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.

Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines (Part 1)

When I read a short blurb about the latest book authored by Lumina CEO Jamie Merisotis, Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines, I was skeptical that anyone would be able to make an argument that the number of jobs will increase as artificial intelligence (AI) continues to be embraced by more and more companies. After reading and rereading Human Work, I continue to be a skeptic, but I am more of a believer in the methodology proposed by Mr. Merisotis.

ROI of Liberal Arts Colleges

The researchers at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce recently released a report, the ROI of Liberal Arts Colleges. Anthony Carnevale, Ban Cheah, and Martin Van Der Werf used the findings from their broader study, A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges, to create a report focused specifically on liberal arts colleges. Since I previously wrote about the methodology behind the latter report, I will only reiterate those thoughts I deem relevant to the new one.

The Public Higher Education Funding Conundrum

It’s no secret that state funding per student for public higher education has dropped significantly since the 2008 recession. In response to lower tax revenues during the recession, states cut their funding to higher education (a non-mandated spending item in most state budgets) and public colleges and universities responded by increasing tuition, recruiting more out of state students, eliminating faculty and staff positions, and shuttering academic programs. Many states’ tax revenues have rebounded since then, and yet their funding for higher ed has not. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, only four states out of 49 analyzed have increased their funding per student above the 2008 funding levels.

Given that state treasuries have purportedly returned to pre-2008 levels, one might assume that states would no longer be cutting higher education funding. However, that’s not the case. At least three states recently indicated the potential for change, and not necessarily positive change. The most notable was Alaska, where Governor Mike Dunleavy cut the state’s higher education funding by more than $130 million on June 28. The cut represented 41% of the state’s annual higher education budget. After the legislature failed to override his line item veto cut, the board of regents declared financial exigency. After weeks of discussion, the Regents and Governor agreed to reduce funding by a cumulative $70 million over three years. However, this occurred after the system president proposed merging the state universities under one entity, triggering a faculty vote of no confidence and a letter from the universities’ accrediting body. The Regents and the system president rescinded that recommendation, for now.