by Michelle Felber • • Comments Off on Save the Date: PROFS Forum on the Cost of Higher Education
PROFS is pleased to announce a campus forum on the cost of higher education on Thursday, October 24. This event will be held at 4 pm in the De Luca Forum in the Discovery Building, 330 North Orchard Street, and is open to the public.
The forum, moderated by UW-Madison Education Professor Nicholas Hillman, will examine college cost, in particular why costs have risen so dramatically in recent years and the implications of rising expenses. We will look at the the resulting pressure on the state to increase funding and students to pay higher tuition, along with pressure on the university to raise funds and pursue partnerships.
Our panel includes William & Mary Economics Professor David Feldman and UW-Madison Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller. A third panelist will be named soon.
David Feldman received his A.B. from Kenyon College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University. Before joining the faculty at William and Mary in 1989, he taught at Duke and Colgate University. His current research examines college cost, the demand for higher education, and the role of federal and state policy toward higher education. He has published two books on the cost of higher education with his faculty colleague Robert Archibald, The Road Ahead for America’s Colleges and Universities and Why Does College Cost So Much?
Laurent Heller began his appointment as the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration in August, 2016. Heller has extensive experience in budgeting and finance, higher education strategy and business operations, having served as Vice Chancellor, Financial Planning and Analysis at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley.
PROFS will host a forum to discuss Governor Scott Walker’s 2017-19 state budget proposal at noon, Thursday, March 16 in Room 5120 Grainger Hall. This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.
Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Ben Miller, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, and Jack O’Meara, PROFS Legislative Representative, will share their expertise and take questions from members of the audience. A recording of the the forum will be available online at a later date.
Questions at the forum are likely to include:
What types of performance metrics are likely to be included as part of possible increased funding for UW System?
What is the likelihood of a pay plan for UW faculty and staff? Is a pay plan still possible if the Joint Finance Committee does not approve self-insurance?
Would new statutory language codifying the state’s commitment to academic freedom result in any changes to existing campus policies?
Are non-fiscal policy items likely to remain in the budget proposal?
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau summary of the University of Wisconsin System portion of the governor’s budget is here.
PROFS is planning a forum on self-insurance later this spring.
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents is meeting in Madison today, March 9. All meetings will be held in Gordon Dining and Event Center, 770 West Dayton Street. Livestream coverage of the full board meeting is here.
The full board will hear updates from UW System President Ray Cross and Board of Regents President Regina Millner. Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University, will lead a discussion on public higher education and Susan Baxter, Executive Director of the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology, will discuss Cal State’s system-wide biotechnology efforts.
Blank writes that top public research universities like the University of Wisconsin-Madison play an important role in keeping the United States at the forefront of the global economy by educating the majority of skilled workers. At the same time, public research universities conduct basic research that is essential to future innovations:
“The importance of research universities in educating top scientists, engineers and doctors is well understood. But the second part of our mission is equally important and often forgotten or misconstrued. Those who criticize our faculty for not teaching enough fail to recognize that teaching is only half their work.
At a research university, faculty are expected to actively engage in producing and publishing research results. And most faculty are expected to raise the money needed to support their work by writing proposals to federal agencies, foundations and private industry.”
Blank acknowledges that funding for research has slowed in recent years, with potentially devastating consequences as other nations increase their research funding.
“This nation’s public research universities are centers of American innovation and education. Maintaining these institutions and maintaining strong federal funding for their research on big, complex and important problems is critical to keeping this nation competitive in today’s global economy.”
Walters and Cross spoke at length about Cross’ recent remarks to the Board of Regents and the subsequent plans for a transformational study of the UW System. Cross estimates this study will occur over the next several months, and faculty will be engaged in the process. Cross also said UW System must do a better job at communicating what faculty do, in and outside the classroom.
When asked if UW-Madison will be included with the proposed reforms, Cross said UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee have a research focus and the final recommendations may not fully apply to those two campuses.
The talk is sponsored by WISCAPE, the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education.
The continued defunding of public higher education has put enormous pressure on governance boards, and in some cases, resulted in changes to shared governance. Wellman will discuss these challenges and explore ways in which to improve the functionality of public-sector governing boards.
by Michelle Felber • • Comments Off on UW-Milwaukee Chancellor’s Departure Forces Discussion on Importance of UW System to State
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chancellor Michael Lovell announced last week he would resign in July to become the first lay leader of Marquette University. Lovell’s departure after three-and-a-half years as chancellor came as a surprise to the greater Milwaukee community.
UW-Milwaukee has long enjoyed a good relationship with the Milwaukee business community, and Lovell maintained those close ties. Many of those business leaders recognize the importance to a strong public university system.
Sheldon Lubar, a former regent president and contributor to UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, and Marquette University noted the legislature’s recent treatment of UW System had an impact:
The UW System is the most important — without a rival second — the most important institution in the state, and the success of our community in Milwaukee and every community in our state is dependent on a highly educated citizenry. The university is not just a punching bag and a place you can take money from without any regard to what its impact is.
Lubar was referring to the controversy last year surrounding budget reserves. Lovell strongly defended the reserves and maintained that reserves are necessary to protect the institution from unexpected budget shortfalls.
Karen Herzog and Bill Glauber of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinelwrote Sunday that Lovell’s announcement comes as UW-Milwaukee is at a significant crossroads:
Several major construction projects are well underway, but others are still in the design phase and haven’t been funded. The university’s strategic plan is not settled — although Lovell vowed it will be finished by August, when he moves to Marquette. A massive campaign to raise hundreds of millions of dollars is just a year away. Enrollment has declined in the last three freshman classes, leading to work on a new enrollment strategy. Faculty turnover is distressing.
Geography professor Mark Schwartz, chair of UW-Milwaukee’s University Committee, told the Journal Sentinel that the university is underfunded and the legislature must decide what kind of university it is willing to fund:
The one good thing that comes from this at some level is putting it in the hands of the state and (UW) System to really define what they want us to be. We want candidates to come in with a question mark about our status and our role in the future.
Demos, a non-partisan research and policy organization, has updated its 2012 report, The Great Cost Shift. The initial report found that disinvestment in public higher education undermined the stability of the middle class by shifting costs to students and their families.
“In less than a generation, our nation’s higher education system has become a debt-for-diploma system — more than seven out of ten college seniors now borrow to pay for college and graduate with an average debt of $29,400.”
The report found all but one state, North Dakota, is spending less per student than they did before the recession, and more than half the states cut higher education funding by more than 25 percent.
Most universities responded to funding cuts with tuition increases. The average tuition at a four-year institution costs more than 15 percent of the median household income in 26 states, including Wisconsin.
Wisconsin ranks in the bottom half of states in several measures:
39th, state funding for higher education per FTE State funding dropped 20.2% from 2007-08 to 2011-12 ($6,432 vs. $5,295).
30th, average 4-year state tuition costs Tuition rose more than 17% from 2007-08 to 2011-12 ($6,677 vs. $7,851). Only 20 states have higher average 4-year tuition rates.
29th, state higher education affordability Tuition at a 4-year state institution now takes 15.7% of the state’s median family income, compared to 12.3% five years ago.
Demos was founded in 2000 and focuses its work on three areas — achieving democracy through a guaranteed right to vote and reducing the amount of money in elections, the creation of a strong, diverse middle class through a sustainable economy, and the transformation of the public narrative to elevate the values of community and racial equity.
by Michelle Felber • • Comments Off on Kiplinger: UW-Madison 8th Best Value Among Public Universities
UW-Madison ranks eighth among public universities according to Kiplinger Magazine’s most recent rankings of colleges and universities, up two place from last year. The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill ranked first. Sixth-ranked University of Michigan was the only Big Ten school ranked higher than UW-Madison.
Kiplinger cites access to political jobs in the capitol and numerous tech start-ups as a reason why students choose to attend UW-Madison. The magazine also notes that the average cost for in-state students after need-based aid is applied fell by more than $800 this year.