Clips Report is a selection of local, statewide and national news clips about the University of Missouri and higher
education, compiled by UM System Strategic Communications as a service for UM System officials. The report may
include articles dealing with controversial subjects, policy matters, higher education trends and other significant
topics affecting the University.
The articles are not screened for accuracy, balance of favorable and unfavorable reports, or representation of
campuses, University Extension or media outlets. Some articles, especially those from Columbia newspapers, are
written by students. The report is not an effort to measure the University‘s public information efforts.
December 5, 2008
UM asked to envision budget cuts of up to 25 percent, 1
MU Faculty Council debates potential effects of hiring freeze, 10
Letter: Say ‗enough is enough‘ to Pinkel‘s pay raises, 14
MU orthopedic surgery has new interim chief, 15
MU professor chosen to create presidential sculpture, 16
MU food lab raises the bar, 18
MU group to offer sustainability advice, 19
Frats‘ neighbors win Burnam parking ban, 20
MU students robbed at gunpoint, 21
Prosecutor suggests ex-cop used clip knife to kill MU student, 22
MU, Stephens host AIDS Day activities, 23
MU Extension specialist on cutting energy costs, 24
UMSL criminologist responds to St. Louis alderman‘s call for arms, 25
Opinion: Are UM students enemies of Missouri values, 26
MSU is forming a contingency plan for $4.3 million shortfall, 28
Missouri students squeaking by with loans, 31
Wash. U. to research clean coal technology, 32
Missouri colleges earn failing grade for affordability, 34
Kansas State awarded bio research lab, 41
EPA issues final plan for hazardous waste in college labs, 43
Economic crisis squeezing colleges, universities, 44
Keeping costs down will grow ever more difficult, report says, 46
Colleges are told to improve financial practices to cope with downturn, 47
Harvard hit by loss as crisis spreads to colleges, 48
Blog: Stanford‘s president and provost will take 10% pay cuts, 50
U. of California to limit severance pay to rehired workers, 52
For college-bound, new barriers to entry, 55
College students not getting enough financial aid forced to drop out, 57
Conference gives further signs that student lenders are struggling, 60
College may become unaffordable for most in U.S., 62
Op-ed: Best branding practices – avoiding assumptions that miss the media mark, 64
Studies link part-time college faculty to worse education, 67
In bad economy, students worried about internships, 68
Opinion: Heed call for higher-ed summit on wasteful duplications, costs, 70
U. of Michigan saves energy, cash with green computing, 71
The college board crisis, 73
Despite alcohol crackdown, the party goes on, 75
Terrorism unlikely to keep U.S. colleges away from India, 79
Counselor: Sleep class necessary for some college students, 81
What universities can do to graduate more minority Ph.D.‘s, 82
On the road to tenure, minority professors report frustrations, 84
Graduate schools seeking international partners need clearer guidelines, educators say, 85
Editorial: Looming budget struggles paint bleak future for Missouri
By GEORGE KENNEDY
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The trouble with news is that so much of it is true. If I've said that before, my excuse for repetition is this week's
"Nixon will face big budget shortage" was on the Missourian's front page Wednesday. Inside that day's paper was
an Associated Press story headlined "Report fails 49 states for education costs." Missouri is one of the 49 to
flunk. In Tuesday's Maneater, the top story was "Missouri Promise faces grim budget realities." Then the bomb.
From the Missourian's Web site on Thursday: "University leaders asked to envision budget cuts of up to 25
Twenty-five percent? That can't be serious. It turns out, however, that the chairmen of the legislative budget and
appropriations committees are deadly serious.
Last week's sermonette was an expression of relief at not being responsible for drafting our university's budget in
these uncertain times. This week's news forces the realization that, really, nobody's off the hook. We might not
have the burden of planning the budget, but none of us — students and wannabe students, parents, university
employees and retirees, citizens, taxpayers — will escape the impact of the recession and state government's
response to it.
Wayne Goode, adviser to the Governor-elect, former legislator and perhaps Missouri's most experienced budget
builder, warns that the revenue shortfall for the current fiscal year, which stands now at $342 million, reminds
him of the Great Depression. Mr. Goode, as I've observed him over the years, is not given to hyperbole.
Now take a moment to reflect on how our rulers in Jefferson City have responded to less apocalyptic downturns
in the recent past. Gov. One-Term Bob Holden withheld appropriated funds from the public schools. The Boy
Governor, our current one-termer, slashed the Medicaid roles. The university's appropriation is still below what it
was in 2001.
Already, the Republicans who control the legislature have warned that there's no money even to restore the
Medicaid cuts, let alone support new programs.
So Governor-elect Jay Nixon's "Missouri Promise" — his plan to provide scholarships for community college
and university educations for good students who can't afford college now — seems almost certain to be a
promise unkept. And that's just one of those "grim budget realities."
For our university, the grim realities suggest that "Compete Missouri," the three-year program of salary increases
intended to raise faculty pay from the bottom to the middle of our peers, loses the competition for diminishing
dollars. And that was the case when the projection was a mere 5 percent budget cut. At 15 to 25 percent, the
range now under discussion, even the system-wide hiring freeze won‘t save nearly enough to satisfy our
Administrators are banking on another enrollment increase next fall to produce some of the income the
legislature won't deliver. The economics of that are simple. If you have 20 or 200 students in a classroom, there's
little or no extra cost for adding another one or 20. So the tuition revenue, or most of it, goes to the bottom line.
In years past, the university could more fully counteract the legislature's stinginess by raising tuition steeply.
Hence our failing grade in affordability and the need for that Missouri Promise. Senate Bill 389, which limits the
increases to the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, took away that option. Legislators
didn't, of course, commit to making up the difference.
You can see why Mr. Nixon joined the throng of mendicant governors imploring President-elect Obama to
direct some bailout money to the states. The feds can borrow, run deficits and just print more money. The state
is constitutionally bound to balance its budget.
In a town where the two biggest employers are the university and the public schools, the budget news is all too
true. Please don't shoot the messenger.
George Kennedy is a former managing editor at the Missourian and professor emeritus at the Missouri School of Journalism.
University leaders asked to envision budget cuts of up to 25 percent
By DAVID A. LIEB
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY — Deputy Higher Education Commissioner Paul Wagner sent a memo Tuesday to the
presidents and chancellors of Missouri‘s public colleges and universities asking for ―impact statements‖ of
various budget cutting scenarios.
The memo came in response to a joint letter, sent Monday to department directors and budget personnel by
House Budget Committee Chairman Allen Icet and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Gary Nodler,
R-Joplin, asking them to prepare scenarios for core budget cuts of 15 percent, 20 percent or 25 percent in the
2010 budget, which starts July 1.
Icet, R-Wildwood, said Wednesday that it‘s ―very possible‖ the state will face a budget shortfall requiring Gov.-
elect Jay Nixon to withhold some money appropriated to state agencies and programs.
But Icet said the $342 million projected shortfall appears to be ―more toward the pessimistic end of the spectrum
than the optimistic end.‖
Their letter asks agencies to describe how such cuts would affect people and their program‘s services and
whether the state spending cuts would result in a loss of matching funds from the federal government or other
Higher education institutions were among the hardest hit during the last round of economically driven budget
cuts in 2001-2003. But the newest cutting scenarios are larger than before, Wagner said.
―Unfortunately, the situation appears to be much worse now,‖ Wagner wrote in his memo.
Neither MU Chancellor Brady Deaton nor Budget Director Tim Rooney was available for comment Tuesday
The four-campus University of Missouri System, the largest in the state, already has instituted a general hiring
freeze, though some positions have been exempt on each campus.
Nixon said he plans to meet Friday with majority party Republicans in the Senate to discuss the state‘s financial
situation. Nixon said his chief of staff held a similar meeting Tuesday with Senate Democrats and that he also
was interested in meeting with House Republicans and Democrats.
Missourian reporter Emily Younker contributed to this report.
Columbia Daily Tribune
Public universities asked to plan for state budget cut
By JANESE HEAVIN
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The University of Missouri and Columbia will feel the effects of the state‘s anticipated budget shortfall if
lawmakers decide to slice funding from higher education and capital projects.
Paul Wagner, commissioner of the Missouri Department of Higher Education, sent a memo to presidents and
chancellors of all public colleges and universities yesterday asking them to determine the impact of budget-cut
scenarios ranging from 15 to 25 percent. The state budget appropriates $414.6 million in general funds to the
four University of Missouri campuses this fiscal year, which means a 15 percent cut would equal about $62
The system‘s hiring freeze will absorb some of that loss, MU spokeswoman Mary Jo Banken said. UM President
Gary Forsee announced last month that only vital positions will be filled in response to tough economic times.
"Any time the university looks at ways we can be most efficient, of course, one of the big ways we do that is to
look at salaries," Banken said.
The system will work closely with state administration to deal with potential budget cuts, spokesman Christian
Basi said. "We‘ve always been a partner with the state in trying to seek solutions for citizens, and it‘s certainly the
case with this situation," he said.
Gov.-elect Jay Nixon, who takes office Jan. 12, is expected to face as much as a $340 million shortfall this fiscal
year, Wayne Goode, his deputy transition budget review director, said earlier this week. Goode blamed the
economy for an expected drop in revenues that would leave the budget $623 million short of projections. The
state, by law, must operate a balanced budget.
Yesterday, Nixon sent out a statement outlining steps to put the budget back in the black by June, including
asking departments to consider reductions. That was followed by a written request from Sen. Gary Nodler, R-
Joplin, and Rep. Allen Icet, R-Wildwood, to all state agencies asking administrators to determine how 15, 20 or
25 percent cuts would affect services and personnel.
Asking state departments to tighten their belts isn‘t unusual when the state is facing funding shortfalls, said
Nodler, who serves as Senate appropriations chairman. "The question to departments is how they would handle
reductions of those various amounts, what the impact would be and, if given a gross reduction, how they would
apply it," he said.
Nixon also plans to review all capital projects when he takes office, according to his prepared statement.
Spokesman Oren Shur said it‘s too early to say which projects might not receive funding.
The proposed new Ellis Fischel Cancer Center in Columbia, which received a $31 million allocation for
construction this year, could be safe from those cuts, Nodler said, because it is funded through the sale of
Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority assets. "That‘s a separate funding source and should not be affected,"
he said, noting that MOHELA‘s earnings have been high recently and the funding is coming in as expected.
Construction on the new cancer center is expected to begin next fall.
But state funds earmarked for the Columbia Area Career Center‘s proposed expansion aren‘t safe. The state
allocated $5.3 million this fiscal year to add classrooms and programs to the vocational school as part of a $75
million capital improvement allocation from general revenues. "Those projects would, of course, be at risk,"
Rep.-elect Chris Kelly said it‘s too early to say whether he‘ll fight on behalf of any specific project.
"Nobody knows how bad this is going to be," he said. "Is it the general operating budget of the University of
Missouri versus public schools? Then what do you do? It‘s way too early to pick winners - or less serious losers,
because there are no winners."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The Grade Blog: More cuts on horizon for public higher education in Missouri?
By KAVITA KUMAR
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
More lean times could be down the road for public universities in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Higher
Education sent a memo this afternoon to the presidents and chancellors of the state‘s two-year and four-year
institutions about possible budget scenarios for next year that include 15, 20, and 25 percent funding cuts.
―As I had previously mentioned, the last time the state was in a deficit situation the request was for impact
statements for 5%, 10%, and 15% cuts,‖ wrote Paul Wagner, deputy higher education commissioner, in the
memo. ―Unfortunately, the situation appears to be much worse now.‖
Every state agency and program is being asked by the House and Senate appropriations committees to come up
with similar impact statements about how they would grapple with cuts of that size.
As my colleague, Virginia Young, reporter earlier today, the state is expecting to face a $340 million budget
deficit by the end of June. And state revenues continue to look dreary for the next fiscal year, hence the 15 to 25
percent budget cut scenarios being explored. But Wagner told me in a phone interview today that higher
education institutions have been given no notice yet that there might be mid-year budget cuts to deal with current
deficit. (The Illinois State Board of Higher Education recently told state universities and community colleges to
hold onto 2.5 percent of their current budgets in reserve because of potential mid-year cuts.)
Public universities in Missouri, which depend on state funding and student tuition as their main sources of
revenue, have been well aware of the less-than-rosy state budget forecast. Some schools have already begun to
make changes to brace for the potential storm ahead.
The University of Missouri instituted a hiring freeze at its four campuses a couple weeks ago. And Missouri State
University President Michael Nietzel has slowed some hiring and asked his staff to identify contingency plans for
a possible 5 percent cut.
The Coordinating Board for Higher Education had been hoping for a 7.4 percent funding increase to get higher
education state funding back up to the 2001 and 2002 levels. But Wagner said that given this memo, he is not
optimistic about higher education getting any increase at all next year.
―Now we hope to just maintain where we‘re at,‖ he said.
If higher education does end up facing a double-digit percentage in cuts, Wagner acknowledged that universities
will likely consider large tuition increases. A recent state law caps tuition increases to the level of inflation. But
Wagner noted that the inflation rate, as measured by the consumer price index, has been dropping significantly to
about 2 to 3 percent. That means that the rate of tuition increases would be further curtailed.
So one issue Wagner and the Department of Higher Education is going to have to look into is the possibility that
a number of universities will apply to have the tuition increase cap waived. Under the law, schools can appeal to
the department to increase tuition above inflation. The commissioner then decides whether or not to grant the
waiver. If the commissioner refuses the request, the school will face a financial penalty if it still increases tuition
above the level of inflation.
But Wagner noted that large tuition increases is not very appealing.
―It is not an easy solution in this economy when so many people are already struggling to make ends meet,‖ he
The state‘s budget situation will likely be a hot topic of conversation at a meeting of the state‘s public university
presidents later this week in Kansas City. Nietzel chairs that group.
―I think the presidents will want to make the case that one way you want to grow out of this economic difficulty
is to have a well-prepared workforce and support for universities is crucial to having that,‖ Nietzel said. ―We
realize that the budget solution is dire. But we think we can be a solution, or at least a significant part of the
And finally, I have copied here below the memo that the House and Senate budget leaders sent to all state
agencies and programs asking them for impact statements of 15, 20, and 25 percent cuts:
To: Department Directors & Budget Personnel
From: Senator Gary Nodler and Representative Allen Icet
Date: December 1, 2008
RE: Information Request
The current status of our economy is quite volatile and it is imperative that we remain ready to act in response to
these conditions during the upcoming budget process. Therefore, we are requesting your assistance in providing
information relating to your department and the agencies assigned to your department for budgeting purposes.
Please provide responses to the requested information noted below to the Senate and House Appropriations
Staff no later than December 22, 2008.
1. A list of all budgeted vacant positions as of December 1, 2008. A template has been provided for vacancy
2. General revenue core reduction scenarios of 15%, 20% and 25%. Each department is directed to put
forward reduction scenarios that would have the least impact on the services provided to the citizens of
Missouri. Departments have the latitude to choose which programs to include for this exercise, provided
that the overall target is met in each scenario (not to include fringe savings). A template is attached which
provides your core reduction target for each percent scenario. Only the appropriations listed on the
template can be used to reach the core cut targets. The target is based on the FY 2009 appropriations,
less one-times. The impact/comments section should include the following:
What will not be done that is currently being done if this reduction or cut is made?
Who will be impacted by the reduction and how will they be affected?
How many people will be impacted?
Will this result in any loss of Federal, local or other funding/match?
Will the reduction impact other departments (for example, will clients that your department served
move to programs offered by another department, increasing its costs)?
List legislative or other changes that would have to be made in order to realize savings in the area(s)
3. Please provide organizational charts for your department which reflect the FY 2010 Department Core
Request for positions with an annual salary of $50,000 or greater. The organizational charts should reflect
the budgeted title, working title, employee name, current annual salary and the number of FTE directly
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Missouri Gov.-elect Nixon outlines possible budget cuts
By VIRGINIA YOUNG
Thursday, December 4, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY — Tax credits, state construction projects and long-term government contracts for goods
and services all could be on the chopping block next month when Gov.-elect Jay Nixon takes office.
Nixon said Wednesday that he will scrutinize those three areas for savings to help cover a projected $342 million
shortfall in the state budget. He also plans to launch a "top-to-bottom review" of every state agency and major
Nixon, who will take office Jan. 12, said in an interview that he was optimistic that President-elect Barack Obama
would sign a stimulus package to help states socked with declining revenue. But Nixon added: "We can't sit
around and wait for Washington to solve our problems."
With unemployment rising and consumer confidence falling, state tax collections are down about 4 percent so far
this fiscal year. Budget officials are projecting a 5 percent drop by the end of the year, resulting in the potential
$342 million gap. The fiscal year began July 1, 2008, and ends June 30, 2009.
The state constitution requires the governor to balance the budget. Nixon, a Democrat, said he was reaching out
to the Republican-led Legislature to find bipartisan solutions. He plans to meet with Senate Republicans during
their annual retreat Friday in Branson, Mo.
Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah, said he welcomed Nixon's participation in the GOP's brainstorming session.
"I'm hopeful that it's an olive branch," Lager said. "We're going through some tough times, and we're going to
have to work together to do what's best for the state of Missouri."
The initial steps Nixon announced Wednesday are aimed at gathering data. They include:
— Reviewing all tax credits to see whether they are producing jobs.
— Analyzing all capital projects that have not broken ground and getting status reports on those that are under
— Requiring all state agencies to submit plans to reduce their expenditures before June 30.
— Ordering performance reviews of every major state program to see whether some could be consolidated.
— Freezing all new long-term state contracts.
Nixon said he was concerned that some contracts could "bind the state" far into the future. One example: a 10-
year lease-purchase agreement for a statewide wireless radio network for public safety officers. The budget
includes $9 million for the $175 million system. Nixon said he was not ruling out multiyear contracts but needed
more information to see whether such projects were warranted.
Groups that depend on state revenue are getting increasingly nervous about the looming budget cuts.
"The later you wait to make decisions, the fewer your choices," said Otto Fajen, a Missouri National Education
In this year's legislative session, community health centers snagged $60 million for construction projects. While
most of the work is under way, about three or four projects out of 22 have not broken ground. Some worry their
projects could be shelved.
"We're following it very closely," said Joe Pierle, who lobbies for the health centers through the Missouri Primary
Care Association. "Obviously, I think everything is on the table."
The budget crunch also will make it hard for Nixon to advance his campaign priorities: reinstating Medicaid
coverage for 100,000 low-income adults and providing four years of free tuition to eligible students who start at
community colleges. But Nixon said he is still committed to those goals.
Asked to rate the chances of salvaging his campaign promises, Nixon said: "I don't see it as salvaging. I really
think budgets are about priorities.
"Right now we have challenging economic times. We need to get people working again, we need to get health
care improved, we need to make college more affordable. The economic climate may have changed, but my
priorities haven't changed."
Memo to state departments: What would a 25% cut look like?
By CHAD LIVENGOOD
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Two top Republican lawmakers in charge of the state budget sent a memo to state department heads today
asking them lay out a scenario of 15%, 20%, and 25% cuts to their agencies, including higher education.
"The current status of our economy is quite volatile and it is imperative that we remain ready to act in response
to these conditions during the upcoming budget process," Sen. Gary Nodler and Rep. Allen Icet wrote in a joint
memo to state agency directors.
Nodler and Icet asked for a list of vacant positions and what they would have to do to make deep cuts to their
agencies for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
"Each department is directed to put forward reduction scenarios that would have the least impact on the services
provided to the citizens of Missouri. Departments have the latitude to choose which programs to include for this
exercise, provided that the overall target is met in each scenario (not to include fringe savings)," Nodler and Icet
Paul Wagner, deputy commissioner of the Missouri Deptartment of Higher Education, sent a subsequent memo
to university presidents and chancellors asking them to put forward their scenarios by Dec. 18.
In an interview, Wagner said the request is not uncommon, but the percentage of state funding is
"As I had previously mentioned, the last time the state was in a deficit situation the request was for impact
statements for 5%, 10%, and 15% cuts," Wagner wrote in the memo. " Unfortunately, the situation appears to be
much worse now."
The last time state agencies were directed to draw up such contingency plans was 2001 when the state's budget
was in disarray. Wagner said he was on the other end of the request as a K-12 and higher education budget and
policy analyst in the Senate Appropriations Office.
While Nodler and Icet plan to navigate the Fiscal Year 2010 budget, the incoming administration is staring down
the barrel of midyear cuts.
Gov.-elect Jay Nixon's transition office announced today the newly elected governor faces a projected $340
million budget shortfall.
Nixon's budget review was headed by former Sen. Wayne Goode, a Democrat with extensive knowledge of the
―(Goode's) conclusions about the numbers frankly are going to be close to my conclusions,‖ Nodler, R-Joplin,
said in an interview.
Budget adviser: Missouri facing $342 million budget shortfall
By DAVID A. LIEB
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Midyear spending cuts likely will be needed to counter a newly projected $342
million state shortfall, the budget adviser for Gov.-elect Jay Nixon warned Tuesday.
The projected shortfall marks a reversal for Missouri, which as recently as this summer touted an $833 million
surplus. But the national economic recession has resulted in lower-than-expected tax revenues, even as state
spending pressures have continued to rise.
"In my opinion, this is a downturn like none we have ever seen in the past," said former Sen. Wayne Goode, a
longtime legislative appropriations committee member who is heading Nixon's budget review.
Nixon, a Democrat, is to take office as governor Jan. 12. His transition team already has been working closely
with the budget staff of outgoing Republican Gov. Matt Blunt.
Blunt's administration delivered a mixed response to Nixon's announcement.
The governor's budget office confirmed the projected shortfall cited by Nixon's team.
But Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Robinson said that the governor disagreed with some of the underlying
assumptions and that "we're not convinced a shortfall of that size exists."
Separately, Blunt's administration said Tuesday that general revenues were down 3.9 percent through November,
the fifth month of the state's fiscal year.
The newly projected shortfall will make it more difficult for Nixon to follow through on two of his chief
Nixon has pledged to restore the 2005 Medicaid cuts that reduced health care coverage for low-income Missouri
and to expand college scholarships by offering four years of free tuition to students who start at community
colleges, maintain good grades and perform community service. Those proposals are projected to cost a
combined $326 million.
The announcement of Missouri's projected money troubles came on the same day president-elect Barack Obama
met in Philadelphia with Nixon and other incoming and current governors to discuss the financial problems
facing state governments.
Obama said 41 states represented at the meeting are likely to face budget shortfalls this year or next.
The National Governors Association said 20 states already have cut $7.6 billion from their current budgets, and
30 states have identified additional shortfalls totaling more than $30 billion.
So far, Missouri has not made budget cuts.
"Governor Blunt's position has been to continue to encourage the directors [of state agencies] to be efficient in
the use of resources, particularly in light of the difficult economic times we're facing, but there has not been a
formal spending reduction plan proposed," said Blunt's administration commissioner, Larry Schepker.
Nixon plans to recommend ways of curtailing state spending within the next few days, Goode said. Layoffs of
state employees are not expected, Goode said, but he declined to say what areas are being targeted for cuts.
In a written statement, Nixon called Missouri's economic challenges historical and said he will be asking the
Republican-led legislature to join with minority party Democrats and himself "in taking bold steps to make
government more efficient, more effective and more responsive to Missouri families." Nixon offered no
immediate details on those steps.
Missouri's 2009 fiscal year started in July 2008 and runs until June 2009.
In mid-July, Blunt's administration said Missouri began the fiscal year with an operating fund balance of $833
million. That was the largest amount on records dating back to 1988.
At the time, Blunt declared "Missouri is on solid financial ground" because of responsible budgeting decisions.
Some Democrats, however, criticized the Republican governor for setting aside so much money instead of
spending more on health care and education. Among those critics was state Rep. Margaret Donnelly, of St. Louis,
who now is helping with Nixon's review of state spending.
Missouri lawmakers had counted on using some of the surplus to balance the 2009 budget, which proposed to
spend more than the state was expected to receive in general tax revenues.
Even so, Blunt's budget office said in mid-July that the state was projected to end the 2009 fiscal year with
around $487 million on hand.
Because of constitutionally required expenditures and subsequent department requests for additional spending,
based on better estimates, Goode said the expected year-end budget balance already had shrunk to $281 million.
But the latest revision now anticipates a $342 million budget shortfall by June 30, 2009.
The Missouri Constitution gives the governor power to reduce state spending below budgeted amounts
whenever revenues fall below the amounts upon which the budget was based.
The last time that occurred was during the administration of Democratic Gov. Bob Holden, who made
numerous spending withholdings from 2001 to 2003. Among other things, Holden withheld money that had
been appropriated for K-12 schools, colleges and universities.
Although Blunt has not made midyear spending withholdings, he did make budget cuts after taking office in
2005. The most prominent of those was to the Medicaid health care program for the poor. After Blunt tightened
eligibility, tens of thousands of adults lost coverage and hundreds of thousands who remained on Medicaid had
their benefits reduced.
Blunt did not seek re-election this year.
Columbia Daily Tribune
Nixon facing tight budget as governor
Restoring Medicaid cuts still possible, he says.
By JANESE HEAVIN
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Missouri is facing a multimillion-dollar shortfall this year that could force Gov.-elect Jay Nixon to withhold
dollars from education or other agencies after he takes office next month.
It‘s too early to say where withholdings or cuts might be made, but "you can assume that there will have to be
some adjustment of expenditures in the current year‘s budget," said former Sen. Wayne Goode, who was tapped
last month to help Nixon review budget issues.
Missouri lawmakers in May passed a general revenue budget that allocated $8.9 billion and relied on $8.2 billion
in revenues, along with an $836 million carryover from last year.
But as of last month, the state expects to receive only $7.6 billion in revenues this fiscal year - roughly $623
million less than expected. The surplus will pad some of that loss, but the remaining $342 million will have to
come from budget cuts or state withholdings. Goode said dipping into Missouri‘s $555 million "rainy day"
reserve fund is possible but only for cash-flow purposes.
During a conference call with reporters this morning, Goode declined to say whether Nixon will have to repeat
former Gov. Bob Holden‘s 2003 decision to withhold payments to public schools - a move that temporarily cost
Columbia Public Schools $2.87 million.
"We‘re not ready to make that statement," Goode said, noting that Nixon will work with lawmakers to make
those decisions over the next couple of months.
He did say, however, that state layoffs are not probable. "From what I‘ve seen, that‘s not part of the plan,"
Goode said. "The governor-elect and transition team and eventually administration is going to work to find
efficiencies in the coming year, as well as in the future, but finding efficiencies isn‘t the same as laying off people.
I think that one can be done without the other."
Despite the gloomy budget outlook, Goode said Nixon still is committed to restoring the cuts to Medicaid Gov.
Matt Blunt made in 2005. Nixon is "looking to see where some money could be removed from places where it‘s
not as needed to places where it is needed," he said.
Nixon this morning released a statement blaming tough economic times for the budget crunch and urged
lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to work together to find a solution. "The economic challenges we face are
historic, and in order to solve them, we will need a historic bipartisan effort," he said.
Nixon vowed to create new jobs and make health care more affordable, "but in doing so, we‘ll live within our
means and create a government that is more efficient and responsive."
Goode said he expects the House and Senate to release revenue estimates for 2010 in about a week. At that time,
he said, Nixon will begin looking at next year‘s budget plan.
The bulk of Missouri‘s revenues come from income taxes, and about a quarter depends on sales taxes. That
means the state‘s financial health is heavily tied to the economy.
"You can imagine where we are today, in that we are part of a very significant national and worldwide economic
challenge, to put it in friendly terms," Goode said. "In my opinion, this is a downturn like none that we‘ve ever
seen in the past."
Columbia Daily Tribune
Letter: Mizzou’s responses to crisis are conflicting
By MATTHEW RAVOSA
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Editor, the Tribune: Over the past week, we have been subjected to two very different but nonetheless telling
tidbits of information about the University of Missouri‘s response to the financial crisis.
On one hand, despite increased tuition dollars and similar enrollment-based predictions for next year, MU is
imposing a hiring freeze after having already cut back on hires last year to facilitate its highly touted Compete
Mizzou plan. However, the university has now rescinded long-awaited raises under the Compete Mizzou plan
that aimed to bring faculty salaries in line with those at comparable institutions.
On the other hand, the university is installing a new, significantly larger jumbotron at the football stadium, adding
new scoreboards for other sports teams and is renegotiating Gary Pinkel‘s salary again so he can get a 35 percent
raise to $2.5 million a year.
Way to compete, Mizzou.
MU Faculty Council debates potential effects of hiring freeze
By EMILY YOUNKER
Thursday, December 4, 2008
COLUMBIA — The UM System hiring freeze was a hot topic at the MU Faculty Council meeting
Thursday, though the discussion remained clouded with uncertainty.
Faculty members seemed unclear about what the freeze could mean for MU and what exceptions could be
made for hiring, despite Chancellor Brady Deaton's Nov. 25 e-mail that sought to offer those clarification.
In the letter, Deaton said fully-funded external grants and contracts positions, fully-funded gift or
endowment positions and work study students funded by the federal government would be exceptions to
the hiring freeze. He also listed criteria any other position must meet for it to be possibly filled.
But many faculty members still offered conflicting impressions of the freeze's impact, such as whether
graduate-student assistantships would be frozen in the fall semester.
Jay Dow, an associate professor of political science, said that faculty members are still trying to understand
what the freeze will mean. "The conversation is so fluid that we don't know exactly where we are," he said.
Tom Phillips, a professor of biological sciences and Faculty Council chairman, said he hopes to get an
update on the freeze at next week's Intercampus Faculty Council meeting, which includes representatives
from UM's four campuses.
"I think we will be in a better position at the next meeting to understand what's happening," Phillips said. "I
do agree we need to watch (developments in the hiring freeze) very closely, and we are."
James McGlew, an associate professor of classical studies, urged the council to get involved in developing
the policies that will determine which positions are approved to be filled and which criteria will apply. He
said he would rather the council overstep its authority in responding to the freeze than do too little because
of the harm he thinks the freeze could do to MU.
"When this is all done, this will be a very different university than it was last year," he said.
But other faculty members were hesitant to become so involved. Frank Schmidt, a professor of
biochemistry and former Faculty Council chairman, said he thinks the council could have a say in
policymaking but not in selecting which positions are filled.
The only action taken Thursday by the council was to approve a resolution urging MU administrators to
alter a policy regarding inclement weather.
The current policy allows faculty to remain at home without taking a personal day of leave when classes
have been canceled for weather reasons, according to the resolution. The proposed policy change would
give the same benefit to staff members.
Phillips also said an amendment to MU's grievance procedure, which was approved in October, has been
forwarded to the UM System Board of Curators. The amendment would add an administrator to the body
that gathers and evaluates information related to a complaint.
Phillips anticipates the board will approve the amendment at its Dec. 11 meeting in St. Louis.
Columbia Daily Tribune
Donated money won’t thaw freeze, MU says
By JENNA YOUNGS
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Only 10 days after celebrating the successful completion of a billion-dollar fundraising campaign at the
University of Missouri, UM System President Gary Forsee announced a system-wide hiring freeze. The
timing caught some by surprise.
With so much money coming in, how could it be difficult for the university to fund open positions?
It‘s not as simple as it appears, MU officials say.
Ninety-seven percent of donations acquired during the For All We Call Mizzou campaign were designated
for specific projects that interested donors, said Beth Hammock, MU development communication
director. Many donations funded facility improvements while others created scholarships for students.
About $79 million was raised to create 86 endowed faculty positions.
The remaining money raised - about $30 million - was "unrestricted" and can be applied how ever
Chancellor Brady Deaton chooses, Hammock said, although only interest earnings on some of the funds is
unrestricted. So far, Deaton has used the money primarily to attract and retain faculty.
World-renowned chemist Fred Hawthorne was recruited from the University of California-Los Angeles and
is now the director of MU‘s new Institute for Nano and Molecular Medicine. Hammock said Deaton was
able to recruit him using funds available in the Chancellor‘s Fund for Excellence, the fund where many
unrestricted donations are allocated.
"When Dr. Hawthorne expressed interest in coming here, we had the resources available" through the fund,
If not fully supported by an endowed position or outside grant, faculty and staff salaries are paid for
through MU‘s general operating budget, which is $474 million this year, according to Budget Director Tim
Rooney. The general operating budget is funded through tuition fees and state appropriations, MU
spokeswoman Mary Jo Banken said.
"That is really the only money used for salaries," Banken said. "That pot of money is what is used to keep
the university running."
The hiring freeze was initiated partially in response to projections by state budget experts that there will be
less state revenue this year because of the slumping economy. For the past few years, the percentage of the
general operating budget funded by tuition has been higher than that funded by the state.
"Tuition increases when state appropriations decrease," Banken said. "The percent from the state was
higher at one time, but that no longer is the case."
Deaton said MU is in a "unique" position with the freeze because the university experienced record
enrollment this year and, according to projections released today by Vice Provost for Enrollment
Management Ann Korschgen, applications for next year are up by about 20 percent over this time last year.
Increased enrollment translates to increased tuition dollars to fund the university‘s operating budget,
Hammock said that while the For All We Call Mizzou campaign is coming to a close at the end of the
month, "big-time fundraising" at MU will continue. She said there has been discussion about focusing
campaigning on unrestricted donations and donations to support faculty, but donations to other areas, such
as the almost $350 million raised for program support, also benefit faculty.
"These donations help faculty broaden their research, which is really exciting to them," Hammock said.
Hammock said MU‘s successful campaign might not be able to offset the hiring freeze, but it shows that
people value the university, which could help in terms of both state support and future donations.
"One reason people donate is that they feel proud of MU and want it to maintain its stature," she said. "The
money given helps us do things we wouldn‘t otherwise be able to do."
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Updates on billion-dollar campaigns at 33 universities
By MARISA LOPEZ-RIVERA
Friday, December 5, 2008
The 33 American universities that are seeking to raise at least $1-billion collected a total of $1.088-billion in
gifts and pledges during the last reporting period for which they had data available, which in most cases was
the month ending October 31.
The campaign with the largest gain in that month was the University of Texas at Austin, with $55.5-million.
The 33 universities—each with its most recent total, last month‘s increase (if reported), the original goal,
and the planned completion date—are as follows:
Boston College, $536.3-million as of October 31 (increase of $14.7-million in the last month); the goal is
$1.5-billion by 2015.
Brandeis University, $808-million as of October 31 (increase of $8-million in the last month); the goal is
$1.22-billion by 2013.
Brown University, $1.272-billion as of October 31 (increase of $17-million in the last month); the goal is
$1.4-billion by 2010.
Carnegie Mellon University, $556.5-million as of October 31 (increase of $6.5-million in the last month);
the goal is $1-billion by 2013.
Columbia University, $2.951-billion as of October 31 (increase of $27-million in the last month); the goal
is $4-billion by 2011.
Cornell University, $2.32-billion as of October 31 (increase of $32-million in the last month); the goal is
$4-billion by 2011.
Dartmouth College, $1.14-billion as of October 31 (increase of $5-million in the last month); the goal is
$1.3-billion by 2009.
Emory University, $856.5-million as of October 31 (increase of $7.5-million in the last month); the goal is
$1.6-billion by 2012.
Indiana University at Bloomington, $858.9-million as of October 31 (increase of $21.9-million in the last
month); the goal is $1-billion by 2010.
Johns Hopkins University, $3.425-billion as of October 31 (increase of $32.6-million in the last month);
the goal is $3.2-billion by 2008.
Princeton University, $903.8-million as of October 31 (increase of $35.1-million in the last month); the
goal is $1.75-billion by 2012.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, $1.403-billion as of October 31 (increase of $7.9-million in the last
month); the goal is $1.4-billion by 2009.
Rice University, $500-million as of October 31 (increase of $11.2-million in the last month); the goal is $1-
billion by 2012.
Stanford University, $3.824-billion as of August 31; the goal is $4.3-billion by 2011.
State University of New York system, $2.37-billion as of October 31; the goal is $3-billion by 2012.
Syracuse University, $591-million as of October 31 (increase of $10.2-million in the last month); the goal
is $1-billion by 2012.
Tufts University, $920.8-million as of October 31 (increase of $5.2-million in the last month); the goal is
$1.2-billion by 2011.
The University of California at Berkeley, $1.34-billion as of October 31 (increase of $40-million in the
last month); the goal is $3-billion by 2013.
The University of Florida, $768.4-million as of October 31 (increase of $9.8-million in the last month); the
goal is $1.5-billion by 2012.
The University of Illinois, $1.502-billion as of October 31 (increase of $24-million in the last month); the
goal is $2.25-billion by 2011.
The University of Maryland at College Park, $555.4-million as of October 31 (increase of $11.2-million
in the last month); the goal is $1-billion by 2011.
The University of Michigan, $3.115-billion as of October 31; the goal was $2.5-billion by 2008.
The University of Missouri at Columbia, $1-billion as of October 31 (increase of $14-million in the last
month); the goal is $1-billion by 2008.
The University of Notre Dame, $1.39-billion as of October 31 (increase of $18.3-million in the last
month); the goal is $1.5-billion by 2011.
The University of Pennsylvania, $2.197-billion as of October 31 (increase of $47-million in the last
month); the goal is $3.5-billion by 2012.
The University of Pittsburgh, $1.295-billion as of October 31 (increase of $8-million in the last month);
the goal is $2-billion by 2014.
The University of Tennessee, $773.2-million as of October 31 (increase of $5.6-million in the last month);
the goal is $1-billion by 2011.
The University of Texas at Austin, $712.5-million as of October 31 (increase of $55.5-million in the last
month); the goal is $3-billion by 2014.
The University of Utah, $565.5-million as of October 31 (increase of $13.5-million in the last month); the
goal is $1.2-billion by 2013.
The University of Virginia, $1.798-billion as of October 31 (increase of $15.2-million in the last month);
the goal is $3-billion by 2011.
Vanderbilt University, $1.612-billion as of October 31 (increase of $6.8-million in the last month); the
goal is $1.75-billion by 2010.
Virginia Tech, $714.5-million as of October 31 (increase of $14.4-million in the last month); the goal is $1-
billion by 2010.
Yale University, $2.405-billion as of October 31 (increase of $25-million in the last month); the goal is
$3.5-billion by 2011.
Over the past 12 months, universities that are seeking to raise at least $1-billion collected a total of $9.345-
billion in gifts and pledges.
A list of 78 continuing and completed billion-dollar campaigns is available here.
A list of all capital campaigns that The Chronicle has tracked is available here.
Monthly comparisons are based on totals previously reported in The Chronicle. We do not adjust figures to
account for pledges that are not fulfilled as scheduled.
Columbia Daily Tribune
Letter: Say ‘enough is enough’ to Pinkel’s pay raises
By MARY MICHAEL ENDICOTT
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Editor, the Tribune: When I heard about the raise Coach Gary Pinkel got, it made me sick. I doubt
that I am the only one who was reminded of the car executives who each came in their own jet to
plead for billions for their companies.
Our coach is already being paid too much. Please don‘t have some young college athlete call me or my
husband for a contribution for the athletic department. Mike Alden and those who make the decision
should be asked, "What were you thinking?" In a time when most Americans are trying to be smarter
about where their dollars are spent, why raise his salary?
If you don‘t know it yet, you should learn before it‘s too late that we support the young men and
women who play sports for MU not because they bring in big bucks but because they work and play
with their hearts. We appreciate a winning coach, but enough is enough. When will Alden be fired? He
needs to go. Coach Pinkel either needs to stay because he loves his job or leave. Why does he need this
kind of money? I don‘t believe he does. Get real!
Columbia Daily Tribune
MU orthopedic surgery has new interim chief
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
B. Sonny Bal has been selected as the interim chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at
the University of Missouri‘s School of Medicine. He will take over Jan. 13, succeeding Jason Calhoun,
who is leaving to head Ohio State University‘s orthopedic surgery department.
Bal has been an associate MU professor, specializing in knee and hip replacement, since 1999 and is an
adjunct professor of materials science and engineering at the Missouri University of Science and
Technology in Rolla, according to an MU news release.
While Calhoun was in charge, the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery increased funding and finalized
plans for the $52 million Missouri Orthopaedic Institute. His decision to leave was influenced by a
dispute over the university‘s contract with the private Columbia Orthopaedic Group to care for the
MU football team, he told the Tribune at the time.
MU‘s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery will continue its search for a permanent director, the release
Jefferson City News Tribune
MU professor picked to sculpt Gerald Ford statue
The Associated Press
Sunday, November 30, 2008
A University of Missouri instructor came out on top in a nationwide search to find an artist to
produce a sculpture of former President Gerald Ford that will take up residence in the U.S. Capitol
The Gerald R. Ford Foundation has commissioned Brett Grill, a Michigan native and assistant
professor of art at the University of Missouri, to create the statue.
Grill's work will stand in the rotunda along with figures of Washington, Jefferson, Eisenhower and
The 29-year-old said he is flattered by the honor.
He prepared for the assignment by studying photos of Ford and writings about him.
―One of the currents was this sense of humility about him,‖ Grill told The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press
for a recent story. ―He was fundamentally different than how we think of presidents as aloof and
Grill has some previous experience sculpting Ford's likeness.
He made a bronze bust for the Boys and Girls Club in Palm Desert, Calif., near where Ford lived.
For the new commission, a committee appointed by the Ford Foundation and chaired by Steven Ford,
the former president's son, screened a list of 11 sculptors and narrowed them to four finalists,
Each finalist made a presentation to the committee and showed a small model of their proposed
likeness of Ford.
―He captured the essence of Dad,‖ Steven Ford said. ―He spoke about Dad's service, those things that
are the spirit of who Dad was.‖
The Ford Foundation will pay for the sculpture's cost, which has yet to be determined.
The sculpture will be slightly larger than life-size, cast in bronze and subject to approval by a
MU professor chosen to create presidential sculpture
By JOSH SHITTUM
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
COLUMBIA — J. Brett Grill, an assistant professor of art at MU, was chosen by the Gerald R. Ford
Foundation to create a 7-foot, full-body bronze sculpture of the 38th president. The monument to the
late president will be placed in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.
"They are actually moving a copy of the Magna Carta so it can be moved in," Grill said.
Grill said some of his colleagues were surprised when they heard he had been chosen because his
specialties at MU are painting and drawing. However, he primarily studied sculpting during his
undergraduate years at the University of Michigan.
This summer, Grill sculpted a bust of Ford for the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Desert, Calif., where
Ford retired; so when it was time for the foundation to find an artist for their sculpture, Grill made the
short list. Fewer than 15 artists were asked to submit portfolios for consideration; he made the final
four and, at 29, was the youngest entrant.
As part of the application process, Grill sculpted small- and medium-scale models in various poses.
The smallest ones were about 4 or 5 inches tall and made of an oil-based clay.
He said he plans to begin working on the full-scale clay model in two or three weeks. After making it
in Columbia, he will take seven or eight molds of different parts of the sculpture. The molds will then
be sent to Art Castings of Illinois, where the bronze statue will be cast.
He hopes the project will be completed sometime in the fall of 2009. But before he gets started, Grill
will have to find a different space to work than his Hitt Street studio: He will need at least 10-foot
ceilings to accommodate the 7-foot sculpture, because it will sit on a base about a foot high, and Grill
will need to be able to look at the entire work from all angles.
Grill will pose Ford for immortality with his right hand grasping the front of his jacket and his left
hand carrying files.
"The original sculpture I submitted to the selection committee had Ford holding the files in his right
hand," Grill said. "At the time, I didn't know he was left-handed."
As the process continued, Grill read a biography on Ford, watched video footage of the president and
poured over thousands of archive photographs. "I really get into my research," he said.
Grill's human model will wear a suit that Ford wore in office, sent to him by Ford's family.
Grill found that the most useful sources for background information on Ford were the eulogies given
at his funeral by President George W. Bush, former President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Dick
"Ford seemed less formal and reserved, more like a normal guy," Grill said. "I wanted to capture that
in the sculpture."
Columbia Daily Tribune
MU food lab raises the bar
Scientists produce digestible soy bar.
By JENNA YOUNGS
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
A University of Missouri researcher has created a soy energy bar that will help quell some
"unfortunate" side effects the food product can cause, including bloating and flatulence.
Food sciences professor Azlin Mustapha said "probiotics," live microorganisms that benefit the
digestive tract, were added to soy bars to see whether they would help reduce side effects caused by the
soy. Although soy has a number of nutritional benefits and has been consumed worldwide, particularly
in Asia, for generations, Americans are only now becoming familiar with the product, Mustapha said.
Probiotics already have been successfully added to "soft" food products such as yogurt and soy milk,
and she said she wanted to see if they would have the same positive results in "dry" foods.
"Energy bars previously used to be eaten only by muscle builders. Now everybody eats them," she said.
"We wanted to develop a soy bar that has probiotics not only for the health benefits of soy. This study
specifically addressed the fact that soy as a human food is still new in America."
Mustapha worked with graduate students, including 2008 MU graduate Mo Chen, to develop soy bars
that contained encapsulated probiotics. Mustapha said the probiotics needed to be contained in
microscopic capsules to keep them alive in the bar.
"You have to eat them alive; otherwise they‘re no good," she said.
Chen said the project was her master‘s thesis, and she worked on it for almost two years.
"Soy bars are becoming quite popular in grocery stores," Chen said. "People would prefer to take
something with them that‘s easier to carry, so we concentrated on the development of soy energy bars
instead of other soy products."
After successfully completing the two-pronged study to create freeze-dried capsules for the probiotics
and injecting the powdery substance into soy bars, Mustapha and Chen conducted taste studies on
campus and found that no one could tell any difference between soy bars injected with probiotics and
those without them.
Mustapha said there currently are no soy bars infused with probiotics on the market, and although she
has no plans to personally market the product, a few companies approached her for more information
about her study. She and Chen presented their research this past summer at the Institute of Food
"It is a very important part of food science to create a novel, healthful and beneficial product,"
Columbia Daily Tribune
MU group to offer sustainability advice
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Members of Sustain Mizzou, a University of Missouri student organization that promotes
environmental sustainability, will present the keynote address at the three-day "Educating for
Sustainability" conference this weekend in St. Louis.
Four students will present "Evolution not Revolution: How students can change the culture of their
school" at the conference on Saturday. The conference is sponsored by the Missouri Environmental
Sustain Mizzou organizes events at MU promoting environmental awareness. During home football
games, the group helped collect more than 16 tons of recyclables through its Tiger Tailgate Recycling
program. Administrators including Chancellor Brady Deaton and Director of Athletics Mike Alden
praised the group for raising campus awareness about green issues.
"This is a great opportunity for Sustain Mizzou and highlights how effective and dedicated our
volunteers are to impress people enough to be offered a chance to keynote for a conference," Sustain
Mizzou President Patrick Margherio said. "We are all really excited to have a chance to share the
knowledge that we have gained and hope that others find it just as useful."
Columbia Daily Tribune
Frats’ neighbors win Burnam parking ban
By SARA SEMELKA
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
With enrollment at the University of Missouri hitting record numbers this year, campus neighbors in the
Grasslands area off Providence Road said students‘ cars have made their neighborhood dirty, crowded and
Neighborhood resident and downtown developer John Ott asked the Columbia City Council last night for relief.
"We‘re trying to reclaim our neighborhood," he told council members last night in a plea to enact an ordinance
banning parking on both sides of Burnam Road between Providence and Birch roads. "Some issues are
becoming overwhelming, and the quality of life is being jeopardized."
In a split decision, the city council voted to impose the parking ban but admitted it was a temporary fix for
deeper issues that are brewing.
Ott and several of his neighbors said Burnam is clogged with cars day and night, making two-way traffic
Richard Burns, who grew up in the area and now lives on Burnam with his family, told the council he is
concerned about the safety of his children. One child participates in a Walking School Bus program, he said, and
parked cars leave little room for the children to walk safely on a street that lacks sidewalks.
Jackie Baugher, who lives on nearby Bingham Road, said trash left on the streets is "unbelievable." Another
neighbor, George Wagner, said he weekly collects bagfuls of garbage from the street.
Baugher said she also is anxious about safety. "My son does not hear well, and one day he will be run over," she
Other neighbors testified that students jaywalk across Providence, describing the intersection of Providence and
Burnam as a "free-for-all" with students slapping bumpers of waiting cars as they cross the street.
Ott and others attributed the problem not only to record numbers of students in search of parking space but also
to landlords renting out units at a higher density than zoning allows, bringing in more cars. Ott also said
fraternity houses on the street, Alpha Gamma Sigma and Phi Delta Theta, are selling spaces in fraternity parking
lots to students, forcing fraternity members to park on the street. Representatives from the fraternities declined
to comment this morning.
Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade said a similar problem exists in his ward but that banning parking will not
address root causes. "Mr. Ott‘s analysis is correct, except this won‘t solve the problem," he said, adding that
student and faculty parking has also increased west from Garth Avenue in recent years. "To pass this solves a
problem for one group of people, but moves it to another group of people. … Cars will remain in the street
First Ward Councilman Paul Sturtz agreed with Wade that it was a piecemeal solution to a larger problem. He
joined Wade in voting against the parking ban.
Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser, who represents the Burnam Road neighborhood, spoke in favor of the
"I understand the migration issue, but these people are willing to have no parking on the street, which restricts
their own access," she said. "Maybe" the ban "will be a catalyst to get individuals or stakeholders to talk about a
workable solution. In the interim, these people deserve relief from traffic and the trash."
Columbia Daily Tribune
Young women robbed at gunpoint near MU
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Columbia police are looking for a man who robbed three young women at gunpoint last night near the
University of Missouri campus.
At about 9:20 p.m., a man approached the women - two 19-year-olds and a 20-year-old - and pointed a
silver handgun at them, demanding property. The suspect took purses from two of the victims and fled
the scene on foot. The victims were not injured. Officers responded and searched the area with a
police dog but could not locate the suspect.
He is described as a black male, 6 feet, 2 inches tall, in his early 20s, with a medium build and wearing a
gray, hooded sweatshirt, gray sweatpants and a Kansas City Royals baseball cap.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 875-8477.
Columbia Daily Tribune
Prosecutor suggests ex-cop used clip knife to kill MU student
By JOE MEYER
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The first day of evidence in the Steven Rios murder retrial on Tuesday focused on a knife the former
Columbia police officer is believed to have carried as well as defense tactics included in his police
Prosecutors allege that Rios, 31, used a choke hold to render University of Missouri student Jesse
Valencia, 23, unconscious, then slit his throat while Valencia was on the ground. Neighbors found
Valencia‘s body on June 5, 2004, near his East Campus apartment clothed only in shorts.
Rios is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in Valencia‘s slaying. A three-judge
panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District last year overturned Rios‘ previous conviction
and sentence of life in prison without parole because of hearsay testimony admitted during his 2005
Rios and Valencia were involved in a homosexual affair for weeks before Valencia‘s death. They met
when Rios arrested the student while responding to a loud party near Valencia‘s apartment.
On Tuesday, former Columbia police officer Sean Moore said he often saw Rios carry a ―clip knife‖
that is popular with police officers.
―I saw Steve carry his knife consistently both on duty and off duty,‖ Moore told the Clay County jury.
Special prosecutor Morley Swingle showed witnesses an example of a clip knife purchased by
Columbia police during their investigation. Police have not recovered the knife used to kill Valencia.
Also during Tuesday‘s testimony, law enforcement trainer Todd Burke testified about defense tactics
Rios was taught at the Law Enforcement Training Institute at the University of Missouri during his
training in 1997.
Burke later demonstrated a specific hold where someone approaches from behind and applies pressure
around a person‘s neck. The tactic is meant to cut off blood flow to the brain and eventually render
Former Boone County Medical Examiner Valerie Rao then testified that bruising on Valencia‘s torso
would have been consistent with the tactic that Burke demonstrated. She also said the wound to the
victim‘s neck was caused by a partially serrated knife consistent with the sample knife, which has not
yet been admitted into evidence.
In total, Swingle had called eight witnesses as of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Columbia Daily Tribune
MU, Stephens host AIDS Day activities
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Several events tomorrow at the University of Missouri and Stephens College will commemorate the
20th annual World AIDS Day, an internationally organized observance of the fight against the virus.
At MU, four panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display all week in the Bond Life
The quilt is composed of 40,000 panels, each panel representing someone who has lost his or her life
because of complications from AIDS, according to an MU news release.
Free HIV tests will be administered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow at Stotler Lounge in Memorial
Union. While the testing is under way, AIDS survivors and their supporters will share stories during
"Remember the Living, the Lost, the Loved."
At 5:15 p.m., Stephens College will host the Annual Tribute to World AIDS Day in the Firestone
At 6:30 p.m. in the Bond Life Sciences Center, MU researchers will present an overview of MU AIDS-
The events are open to the public and are sponsored by the Bond Life Sciences Center, the Sexual
Health Advocate Peer Education program, RAIN, Trail to a Cure and the MU Chancellor‘s Diversity
Little things add up to cut energy costs
Insulation, caulk and weatherstrips can all help reduce heating expenses
University of Missouri Extension
Monday, December 1, 2008
Higher fuel prices and limited family budgets make cheap home energy conservation measures appealing.
"No one thing will magically cut energy expenses a lot, but attention to many little things can all help add
up to greatly reduced costs," said Bob Schultheis, natural resource engineering specialist with the
University of Missouri Extension.
Here are his top 10 quick payback tips for colder weather:
1. Insulate older water heaters and set back the thermostat to 135 degrees. Cost of the insulation will be
paid back in four to eight months.
2. Caulk all outside joints where dissimilar materials meet, like where wood meets masonry and where pipes
go through concrete. Use acrylic latex tube caulk for joints one-quarter inch wide or less, and use oakum,
expandable foam or other filler material plus tube caulk for joints wider than one-quarter inch.
3. Weatherstrip exterior door and window gaps to reduce heat loss. A one-eighth inch wide gap around a
door is the same as a six-inch diameter hole through it. Install foam gaskets under electrical outlet plates on
exterior walls and put plastic plugs in unused sockets to reduce cold-air invasion.
4. Add attic insulation if it is now less than six inches thick. If it's over six inches thick, insulating the floor
and underfloor water pipes pays back quicker. Minimum insulation levels for Missouri homes are R-30 in
the ceilings, and R-19 in floors and walls.
5. Install interior storm window kits on single-pane windows.
6. Put tight-fitting doors on fireplaces to slow heat loss. Don't use an open fireplace if you're serious about
heating the house. Give your furnace its annual tune-up.
7. Use south-facing windows to passively collect solar heat during daytime. Close drapes at night to retain
heat in the house.
8. Keep lights clean for maximum illumination. Shut them off when not in use.
9. Wear clothing in layers. Then set back the house thermostat to 68 degrees during the day and 60 degrees
at night. Do reading, TV viewing, etc., near heat sources and away from cold windows and outside walls.
Locate furnishings for active functions, such as eating and playing, away from direct heat sources.
10. Involve the whole family in your energy management program to assure success.
For more information on energy conservation options, contact your county University of Missouri
Extension Center, or go to http://extension.missouri.edu.
Kansas City Star
St. Louis alderman calls on residents to get armed
By CHERYL WITTENAUER
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
A city alderman frustrated with the police response to rising crime called Tuesday on residents to arm
themselves to protect their lives and property.
Alderman Charles Quincy Troupe said police are ineffective, outnumbered or don't care about the
increase in crime in his north St. Louis ward. St. Louis has had 157 homicides in 2008, 33 more than
last year at this time.
"The community has to be ready to defend itself, because it's clear the economy is going to get worse,
and criminals are getting more bold," Troupe, 72, said Tuesday.
Troupe said that when he and residents approached a district police commander last year, they were
told "there was nothing he could do to protect us and the community ... that he didn't have the
Police did not immediately return requests for comment. Chief Dan Isom wrote Tuesday in a
department blog that citizens arming themselves will lead to more danger, not less, he said.
Neighborhood watch groups, and the hard work of helping to eradicate poverty and other social ills,
are better crime-prevention tools, he said.
Mayor Francis Slay wrote in his blog Tuesday that some of the most violent crimes in Troupe's ward
are committed with guns stolen from law-abiding citizens.
He said Troupe could do more good urging residents to cooperate with investigating police officers,
lending support for activities for children, and lobbying legislators to increase funding for jobs training
and economic development.
Troupe's reaction to the spike in homicides is understandable, but his idea is not likely to be effective,
said University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist Richard Rosenfeld.
"Much of the problem is free and easy access to guns," Rosenfeld said. "This hope that by putting guns
in the right hands will have an influence on criminals is a false hope. There's no evidence for that."
In one of the latest violent crimes in St. Louis, a man was shot dead Monday and an unarmed potential
suspect in the killing was shot by police. The 45-year-old suspect had put his hand inside his coat and
two officers, fearing for their safety, shot him. He was in stable condition.
Opinion: Are UM students enemies of Missouri values?
By MICHAEL BEATTY
Monday, December 1, 2008
For the past several weeks, the MyGateway homepage has had a notice up that the University of Missouri - St.
Louis is developing an administrative procedure to place registration holds on students who are not legally
present in the United States.
This action is required by an act of the Missouri legislature, known as HB1549.
HB1549 imposes on the University of Missouri system the requirement that the University, whose finances are
already reeling under a steep decline in the value of its endowment, act to inhibit its ability to collect tuition
revenue from its students.
A student with a hold on his or her account cannot attend classes, or receive services; on the other hand, the
University cannot charge tuition to such a student.
Thus the University's top line is compromised in the interest of conducting a mandatory witch hunt against
immigrants who are trying to improve their lot in life.
HB1549, passed in May, has multiple provisions, all aimed at restricting the ability of immigrants to the United
States, who are unable to give "affirmative proof" of the legality of their presence in this country, to contribute to
the economic and intellectual advancement of the state of Missouri.
The most important provision of HB1549, as it relates to the University of Missouri system, states that "No alien
unlawfully present in the United States shall receive any state or local public benefit," which is defined elsewhere
in the section to include "postsecondary education."
Applicants for state or local public benefits "shall provide affirmative proof that [they are] a citizen or a
permanent resident of the United States or … lawfully present in the United States … "
In response to that provision, the University of Missouri system has begun to impose what are known as
"HB1549 holds" on student accounts. These "HB1549 holds" will be imposed when the registrar's office cannot
confirm, electronically, that the student is legally in the United States.
Good luck with that. I tried to renew my automobile registration online last week, but the Missouri Department
of Revenue could not confirm that I had paid my personal-property tax. How many students are going to have
"HB1549 holds" placed on their student accounts because the data does not match up?
It is generally acknowledged that people who have a bachelor's degree, to say nothing of a
postgraduate/professional degree, earn higher wages than people who do not have postsecondary credentials.
High wages also mean more consumer spending, without which there can be no economic recovery. In a time of
near-universal economic collapse, public authorities should not enact policies which not only fail to serve the
public interest, but work at cross purposes to the good of society.
Handicapping the development of the intellectual life of the state of Missouri in the interests of "getting tough"
on illegal immigrants is not the way to go about enforcing federal or state immigration law.
HB1549 is wretched public policy. By enacting this knee-knocking, stomach-churning abomination of a bill, the
Missouri Legislature has pitted itself against the University of Missouri system (and every other post-secondary
school, public and private, in Missouri) their students, and indeed the people of Missouri.
Lawsuits apparently have been filed to block the implementation of some, or all, of the provisions of HB1549.
The act should not have been passed in the first place. The Missouri Legislature should be ashamed of itself for
having passed such a nasty, counterproductive bill. They have not served the people of Missouri well with this
Registration hold related to Missouri House Bill 1549
By RENEE HARMON
Monday, December 1, 2008
To comply with a new state law, the Registrar's office at the University of Missouri -St. Louis is currently asking
students to show identification to prove that they are in the United States legally before it will lift a registration
Affected students are those whose legal status could not be electronically verified by the Registrar's Office in
accordance with Missouri House Bill 1549, a bill requiring, among other things, that universities verify the legal
immigration status of their students.
Before the enactment of HB1549, when a student first applied the UM-St. Louis, he or she was asked to verify if
they were a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or non-U.S. citizen.
Now, UM-St. Louis is double-checking all students living on campus to make sure their identity is correct.S
tudents whose status could not be verified electronically will not be allowed to register for spring semester until
they provide the appropriate identification to the Registrar's Office.
The following types of documents are accepted by the Registrar's office in order to verify legal status: a valid
driver's license, an official Missouri identification card, an official domestic state identification card, U.S. birth
certificate, U.S. passport (valid or expired), military identification, certificate of citizenship, certificate of
naturalization, Certificate of Birth Abroad, Resident Alien Card "I-551", Passport stamped "Approved I-551",
Passport stamped "Processed for I-551", Re-Entry Permit "I-337", I-94 stamped "Processed for I-551", or a
Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571) with current valid expiration date. Margaret Mcinerney, graduate
student, communication, was one of the people asked to bring documentation to the Registrar's Office.
Mcinerney said she showed her passport, but was not sure why she had been asked to provide this.
Students who have questions, like Mcinerney, should contact the Registrar's Office at 314-516-5545. Also,
students who have a hold on their registration should submit documentation immediately.
Students will not be able to register for classes until lthey have submitted documentation, and for students who
have to take required classes, it is even more important.
Some classes can fill up quickly and others are only available in the spring semester.
Students who miss out on a certain class could end up delaying their graduation.
Documentation may be faxed to the Registrar's Office at 314-516-7096. Students may also take documentation to
the Registrar's office, 351 Millennium Student Center.
The Center for Student Success is another place a student can provide documentation, and it is located at 225
MSC. Operating hours of these offices is Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. On Friday, the
offices are open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Students also have the option to mail the appropriate documentation to the Registrar's Office. The address is
One University Blvd. 351 MSC, St. Louis, MO 63121.
UM-St. Louis thanks students for their assistance in helping the university comply with the new state law.
Anyone wishing to read more about the bill should visit the Missouri House of Representatives Website where a
complete text of House Bill 1549 is available or by visiting the Office of the Registrar's webpage through the
Schools may be targets of state budget cuts
MSU is forming a contingency plan for $4.3 million shortfall.
By CHAD LIVENGOOD
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
If history serves as any indicator, public schools, colleges and universities could feel the brunt of
Jefferson City's budget ax in an impending round of state budget cuts.
Gov.-elect Jay Nixon's transition office says the new administration faces a $342 million budget
shortfall for the current fiscal year.
That means the newly elected Democratic governor likely will have to make midyear budget cuts
before the fiscal year ends on June 30, 2009, said former state Sen. Wayne Goode, Nixon's deputy
transition director for budget review.
With the state so far along in the fiscal year, withholding appropriations to schools and universities has
been an easy way to balance the budget in the past -- although Nixon's team hasn't floated the idea, yet.
"We're not ready or I'm not ready to make that statement," Goode said of possible cuts to higher
education and public schools. Nixon will be sworn in on Jan. 12.
As Nixon tackles the current shortfall, two Republican lawmakers in charge of the state budget have
asked department heads to formulate scenarios for 15, 20 and 25 percent cuts in the 2010 fiscal year,
which begins July 1.
"Each department is directed to put forward reduction scenarios that would have the least impact on
the services provided to the citizens of Missouri," Sen. Gary Nodler and Rep. Allen Icet wrote in a
joint memo to state agency directors.
Paul Wagner, deputy commissioner of the Missouri Department of Higher Education, sent a
subsequent memo to university presidents and chancellors asking them to put forward their scenarios
by Dec. 18.
"The last time the state was in a deficit situation the request was for impact statements for 5 percent,
10 percent, and 15 percent cuts," Wagner wrote in the memo, referencing cuts in 2001. "Unfortunately,
the situation appears to be much worse now."
In an interview, Wagner said the request is not unprecedented, but "the size of (cuts) they're asking for
I would say is unprecedented."
Missouri State University is formulating contingency plans to absorb a $4.3 million cut -- roughly 5
percent of its state funding.
MSU President Michael Nietzel forwarded the state's e-mail to the university community, thanking
employees in advance "for your best ideas and your cooperation."
"This exercise does not mean that such cuts will be implemented; it is being requested so that the
Missouri General Assembly can evaluate the impact of any cuts that might be imposed," Nietzel wrote.
The budget cutting scenarios allow universities to pick and choose what programs they would
eliminate under the different percentage decreases, officials said.
Public schools also are keeping a close eye on the latest developments in the state Capitol.
"We hope that Governor-elect Nixon will minimize the impact on K-12 education and hopefully there
will be no impact on K-12 funding," said Brent Ghan, spokesman for the Missouri School Boards'
Ghan said local schools stand to get hit by a "double whammy" if the state cuts their appropriations
while property tax revenues drop due to falling home values.
"From a school district's perspective, you could be hit potentially both ways from the state and local
level," Ghan said. "It could put school districts in quite a financial bind."
In 2001 and 2003, former Democratic Gov. Bob Holden withheld payments to schools and
universities to shore up budget deficits after Republicans blocked his attempts to dip into the so-called
Rainy Day Fund to meet financial commitments.
Gov. Matt Blunt's office says the Rainy Day Fund currently stands at about $555 million, but there are
constitutional restrictions on how much can be tapped from the fund.
During the campaign, Nixon did not rule out tapping that source when his Republican opponent
proposed using it as a job-creating fund.
Goode indicated no option has been ruled out.
Goode said Nixon will make some budget recommendations "within the next few days." Nixon was in
Philadelphia on Tuesday meeting with other governors and President Barack Obama. The nation's
governors are lobbying the federal government for $40 billion to bail out state budget shortfalls mostly
caused by rising unemployment, a lack of cheap credit for consumer spending and an increase in
entitlement spending on social welfare programs.
State Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, a former educator, said education should be protected in the
budget. A member of the House Budget committee, Lampe sees the tax revenue shortfall as "an
opportunity" to reexamine all spending programs and tax credits the state dolls out.
"It's not going to be quick and it won't be painless," Lampe said. "Everybody will be asked to
The uncertainty surrounding the economy and state tax revenues has left MSU lobbyist Jerry Burch "in
a holding pattern."
"We certainly should proceed very conservatively and very cautiously because of the economy," said
Burch, a former lawmaker.
University drawing up contingency plan
Monday, December 1, 2008
To prepare for a possible shortage in state funding, Missouri State University is making contingency
plans for $4.3 million in spending cuts and will hold off filling one-third of its vacancies.
"I'm not asking for any reduction. I am asking for plans," MSU President Michael Nietzel said Nov.
With such contingency plans in place, MSU will be better prepared should state funding fall short for
the 2009-2010 budget year, Nietzel said.
Nietzel said he asked university offices and departments to prepare possible cuts based on a possible 5
percent decline in expected state funding. Plans are due to his office by Dec. 15.
State revenue is forecasted to dip by 5 percent. But Nietzel added that the drop, should it materialize,
doesn't necessarily translate into a corresponding cut in university funding.
The university expects to receive $81.6 million in state funding this year for its Springfield campus and
an additional $5.7 million for the West Plains campus.
Like the state of Missouri, MSU begins its fiscal year on July 1. It ends June 30 of the following year.
Nietzel also asked university offices and departments to prioritize job vacancies.
As of Wednesday, the university posted 41 academic jobs and eight staff positions on its Web site,
including openings for three deans and four department heads.
The job vacancies will be prioritized, with the top third to be filled as planned, the middle third to be
filled "cautiously" and the bottom third not filled for now, Nietzel said.
Nietzel said he is not ruling out the elimination of some openings but said those bottom-third jobs
could be filled if financial conditions improve.
Students squeaking by with loans
Financial aid helps many afford cost of higher education
By DIDI TANG
Thursday, December 4, 2008
On a sunny afternoon, Missouri State freshmen Cameron Vance, Zaq Nunley, Bill Chaffee and Chad
McCall were hanging out at the Plaster Student Union.
All say they have taken out student loans: some say they need to, and some say they would like to exert
independence from their parents. They say college expenses remain manageable at this four-year public
"We just borrow and put it off," said Nunley, 19, a freshman music education major. He said he borrowed
$9,000 for this school year.
Vance, who majors in English education and creative writing, said he has borrowed $10,000.
"$10,000 goes a long way, but it doesn't go that long," said Vance, who works a couple of jobs to support
Dresden Whitehead, 18, attends MSU on a scholarship. She majors in dance and performance.
"I wouldn't be here without the scholarship," she said. "It would have been too hard to pay for it."
Jessica Murphy, 18, comes from a family of seven children in Washington. She said she chose MSU because
it is less expensive, compared with some public universities in Missouri.
She has taken out $10,000 in student loans.
"My parents say, with seven children, the college should give us a discount," she said with a chuckle.
MSU tuition for a full-time undergraduate resident is $6,257 this year, compared with the national average
of $6,585 and state average of $6,861 for public colleges, MSU President Mike Nietzel said.
With financial aid, MSU students often end up paying far less, he said.
Drury University, a private institution, receives little state funding, but its officials say its tuition and fees --
at $17,900 a year with an average 38 percent discount -- are competitive among private colleges.
Drury President Todd Parnell said the school tries to offer more scholarships and give its students an
education worth their money.
Being a community college, OTC is most competitive in cost at $81 per credit hour.
To stretch their education dollars, many students attend OTC for two years before transferring to a four-
However, OTC has the highest tuition among community colleges in Missouri, said President Hal Higdon.
That's because OTC has the lowest local tax levy and because the per-student funding from the state is only
half what other community colleges get, Higdon said.
St. Louis Business Journal
Wash. U. to research clean coal technology
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Arch Coal, Peabody Energy and Ameren plan to give a total of $12 million over the next five years to
finance clean coal research at Washington University in St. Louis.
University Chancellor Mark Wrighton announced the establishment of the Consortium for Clean Coal
Utilization at a news conference Tuesday. The three companies involved are based in St. Louis.
The university said it has committed more than $60 million during the past year to advance education and
research related to energy, environment and sustainability.
The new consortium will receive additional support in the form of research partnership commitments of $5
million each from Arch Coal and Peabody Energy and $2 million from Ameren, to be paid over five years.
"This initiative will help utility companies respond to the mandates both in Illinois and Missouri to generate
double-digit percentages of our power from renewable sources,‖ said Gary Rainwater, Ameren's chairman,
president and chief executive, in a statement.
The consortium will foster work to explore co-combustion of coal with biomass or combustion of coal in
pure oxygen, both of which can lead to reductions in carbon emissions. Biomass is a renewable source of
energy made from plant and animal matter.
―Greater use of clean coal is the ultimate solution for re-energizing the world economy, creating tens of
thousands of green jobs and building energy security,‖ said Gregory Boyce, Peabody chairman and chief
executive, in a statement.
The consortium will operate under the International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and
Sustainability (I-CARES), which the university established in June 2007.
Washington U.‘s total financial commitment to I-CARES so far totals more than $60 million, including
creating six endowed professorships, funding $3 million for seed research, and constructing a new 150,875-
square-foot building to house the university's Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical
Engineering and I-CARES programs.
The new building — called Stephen F. and Camilla T. Brauer Hall — will be completed in 2010.
"Despite these difficult financial times, the university and these lead corporate sponsors realize that
investment in such research will benefit the region and the world in the long run," Wrighton said in a
Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) is the world's largest private-sector coal company.
Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) is the nation's second-largest coal producer.
Ameren (NYSE: AEE) serves approximately 2.4 million electric customers and almost 1 million natural gas
customers in Missouri and Illinois.
Columbia Daily Tribune
Effort would make St. Louis clean coal focal point
By JIM SALTER
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Two major coal companies and one of the Midwest's largest utilities are combining with
Washington University to try and make St. Louis the nation's center for clean coal research and education.
Arch Coal and Peabody Energy are based in St. Louis. So is the utility company Ameren Corp. Chief
executive officers from those companies and Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton on
Tuesday announced formation of the Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization.
"Despite these difficult financial times, the university and these lead corporate sponsors realize that the
investment in such research will benefit the region and the world in the long run," Wrighton said at a news
conference at the university. "The knowledge and technology we will be able to create together will over
time mean lower costs to customers and global environmental improvement."
Wrighton said the university has dedicated more than $60 million over the past year in education and
research on energy, the environment and sustainability. A new building is expected to open in 2010.
Under the consortium, Arch Coal and Peabody each will contribute $5 million and Ameren will contribute
$2 million. The money will be paid over a five-year period.
Coal is a vital part of power production in the U.S. and around the world. About half of all power generated
in the U.S. comes from coal. Ameren chief executive Gary Rainwater said 85 percent of Ameren's electricity
is generated by coal. The company serves parts of Missouri and Illinois.
The consortium will explore the possibility of combusting coal with biomass, or combustion of coal in pure
oxygen, among other options. The goal is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas most
closely linked with global warming.
"I'm often asked does clean coal technology work," said Steven Leer, chief executive of Arch Coal. "The
answer is a resounding yes." He noted that the use of coal has tripled since 1970, but pollutant emissions
are now about 30 percent of what they were then.
President-elect Barack Obama has shown some signs of supporting clean coal technology. As a senator
from Illinois, he supported the state's bid for the FutureGen experimental coal-fired power plant that was
awarded to Mattoon, Ill. But in January, the U.S. Department of Energy pulled the plug on that project.
Local supporters hope to revive it once Obama takes office.
Some environmentalists say there's no such thing as clean coal, especially stopping the emission of carbon
"Clean coal is a marketing mechanism that coal companies like Peabody are using to misinform the public,"
said Melissa Hope of the Missouri Sierra Club. "It serves to distract us from real clean energy solutions."
But St. Louis' coal leaders say carbon dioxide can be reduced. The issue, they said, is getting technology to
the point where it can be done in a cost-efficient way.
"The toughest issues are probably going to be the social issues, the environmental issues, around how we
dispose of carbon dioxide once we capture it," Rainwater said.
Richard Axelbaum, director of the consortium, noted that oil, gas, wind and solar energy are only
realistically plentiful in certain parts of the world. "Coal represents perhaps the only source of energy
available in every nation," he said.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
News analysis: Higher education’s grade for data: ‘incomplete’
By SARA HEBEL
Friday, December 5, 2008
The latest national report card on higher education, as in the past, handed out a lot of "incompletes." Like the
student who keeps forgetting to turn in that lab report, the grades can't be computed without all the data.
There is still plenty that policy makers don't know about their states' higher-education performance, and the gaps
in information limit the abilities of lawmakers to fix perennial concerns, like how to attract more low-income and
minority students, reduce the need for remedial education, and move more students through college within six
years or less.
The United States deserves an F for its record in developing data resources for state-by-state comparisons of
performance on higher education, declared Dennis P. Jones, president of the National Center for Higher
Education Management Systems, a nonprofit consulting group. His assessment was in an essay that accompanied
the latest report card, released on Wednesday by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
(The Chronicle, December 3).
Since the center published its first grades eight years ago, some information has even deteriorated. Mr. Jones
notes that state-specific data on adult literacy and students' course-taking patterns in high school are worse. That
compromises states' ability to measure how well their adults are trained to meet work-force demands and to
identify deficiencies in college readiness.
What's more, much of the information the federal government does collect is about a diminishing part of the
college population: first-time, full-time students who remain at the same institution throughout their college
careers, said Patrick M. Callan, president of the policy center. "We're still dealing with a kind of 20th-century
model," he said.
As in previous report cards, the policy center gave all states an "incomplete" in the category of learning. The
report's authors cited a persistent lack of sufficient data to allow meaningful state-by-state comparisons about the
kinds of knowledge and skills students gain at their institutions.
The voluntary systems set up by college groups, states, and others to assess student achievement are creating
more openness and helping institutions identify improvements, but the data sets aren't comparable and don't
provide many states with complete information about their populations.
The first thing governors and legislators need to know more about is students' income levels, Mr. Jones said, so
officials can make informed decisions about how to bridge stubborn socioeconomic divides in who attends
For example, rates of college enrollment among recent high-school graduates are available by income for the
nation as a whole, but the information is not broken down by states. Nothing is known at the state level about
the family incomes of college students who do not receive financial aid. Getting the family income of those
students will be especially hard, and some college officials argue that demanding it would intrude on individuals'
privacy, especially since they aren't asking the government for help.
Data about students often diminish at transition points, when people move from high school to college or
transfer from one institution to another. That complicates efforts to plug leaks in educational pipelines. State-
level data about how well high-school seniors perform on federal assessments of their knowledge continue to be
missing, and information on the proportion of full-time, first-time students who complete bachelor's programs
within six years at institutions does not track students who transfer.
Keeping records of individuals' progress in college would improve policy analysis substantially, Mr. Callan said.
But the idea of creating a federal system to do that is opposed by some college groups, who argue it would not
yield enough key data to justify invading student privacy.
Not all of the trends regarding data are bleak. Since the first report card was issued, information about how much
undergraduates borrow has become available; it used to be combined with data for graduate students. The law
that renewed the Higher Education Act requires new data to be collected, including sampling more people in all
states for national surveys about student-aid recipients so each state can get detailed findings about its own
The Data Quality Campaign, a project to improve information about student achievement run by the National
Center for Educational Achievement, reported this fall that six states have put in place all 10 elements the group
has identified as necessary to comprehensively track student progress from preschool through college. All but
two states have at least half of the elements.
"When the country decides this is important, we'll start tracking this better," Mr. Callan said.
State earns failing grade
By DIDI TANG
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Sarah Hodges chuckled when she learned that Missouri, like most other U.S. states, gets a failing grade for
"Oh, it's very expensive," said the senior majoring in early childhood education at Missouri State University.
To pay her way through college, Hodges, 22, said she has taken out $35,000 in student loans and worked several
jobs, including managing a clothing store and coaching high school cheerleading.
Her story probably would not surprise researchers at the not-for-profit National Center for Public Policy and
Higher Education, which on Wednesday released its latest biennial report, Measuring Up, on the state of higher
education in the United States.
The report says Missouri has slipped in the past two years in college affordability. Missouri also received F's in
2004 and 2006.
All states except California scored an F in affordability in the 2008 report.
"It is a perfect storm of factors that is affecting virtually every state in the nation, including Missouri," MSU
President Mike Nietzel said.
Both Nietzel and Hal Higdon, president of the Ozarks Technical Community College, blame the problem on
lack of state funding as parents and students shoulder more of the rising costs of a college education.
Both presidents cited a June report by a state higher education funding task force that finds Missouri ranking
47th in per capita appropriation for higher education: $150.33, compared with the national average of $241.56.
To reach the national average, Missouri's appropriations for higher education would have to increase 60 percent,
or more than $527 million, the task force said.
"Overall state appropriations have essentially not increased over the past seven years," Nietzel said.
Costs incurred by colleges have been going up, however.
"Higher education is no different than any other economic entity," said Todd Parnell, president of Drury
University, a private school.
"There are overhead costs that must be met," he said. "Rising costs affect everyone because colleges and
universities must pay more for gasoline, heating, salaries and health care costs for faculty and staff."
Nietzel said state appropriations "have not come close to keeping up with inflationary increase associated with
health care expense, the price of utilities, library materials, and teaching and research equipment."
Higdon and Nietzel say the state of Missouri must recognize the importance of higher education, fund it properly
and make it more affordable.
Quality higher education, they say, is essential to long-term economic prosperity, social advancement and
States such as Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota are increasing state funding for their universities and colleges,
"The state of Missouri will need to make that same decision if it wants to climb out of the basement of funding
for its state institutions," Nietzel said. "It is very hard to compete and to succeed with that level of
The Joplin Globe
Costs of higher education
By MELISSA DUNSON
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Jay Chism is hoping his son, Patrick, a Carl Junction High School senior, scores high on his ACT.
Otherwise, his choice of colleges could have less to do with what he wants and more to do with what his parents
As it is, a biennial report released Wednesday by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education,
―Measuring Up 2008: The National Report Card on Higher Education,‖ shows that Missouri families are paying
an average of 29 percent of their annual budget to send a child to a public, four-year college or university.
That‘s significantly worse than eight years ago, when a family would spend an estimated 18 percent of its income
for that same college education.
―I‘d say we spend 30 to 35 percent of our income on housing, so this makes a (college) education like buying
another house,‖ Jay Chism said.
Things are even worse for families in the bottom 40 percent of the income pool. The study reports that group
will spend 41 percent of its income on a public, four-year college.
Missouri isn‘t alone in its failing grade. According to the report put out by the independent, nonprofit,
nonpartisan group, 49 of the 50 states received an ―F‖ when it came to college affordability. The study looked at
families‘ ability to pay for two- and four-year public and private colleges, the amount of need-based financial aid,
the number of low-priced colleges in each state, and the amount of debt with which students graduated from
California was the only state that didn‘t fail the affordability test, passing with a ―C.‖
While the dismal numbers aren‘t surprising to Stacey Zis, a research assistant with the National Center for Public
Policy and Higher Education, she said they are disappointing.
Noah Dixon, a computer information science major at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, also wasn‘t
surprised by the results of the study. He said that if it wasn‘t for his scholarships and the fact that he works 20 to
25 hours a week while going to school full time, he already would be in over his head with debt a year before he
is scheduled to graduate.
―Nope, I couldn‘t make it,‖ Dixon said of life without his scholarships. ―I‘d probably be in some pretty serious
school loans by now. And I don‘t want to be graduating with a bunch of debt.‖
But Zis said it could be much worse.
―Missouri at 29 percent isn‘t a good number by any means, but it gets a lot worse,‖ she said. ―We have
Pennsylvania at 41 percent and North Dakota at 35 percent.‖
Rod Surber, director of public relations and marketing at MSSU, said the rising cost of higher education is a
concern for the school, but he said it is a result of increased customer expectations and tight state funding. And
the situation likely will become worse. On Tuesday, Gov.-elect Jay Nixon‘s budget adviser said a state budget
audit showed Missouri is headed for a $342 million shortfall this fiscal year.
Surber said the university is doing all it can to cut costs and increase efficiency so more cost increases or state
budget cuts don‘t have to be passed on to students.
The university‘s Board of Governors will decide whether to raise tuition for the 2009-10 year during budget
meetings after Jan. 1.
―We feel like we offer a very affordable tuition rate,‖ Surber said. ―We‘re trying to maintain expectations, meet
our responsibilities, keep up with technology, and trying to save while still being competitive with other
In Kansas, the study showed, 28 percent of a family‘s annual income goes to pay for an education at a public,
Pittsburg State University President Tom Bryant said nearly all involved in higher education are concerned about
pricing themselves out of business. He said he is aware that the costs for a college education are rising faster than
most people‘s income, and he said the national economic meltdown is just making things worse.
―We‘ve got to try to do everything we can to try and keep those costs down right now, because I don‘t see those
families that are supporting a child in college seeing their income go up right now,‖ Bryant said.
He said that in Kansas, one of the reasons families are bearing a larger part of the financial responsibility of a
college education is because state funding is making up less of the institutions‘ budgets, meaning more has to
come from tuition and student fees. Bryant said he remembers when the state picked up the cost for 75 percent
of a college education. Now, that number is closer to 60 percent.
―People are willing to place more of their income to give a college education for their children,‖ Bryant said.
―There‘s a whatever-it-takes attitude that people take, and they are willing to take a greater portion of those
budgets to make sure their loved one goes to college.‖
Missouri Southern State University in Joplin raised its tuition rates earlier this year by 6 percent, from $135 a
credit hour to $143. MSSU‘s rates remain below the costs of Missouri‘s 12 other four-year colleges.
Pittsburg State University raised its tuition by 5.8 percent this year. PSU charges one tuition rate for all students
taking 12 hours or more. The boost was the smallest tuition hike in four years.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
The U.S. is falling behind on education and lacks key data, report card finds
By SARA HEBEL
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Many states, and the United States as a whole, are doing a better job than they were two years ago of preparing
students for college and expanding access to higher education, according to a national report card on higher
education scheduled for release today.
But the country continues to slip behind other nations on measures of enrollment and degree completion,
particularly among young adults, the report found, and on the subject of college affordability, it gave failing
grades to all but one state: California, which got a C-.
The report, which grades states on their performance in six categories, is the fifth that has been issued by the
National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, a nonprofit group in San Jose, Calif., that has published
an assessment of higher-education performance every two years since 2000.
This year‘s report shows improvement in the majority of states‘ performance in some areas, including on key
measures of college participation, completion rates, and benefits of higher education to states, and in some
national trends. The likelihood that a high-school freshman will enroll in college by age 19 has improved this
decade, with 42 percent of freshmen now likely to do so. And the proportion of people ages 18 to 24 who are
enrolled in college has grown, to 34 percent, the report noted.
But the gains are modest, said Patrick M. Callan, the policy center‘s president. Much of the improvement on
completion rates, for instance, reflects growth in the number of students who earn certificates rather than
degrees, he said.
The report paints a bleak picture on a number of fronts and declares that the United States' performance in many
of the higher-education areas the center assesses—preparation, participation, affordability, degree completion,
benefits to states, and learning—is inadequate.
―Despite our historical successes in higher education, the pre-eminence of many of our colleges and universities,
and some examples of improvement in this decade, our higher-education performance is not commensurate with
the current needs of our society and our economy,‖ James B. Hunt Jr., a former North Carolina governor who is
chairman of the national center‘s board, wrote in a foreword to the report. ―Our nation and our states can do
Other countries are surpassing the United States, whose educational strength lies in its older residents, on
measures of participation and degree completion, the report says. The United States ranks second, behind
Canada, in the proportion of its adults ages 35 to 64 who hold at least an associate degree, according to the
report. The international comparison is based on data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development, a group of 30 democratic countries. But among adults ages 25 to 34, the United States ranks 10th.
Within the United States, disparities, by race and by income, persist in who enrolls in college, and racial gaps
remain in who completes degrees, the report says. Many population groups, including Hispanic young people,
that have lagged behind others in measures of college participation and success are among those that are
projected to grow the fastest.
High-school graduation rates have fallen over the past two decades, truncating the pool of college aspirants, and
enrollment of working-age adults in college-level training has been declining since the early 1990s, according to
College tuition and fees also continue to rise more quickly than family income and the price of other necessities,
like medical care, food, and housing, the report says.
In assessing the affordability of higher education, the national center does not judge whether colleges are
spending tuition revenue wisely or whether paying a higher price for college is a smart investment. The grades
simply reflect whether or not a state is making it easier for families to pay for college, Mr. Callan said.
The report gives no overall grade to individual states. But an analysis by The Chronicle found that Massachusetts
had the best ―grade-point average,‖ with each graded category weighed equally, followed by Iowa and then
Minnesota. Nevada scored the lowest, Louisiana came in second to last, and Alaska ranked third from the
Report Card’s Effects
The future of the report card is up in the air: Mr. Callan said its authors and financial supporters would "step
back and look very hard" at the effort to determine whether it is something that should continue.
The purpose of the report card is to serve as a diagnostic tool for policy makers, Mr. Callan said. Since the first
one was published eight years ago, he said, he has seen it influence the way states assess their higher-education
The report cards have helped shift some states‘ focus on what they measure from "inputs," like money and
enrollments, to "outcomes," like whether students complete their educational goals, Mr. Callan said. And he
believes the center's evaluations have helped steer more states' discussions about higher-education policy to
conversations about how well state and college practices are working for state populations as a whole, rather than
just looking at their effects on specific institutions.
But not as much has improved since 2000 as Mr. Callan would have liked. ―We got into this to change the world,
and it hasn‘t changed the world,‖ he said.
States are talking more about accountability and quality control but still not enough about improving student
achievement and how to measure learning, Mr. Callan said. As was the case in previous reports, the center gave
all states an ―incomplete‖ this year in the category of learning, citing a lack of sufficient data to allow meaningful
In fact, he said, the report card‘s ability to help states improve are significantly hampered by the limits of the
national data that are collected about higher education. In an essay that accompanies the report, Dennis P. Jones,
president of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, a nonprofit consulting group, says
the nation deserves an F for its record on making progress in developing national data resources.
Limits on Data
Most of the deficiencies in data that existed when the first report card was published still persist now, Mr. Jones
wrote, and in some areas information has become even more scarce. Fewer statistics exist now about the literacy
levels of individual states‘ adult populations than in 2000, he says, and fewer states now participate in surveys
about students‘ course-taking patterns, such as how many high-school seniors are enrolled in advanced science
and mathematics courses, that can help measure college readiness.
Without data, it can be hard to make the case to policy makers that their states and the nation face problems that
need to be solved, Mr. Jones said in an interview. And, ―in the absence of some of these data, we don‘t have
much diagnostics about how to make it better,‖ he said.
What‘s more, Mr. Callan said, much of the information the federal government collects is about a diminishing
part of the college population: first-time, full-time students who remain at the same institution throughout their
college careers. ―We‘re still dealing with a kind of 20th-century model,‖ he said. ―When the country decides this
is important, we‘ll start tracking this better.‖
To improve data analysis in certain areas, Mr. Jones wrote, policy makers could look into ways to mine more
information from the records of the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization that was started to
facilitate student-aid applications but has been increasingly used as a source of data for research, and more states
could participate in national surveys seeking education information so that data about individual states‘
performance could be determined.
Keeping records of individual students‘ progress in college would improve measurement substantially, Mr. Callan
said. But the idea of creating a system to allow the federal government to track individual students‘ academic,
enrollment, and financial-aid information—which was proposed by the secretary of education's Commission on
the Future of Higher Education two years ago—is opposed by some college groups and others who argue that
such a system would invade student privacy.
Susan K. Hattan, a senior consultant at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, said
her group supports efforts to get more specific information for policy makers by asking greater numbers of
states' residents to respond to national surveys.
But the group opposes creating a national system that would track individual students. Collecting a lot of
information about individuals could quickly get unwieldy, she said, while failing to always yield clear insights. For
instance, if someone is trying to track where students fall out of the education pipeline, she said, it might be hard
to distinguish whether students who leave an institution are dropping out entirely or temporarily leaving for just a
term or two.
―We do not see the sacrifice in individual privacy as being worth what you may be able to glean‖ out of tracking
individual students in that kind of detail, she said.
The report, "Measuring Up 2008," will be made available on the National Center for Public Policy and Higher
Education's Web site today.
Reeves Wiedeman contributed to this article.
Missouri, 48 states flunk study on higher ed affordability
By JUSTIN POPE
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
An independent report on American higher education flunks all but one state when it comes to affordability —
an embarrassing verdict that is unlikely to improve as the economy contracts.
The biennial study by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, which evaluates how well
higher education is serving the public, handed out failing grades — Fs — for affordability to 49 states, up from
43 two years ago. Only California received a passing grade in the category, a C, thanks to its relatively inexpensive
The report card uses a range of measurements to give states grades, from A to F, on the performance of their
public and private colleges.
In Indiana, besides the F for affordability, the state received grades of C for preparation and participation, B-
minus for completion of bachelor's degrees within six years of enrollment, D-plus for benefits and incomplete
for learning, a category meant to measure literacy levels and the performance of college graduates.
The affordability grade is based on how much of the average family's income it costs to go to college.
Almost everywhere, that figure is up, according to the survey. Only two states — New York and Tennessee —
have made even minimal improvements since 2000, but they're still considered to be failing. Everywhere else,
families must fork over a greater percentage of their income to pay for college. In Illinois, the average cost of
attending a public four-year college has jumped from 19 percent of a family's income in 1999-2000 to 35 percent
in 2007-08, and in Pennsylvania, from 29 percent to 41 percent.
Low-income families have been hardest hit. Nationally, enrollment at a local public college costs families in the
top fifth of income just 9 percent of their earnings, while families from the bottom fifth pay 55 percent — up
from 39 percent in 1999-2000.
And that's after accounting for financial aid, which is increasingly being used to lure high-achieving students who
boost a school's reputation, but who don't need help to go to college.
The problem seems likely to worsen as the economy does, said Patrick Callan, the center's president.
Historically during downturns, "states make disproportionate cuts in higher education and, in return for the
colleges taking them gracefully, allow them to raise tuition," Callan said. "If we handle this recession like we've
handled others, we will see that this gets worse."
Scott Cristal of Columbia, Mo., said he wasn't surprised by the study's findings. Cristal, who has sent two
daughters to college and has another two yet to pay for, said that he is trying to expand his business to help pay
the tuition bills, but that it's been hard because of the slowing economy.
"We're going to play it by ear, be optimistic, hope for the best and just ride it out as best we can," Cristal said. "I
think that's what everybody in America's doing right now."
States fared modestly better in other categories such as participation, where no state failed and about half the
states earned As or Bs — comparable to the report two years ago. One reason for the uptick is that more
students are taking rigorous college-prep courses, the study found. In Texas, for instance, the percentage of high
schoolers taking at least one upper-level science course has nearly tripled from 20 percent to 56 percent.
But better preparation for college hasn't translated into better enrollment or completion, with only two states —
Arizona and Iowa — receiving an A for participation in higher education.
And the discrepancy in enrollment between states is still great: Forty-four percent of young Iowans are in college,
while just 18 percent of their counterparts in Alaska — one of three states to get an F in the category — are
Callan said the United States is at best standing still while other countries pass it in areas such as college
enrollment and completion. And as higher education fails to keep up with population growth, the specter lurks of
new generations less educated than their Baby Boomer predecessors.
"The educational strength of the American population is in the group that's about to retire," Callan said. "In the
rest of the world, it's the group that's gone to college since 1990."
Wichita Business Journal
Homeland Security picks K-State for biodefense lab
By DANIEL MCCOY
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Kansas State University soon be home to the new National Biological and Agricultural Defense Facility,
which will research ways of protecting citizens and animals from the threat of disease.
The office of Sen. Pat Roberts has confirmed that the Department of Homeland Defense has selected
the Manhattan campus as the site for the $451 million facility.
The news has state lawmakers excited about the possibilities such a DHS choice could mean.
―If NBAF comes to Kansas, it is estimated that over a 20 year period, the facility would have a significant
impact on the state‘s economy,‖ Sen. Sam Brownback said in a release.
In a similar release, Rep. Todd Tiahrt said the facility would create many new jobs in Kansas, ―while
boosting our local economy to the tune of $1.5 billion over the next 20 years.‖
Rep. Jerry Moran has been a member of the Kansas NBAF Task Force and has called bringing the facility
to the state on of his top priorities.
―The competition across the country for the NBAF has been fierce and Kansas was successful by
combining the efforts of local, state and federal leaders to convince DHS that Kansas held the key to
NBAF‘s success,‖ Moran said in a release.
The NBAF would replace the 54-year old Plum Island facility, located four miles off the North Fork of
Long Island, New York.
Proponents have contested that such a facility poses the threat of an accidental outbreak, which could
prove deadly in a densely populated area.
In an August interview with the Kansas City Business Journal, Donn Teske, president of the Kansas
Farmers Union voiced his concerns.
―Plum Island had that natural barrier of water, so the outbreak was contained. We don‘t have that barrier.
We are in the heart of the country‘s livestock action,‖ Teske said.
―I appreciate the economic benefit to the area and the prestige it means for K-State, and yes, it‘s a low risk,
but it‘s still a risk,‖ he added. ―We‘re not only looking at a threat to animals but also to humans.‖
In the same article, Ron Trewyn, Kansas State University‘s vice president for research, called the scenario as
a ―one in a billion.‖
―To say you can‘t work safely on these things in animal country just doesn‘t compute with me,‖ he said.
Federal officials have said the NBAF would be a Biosafety Level 4 facility, which offers the highest level of
Columbia Daily Tribune
Kansas State awarded bio research lab
Thursday, December 4, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) - Kansas has won a three-year competition to land a new $450 million federal
laboratory to study livestock diseases and some of the world‘s most dangerous biological threats. But some
states that lost out are crying foul.
The Department of Homeland Security‘s choice of a lab site at Kansas State University in Manhattan beat
out rival bids from Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas.
Although the choice won‘t become final until after a monthlong review period, officials in Mississippi and
Texas - seeking a boost to local economies - already are pondering a challenge.
"Let me just simply say that we‘re looking at" a challenge "very seriously because we do think we have the
best site, and we‘ll proceed accordingly," Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said yesterday.
In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry‘s spokeswoman, Katherine Cesinger, said the state will "closely review the
information, and hard questions will be asked about the conclusions they‘ve reached."
Kansas‘ new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility would replace an aging 24-acre research complex on
Plum Island, N.Y., where research is conducted on foot-and-mouth disease and anthrax. Foot-and-mouth
disease has been confined to the island since 1955 to avoid an accidental outbreak that could lead to the
slaughter of millions of livestock. The disease does not sicken humans.
The lab is expected to generate about 1,500 construction jobs and a permanent payroll of $25 million to $30
million for more than 300 employees once the project is completed by 2015.
The University of Missouri was considered in 2006 as a possible location for the lab. MU was not included
on a list of finalists released by the homeland security department in 2007, however, after some community
members expressed concerns that the site in Columbia next to New Haven Elementary School was too
close to residential areas.
Some farm groups have expressed concern about the risks of moving the lab to the U.S. mainland. The
Bush administration acknowledged earlier this year that accidents have happened with the feared virus at
the Plum Island facility. But homeland security officials are convinced it can operate safely using the latest
containment procedures. And Kansas officials are focused on the $3.5 billion economic infusion the lab
could mean for its economy.
A draft copy of the department‘s "Preferred Alternative Selection Memorandum" was obtained by AP. It
concludes the K-State site was chosen based on its proximity to existing biohazard research, strong
community acceptance and a generous package of incentives offered by the state.
The language about being located close to other researchers frustrated Barbour. "The bureaucrats who
prepared the environmental impact study seemed to think that our partners in Iowa and Texas and at
Tulane couldn‘t get on the airplane and fly over here and do work," he said.
Besides foot-and-mouth disease, researchers also would study African swine fever, Japanese encephalitis,
Rift Valley fever and the Hendra and Nipah viruses.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
EPA issues final plan for hazardous waste in college labs
By REEVES WIEDEMAN
Friday, December 5, 2008
Washington – The Environmental Protection Agency released a final rule this week that will provide
college laboratories with a more flexible plan for managing their hazardous waste.
The rule, published in the Federal Register on Monday, makes final a 2006 proposal to provide a new
means of compliance with the 30-year-old Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the federal law
that regulates waste management at college laboratories and industrial plants. Among several changes
intended to make the regulations more efficient and effective, colleges will be able to use central
facilities staffed with professionals to determine whether materials are hazardous. The current system
required immediate decisions, which were often made by untrained students.
The final rule, which does not apply to industrial labs, did make several changes in the language
proposed by the EPA two years ago (The Chronicle, June 5, 2006). Campus photography labs and art
studios will now be eligible to have their waste materials evaluated by the alternative means, and the
more-flexible plan was extended to apply to independent research institutions and teaching hospitals
that have formal ties to a college.
Current regulations "were written for large storage tanks at industrial labs and not the tiny glass
beakers we have," said Bruce D. Backus, assistant vice chancellor for environmental health and safety
at Washington University in St. Louis. "This has been discussed for 20 years, and it's really a major step
Colleges that wish to use the new plan, which is optional, will be required to submit a lab-management
plan. The new rule will be effective at the end of 2008, but many colleges in states with requirements
stricter than the new federal regulations will not be able to use the alternative plan unless their states
also adopt such regulations, a process that could take several years.
Economic crisis squeezing colleges, universities
By TONY PUGH
Monday, December 1, 2008
WASHINGTON -- Shrinking endowments, state funding reductions and families struggling to pay tuition are
forcing many colleges and universities to cut staff and spending or to delay construction and development plans.
From well-heeled Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Dartmouth to large public institutions such as the
California State University system, many schools are facing difficult financial decisions stemming from the
nation's economic standstill.
Last week, the California State University system announced plans to trim 10,000 students across its 23 campuses
in the next school year because of funding problems caused by a state budget crisis. The CSU system - the
nation's largest, with nearly 450,000 students - will make the cuts by moving up application deadlines and raising
academic standards for incoming freshmen.
"We have been, for the last two years, over-enrolled by over 10,000 students that the legislature has not funded,"
CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed said. "We can't continue to admit more and more students without receiving
Dartmouth College recently announced a hiring freeze and plans to cut its budget by 10 percent, or about $40
million over the next two years, because of the situation. Staff reductions are also possible.
In previous economic downturns, college enrollment remained steady as more people bolstered their education
to help improve their work prospects.
However, the unique aspects of the current slide - falling home values and stock prices, rising unemployment,
tighter credit and fewer student-loan providers - have made a college education harder to finance and much more
difficult to obtain.
Neil Theobald, the vice president and chief financial officer at Indiana University, said recently that his staff was
seeing more affluent families struggling with tuition payments.
"Based on the applications, these are families that look like they can afford college but with the economic
conditions, I think they have investments that have gone poorly over the last several months," Theobald said.
Families who would have considered an expensive Ivy League education now may opt for less-expensive private
schools. Others may choose even cheaper public colleges.
An October survey of more than 2,500 prospective college students by MeritAid.com, a college search Web site,
found that 57 percent were considering less prestigious schools because of cost. Many students are cutting costs
even further by attending community colleges for two years before transferring to four-year institutions to
complete their undergraduate studies.
Enrollment at Oklahoma regional universities fell by 1.5 percent this semester, while the state's community
college enrollment jumped by an almost identical amount - 1.3 percent - according to the Oklahoma State
Regents for Higher Education.
Community colleges, however, are facing their own economic problems. State budget cuts and declines in
funding from local property-tax revenue have forced many of them to scale back popular programs, particularly
vocational/technical courses that are more costly to offer and require additional state money.
"Unfortunately, the most expensive programs that correlate to the highest-wage jobs are the ones that are most at
risk," said Stephen Katsinas, the director of the Education Policy Center at the University of Alabama. In a
recent survey of community college officials in 49 states, Katsinas found that nearly half expect their states to
impose midyear cuts in higher education appropriations, which are typically the largest discretionary items in
most state budgets.
The funding problems also have limited the amount of student financial aid that community colleges can offer
and are creating enrollment waiting lists at a time when applications for admission are growing.
In Texas, community college enrollment is up 6 percent this year, an increase of more than 34,000 students, said
DeJuana Lozado, a spokeswoman for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
At four-year schools, slowdowns in charitable giving, state funding cuts and poor investment returns have forced
many to circle their financial wagons after nearly a decade of solid enrollment gains, tuition increases and
generally robust business cycles.
The University of Florida is slashing 430 positions, trimming enrollment by 1,000 students and imposing a 15
percent price increase on in-state undergraduates.
Williams College is postponing renovation of an athletic field and other capital improvements, deferring
maintenance work and imposing a hiring freeze on non-essential positions.
"How long these positions remain open will depend on the time it takes for the college's revenue to stabilize.
That's likely to be many months, and in the case of some positions, it could be years before we'll be confident
enough to fill them," Williams President Morton Owen Schapiro wrote in a recent letter to the college
Even venerable Harvard University announced that it's considering budget cuts this school year and next due to
investment losses, mainly in its mammoth endowment, which was valued at $36 billion this summer.
"We must recognize that Harvard is not invulnerable to the seismic financial shocks in the larger world. Our own
economic landscape has been significantly altered. ... While we can hope that markets will improve, we need to be
prepared to absorb unprecedented endowment losses and plan for a period of greater financial constraint,"
Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust wrote to the university community earlier this month.
It wasn't always like this.
For many years, strong public funding for higher education was a given. But as more conservative Republican
lawmakers were elected to Congress and state legislatures, spending priorities changed and funding dried up,
forcing the higher education sector to step up its lobbying efforts.
In the 1990 election cycle, education ranked 39th among 80 industries in terms of lobbyists' contributions with
$2.4 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This election cycle, the education lobby ranks ninth
and has contributed more than $38 million, mostly to Democratic candidates.
Even if it gains influence in the solidly Democratic-led Congress, however, getting more money for higher
education won't be easy in the current economic climate.
Robert Berdahl, the president of the Association of American Universities, which represents 62 research
universities in the United States and Canada, recently wrote congressional leaders from both parties to ask that
they increase loan limits in federal student-lending programs, increase research funding at the National Institutes
of Health and provide underwriting or insure capital for university construction projects.
"If Congress and the administration can assist research universities in addressing the challenges these institutions
are facing, the return on that investment will be a stronger economy not only in the coming year, but in the
decades to come," Berdahl wrote.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Keeping costs down will grow ever more difficult, report says
By DAVID SHIEH
Monday, December 1, 2008
Clearly separating the programs that universities offer is one way to help reduce costs and make them easier
to track, says a report released today by the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant
An urban-studies department that is spun off to a satellite campus, for example, could be more efficient
than running it as part of the university's central operation, the report says.
The 90-page report, "University Tuition, Consumer Choice and College Affordability: Strategies for
Addressing a Higher Education Affordability Challenge," includes a set of strategies that public universities
can adopt to keep tuition affordable. But the two authors acknowledged in an interview with The Chronicle
that such efforts will become increasingly difficult as the continuing economic downturn threatens to
reduce state appropriations.
Not surprisingly, the study finds that public universities themselves are not to blame for tuition increases
over the past decade. Aggressive cost-cutting has kept steady the money spent per student, according to the
study. But the decline in state financing, coupled with the rising cost of health care and technology, has
forced tuition costs upward.
―People have to understand that if you talk about budget cuts to higher education, this is a group that has
already been living within restrictions,‖ said M. Peter McPherson, president of Nasulgc.
If trends continue, the report says, the average annual tuition and fees at public research universities could
rise to $44,202 by 2036, raising the percentage of median family income spent on tuition to 24 percent,
from 8 percent now.
Those prices would discourage many students from pursuing higher education and would drive an
increasing number of others to community colleges, said David E. Shulenburger, the association's vice
president for academic affairs, and the other author of the report.
Universities will have to continue to cut costs to keep tuition down, a task that will prove difficult for
colleges that have already cut to the bone, Mr. Shulenburger said. ―We‘ve run out of easy solutions.‖
Among the other strategies suggested by the association for cutting costs are:
Looking into ways to teach students through more cost-effective methods, like online course work.
Asking universities that charge more than their peer institutions to justify their tuition rates by objective
measures, like the income levels of their graduates.
Deregulating public universities to recoup money spent on responding to demands for accountability.
Amassing endowments that will allow public universities to rely less on tuition for their operating costs.
The report is available on the Web site of the association.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Colleges are told to improve financial practices to cope with downturn
By DAVID SHIEH
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
A panel of financial and higher-education officials warned colleges and universities to rethink their financial
practices as they navigate the economic recession, by improving financial disclosures, working closer with
trustees, and adopting more-diverse investment strategies.
The warning comes as the nation's financial woes have led to sharp endowment losses, state financing
problems, and slowed fund-raising efforts, panelists said during an online seminar run by the National
Association of College and University Business Officers on Tuesday.
"In the current financial times … it is going to require a great deal of creative thinking and alternative ways
of doing business than what we've historically been used to in order to protect the cores of our
institutions," said Stephen T. Golding, executive vice president for finance and administration of Cornell
Faced with the potential for continuing credit and liquidity problems, colleges—especially less-selective
private institutions that rely heavily on tuition dollars and have poorly managed debt—will have to diversify
their investment strategies to keep cash on hand. Panelists suggested establishing relationships with multiple
banks, and cooperating with and reaching out to investors.
Institutions should also improve their financial-disclosure practices to prevent credit-rating downgrades,
said John Nelson, a managing director at Moody's Investors Service.
"If there's stress going on at a college or university and we're able to meet with the CFO and president, and
they show they're fully aware of the risk … that often allays our concerns and can prevent rating
downgrades," Mr. Nelson said.
Moody's, which rates the creditworthiness of institutions, has issued a series of reports this year warning of
the effects on colleges of the slowing economy, declining investment returns, and uncertainties over student
access to loans (The Chronicle, July 3, July 18, and October 17).
In its October report, Moody's said the credit crisis and recession could lead to less availability of private
student loans, a shrinking pool of people who can afford college, and more difficulty in borrowing funds
for colleges' operations and growth.
Universities will need to foster closer relationships between top university administrators and their boards
of trustees, Mr. Golding said, to bring more people into a "collaborative and collective" conversation about
how to manage colleges and universities during the economic crisis.
On a more positive note for universities, Mr. Nelson speculated that the financial crisis may lessen scrutiny
on the rising price of college tuition because of an increasing awareness of the importance of higher
education to the nation's economy.
A poll run during the online seminar asked the roughly 200 participants what their biggest concern was as
the financial crisis continues. Of those that responded, over 40 percent said enrollment; about 30 percent
said cuts in state funds; and about 16 percent said endowment declines. Five percent each said liquidity and
The Wall Street Journal
Harvard hit by loss as crisis spreads to colleges
By JOHN HECHINGER
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Harvard University's endowment suffered investment losses of at least 22% in the first four months of the
school's fiscal year, the latest evidence of the financial woes facing higher education.
The Harvard endowment, the biggest of any university, stood at $36.9 billion as of June 30, meaning the
loss amounts to about $8 billion. That's more than the entire endowments of all but six colleges, according
to the latest official tally.
Harvard said the actual loss could be even higher, once it factors in declines in hard-to-value assets such as
real estate and private equity -- investments that have become increasingly popular among colleges. The
university is planning for a 30% decline for the fiscal year ending in June 2009.
Other university endowments also are suffering, and many states are cutting public funding of higher
education. Colleges are instituting hiring freezes, planning enrollment cuts and discussing steep tuition
increases, intensifying worries about the impact of the recession and financial crisis on college access.
The federal government already has taken emergency steps to boost lending to students, and several well-
off colleges have said they will maintain or boost financial aid to help families hurt by job losses,
investments setbacks and borrowing problems. But not all colleges have the financial heft to withstand the
many forces bearing down on them.
Joni Finney, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who studies college economics, says she worries
that public universities and less-wealthy, smaller private colleges may not be able to keep their doors open
to all students. "If you go down the food chain of higher education, it's harder and harder to deal with these
kinds of cuts," she says.
Private-college budgets are sensitive to investment declines because they typically tap their endowments
each year to help cover operating expenses.
The University of Virginia Investment Management Co. said it lost nearly $1 billion, or 18%, of its
endowment over the four-month period, reducing it to $4.2 billion. In Vermont, Middlebury College says
its endowment fell 14.4%, to $724 million. In Iowa, Grinnell College's endowment dropped 25%, to $1.2
billion. In Massachusetts, Amherst College says its endowment, $1.7 billion as of June 30, also fell by 25%.
In a letter to Harvard's deans, university President Drew Gilpin Faust and another official blamed "severe
turmoil in the world's financial markets" for the endowment loss. She said it would lead to budget cuts, and
that the school would sell bonds to increase its financial flexibility.
The Harvard letter said the 22% loss, from July 1 through Oct. 31, understates the actual decline because it
doesn't reflect assets such as real estate whose values couldn't yet be estimated. Currently, endowment
income funds 35% of Harvard's $3.5 billion budget.
The 30% fiscal-year loss Harvard is planning for would eclipse the loss of 12.2% in 1974, its worst over the
last 40 years.
Harvard's loss marks a sharp reversal from the endowment's formerly chart-topping performance. Harvard
and Yale University -- which hasn't disclosed its endowment's recent performance -- pioneered an
investment approach that de-emphasized U.S. stocks and bonds and placed large sums in more exotic and
illiquid investments, including timberland, real estate and private-equity funds. That strategy, which was
widely copied, helped the schools avoid significant losses after the technology boom ended in 2000.
But the current market has been far less favorable, partly because both Harvard and Yale have relatively
small holdings of bonds, such as U.S. Treasurys, one of the few assets that have performed well. Harvard
began its fiscal year with a target of having 33% invested in publicly traded shares, split among U.S. stocks,
which have dropped 24% in the four months through October, and international stocks, which have fared
Other investments, such as commodities, which were a boon to Harvard in past years, have turned negative
in recent weeks. Harvard has sought to sell off about $1.5 billion in investments with private-equity firms,
which typically use their assets to fund corporate takeovers, according to people familiar with the situation.
That would be one of the largest sales ever of a private-equity stake. But its private-equity partnerships
received bids of only around 50 cents on the dollar, say other people familiar with the matter.
Daniel Jick, chief executive officer at Boston-based HighVista Strategies, which handles money for some
endowments, says that in some prior years, investments such as real estate and private equity have helped
buffer endowments against losses on stocks.
In her letter, Harvard's Dr. Faust said the endowment loss has "major implications for our budgets and
planning, especially since our other principal revenue streams also stand to be challenged by the economic
crisis." Along with federal research funding, universities rely heavily on tuition and donations. Strained
family finances could make it difficult for more families to afford tuition, while stock-market declines
typically curb gifts.
To maintain its programs and commitments, the letter said, Harvard is expecting to spend a higher
percentage of its endowment than it had recently. It said it was taking a "hard look at hiring, staffing levels
and compensation," and was "reconsidering the scale and pace of planned capital projects."
Pittsburgh Business Times
University of Pittsburgh freezes salaries for top officers, Nordenberg
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The University of Pittsburgh‘s Board of Trustees froze the salaries for school‘s top officers, citing the
The Board made the decision at a meeting Wednesday, moving on Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and other
Besides Nordenberg, affected employees include executive vice chancellor and general counsel Jerome
Cochran; assistant chancellor B. Jean Ferketish; and Amy Marsh, treasurer and chief investment officer.
The decision comes after Pitt had a record fundraising year, passing the $1.3 billion mark of its $2 billion
capital campaign last month.
―It may seem incongruous that the University has just moved through what may be the best year in its
history, and yet this board committee is approving a recommendation that University officers receive no
salary increases,‖ Board Chairman Ralph Cappy said. ―However, the committee understands that we are
moving through uniquely challenging times and accepts this recommendation...as another example of the
Pitt-first attitude that has characterized the distinguished service of this leadership team.‖
The Board approved single-digit salary increases for all other university employees, including faculty, in
August when adopting Pitt‘s annual operating budget.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Nordenberg received a base salary of $460,000 for the
2008 fiscal year.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Blog: Stanford’s president and provost will take 10% pay cuts
By CHARLES HUCKABEE
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The president and provost of Stanford University are taking immediate 10-percent cuts in their salaries
as part of an overall plan to trim the university‘s budget, and other senior administrators have also
volunteered to take salary reductions, the provost, John W. Etchemendy, said on Tuesday in a letter to
faculty and staff members.
Mr. Etchemendy said Stanford was seeking to reduce its $800-million general-fund budget by about
$100-million and called on all university divisions to submit scenarios for cutting their budgets by 5
percent, 7 percent, and 10 percent next year. ―The ultimate cuts may not have to be this deep,‖ he
wrote, ―but we would be irresponsible not to prepare for this eventuality.‖
Mr. Etchemendy did not say how many administrators were taking salary reductions, but said they
included ―all of the school deans.‖ Lisa Lapin, Stanford‘s chief communications officer, told the
Associated Press that the cuts would affect about 15 to 20 positions with salaries that start around
Stanford‘s president, John L. Hennessy, received $701,501 in total compensation in the 2006-7 fiscal
year, the latest for which information was available, according to a survey by The Chronicle of pay for
the chief executives at 599 private colleges.
The Mercury News
Stanford administrators making more than $250,000 take 10 percent salary cuts
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
PALO ALTO, Calif. — Senior administrators at Stanford University, including the president and
provost, are taking a salary cut, as the nation's economic decline places pressure on the university's
Provost John Etchemendy informed staff members about the salary reductions in a letter Tuesday,
saying he and President John Hennessy have volunteered to reduce their salaries by 10 percent.
University spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said the salary cuts affect about 15 to 20 positions with salaries
that start around $250,000. She said Hennessy makes around $700,000.
In the letter, Etchemendy said the school may have to cut up to $100 million from its general fund
budget over the next two years. The budget, which is currently about $800 million, covers most faculty
and staff salaries and the university's day-to-day operations.
"The ultimate cuts may not have to be this deep, but we would be irresponsible not to prepare for this
eventuality," Etchemendy said, adding that layoffs would be "inevitable."
Lapin said the university did not plan to make any cuts that would affect classroom programs.
Like other universities, Stanford has seen its endowment fall in the financial downturn. Income from
tuition also has dropped as demand for financial aid increases, Lapin said.
In addition to layoffs, Etchemendy said hiring freezes have gone into effect in some offices, a
retirement incentive program will be offered and some employees may be allowed to permanently
reduce their hours.
Lapin said she did not have specific figures on how much the university's endowment, valued last year
at $17 billion, had fallen. Moody's Investors Service has projected losses of 30 percent for college and
university endowments overall this year.
Ivy League schools Harvard, Dartmouth and Brown have also seen their endowments drop and have
looked to trim costs.
"We know we have lots of company," Lapin said, referring to the struggles of other universities.
"We've entered this period in very good financial condition, which is going to allow us to weather this
with the university intact and still very healthy."
The Chronicle of Higher Education
U. of California to limit severance pay to rehired workers
By JOSH KELLER
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Berkeley, Calif. — Employees of the University of California‘s Office of the President will no longer be able to
receive full severance checks and then be hired by one of the system‘s campuses, the San Francisco Chronicle
The announcement followed a report in the newspaper last week about Linda Morris Williams, a former aide in
the president‘s office, who took a buyout this year as the office was being downsized. Ms. Williams was given a
$100,202 severance package, only to be hired as an associate chancellor at the university‘s Berkeley campus
several months later.
News of the payment enraged several state lawmakers, who said the university was overpaying its top executives
even as it raised tuition. Mark G. Yudof, the university‘s president, said in a written statement that the policy had
existed before he took office, in June, and that the university would limit such payments in the future.
―I and the regents recognize this may appear to the public as an objectionable use of resources even though the
program is reducing our central administrative spending,‖ Mr. Yudof said, according to the newspaper.
The university faced a series of compensation scandals under its previous president, Robert C. Dynes. Ms.
Williams, a former aide to Mr. Dynes, was one of the officials whose compensation raised questions during that
period as well.
CA colleges want a bailout too
Monday, December 1, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- With the economy forcing so many industries to turn to the federal government
for help, some California lawmakers are suggesting higher education do the same. A resolution being introduced
in the new legislative session today proposes a $70 billion nationwide bailout for colleges and universities.
California isn't the only state facing massive budget cuts but its community colleges could lose $330 million,
while the CSU and UCs lose $66 million each. All while banks and car companies are marching to Capitol Hill
hat in hand.
"In that policy discussion of who should be bailed out, and who should be invested in, we think our kids warrant
the same consideration as auto makers and financial institutions, and those folks who largely have been
shepherding their own outcomes," said Pasadena Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who chairs the Higher
He says with just 10 percent of the $700 billion financial bailout, two million California students could go to
"The California delegation in Congress is gaining influence, we have an exciting new vibrant president who is
also making higher education a top priority," said Portantino. "I think it's a golden opportunity to say that the
legislature is united in a bipartisan way to invest in our kids. I think it's going to carry a lot of weight with the
California delegation, which in turn carries a lot of weight in Washington."
Los Angeles Times
Out-of-state colleges boost recruiting efforts in California
As the population of high school graduates declines nationwide, Midwest and East Coast colleges are
hoping to attract California students to keep their enrollment numbers steady.
By LARRY GORDON
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Dory Streett didn't beat around the bush when she spoke to students recently at a high school near downtown
Los Angeles about Colby College, a liberal arts school in Maine. It's 3,000 miles from home, there's snow for
long stretches and its community of Waterville has only 16,000 residents.
"It's almost as far as you can get," the recruiter told a dozen seniors at Gertz-Ressler High School. The photos
she showed of Colby's bucolic campus did seem a galaxy away to many of the mainly low-income students whose
school sits beside the Santa Monica Freeway.
But Streett, who also emphasized Colby's small classes and generous financial aid, urged students to consider a
college outside Southern California: "It's for kids who want something different . . . who know they will be in
urban areas most of their lives and want to try something different for four years."
It's a message heard more often in California these days, as East Coast and Midwest colleges face an anticipated
drop in their local applicant pools and cast a wider net for prospective students.
After a decade of campus-crowding growth, the size of the nation's high school graduating class has begun to
decline with this year's seniors, and is projected to drop 4.5% by 2014. Then, modest growth is expected to
The change, however, is uneven across the country, with the deepest dips -- up to 20% over the next few years --
forecast for New England and Upper Midwest states, home to numerous colleges.
Schools from those regions are boosting recruiting in California and other populous states, including Texas,
Florida and Arizona, and looking for more students overseas, especially from China and India.
The population trend "certainly concerns schools in the Midwest and the Northeast. And it will force many . . .
to start recruiting outside of their traditional regions," said Tony Pals, a spokesman for the National Assn. of
Independent Colleges and Universities.
Another trend may further reduce the collegegoing population, experts say. A growing portion of U.S. high
school graduates are Latinos, who traditionally have lower rates of college attendance than whites. Unless that
changes, the drop in potential freshmen may be even steeper.
Uncertainty about the economy and families' abilities to pay also is forcing colleges, especially private ones, to
scramble to make sure enough qualified students apply.
"Postsecondary institutions accustomed to filling entering classes with relative ease will likely face greater
competition for fewer traditional-age students," declared an influential report, "Knocking at the College Door,"
released this year by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
Felema Yemane, a senior at Los Angeles' Pilgrim School, says she is nervous about applying to college but hopes
the demographic decline will boost her chances.
"Just the fact that it's a little bit smaller gives us a little more chance," said Yemane, who is applying to private
and public schools on the East Coast and in California.
Admissions officials say the change is unlikely to make it easier to get accepted by the most prestigious
universities, such as Harvard and Princeton, which reject 90 percent of applicants. Nevertheless, those schools
say they want to keep up their West Coast recruiting and let potential students know of the sweetened financial-
aid deals wealthy colleges can offer.
"I think we are all very aware of the demographics and the changing nature of our applicant pool," said Janet
Lavin Rapelye, dean of admissions at Princeton.
But for the next few years, students applying to colleges a notch below the top tier may find it a bit easier to land
Local high school counselors say they are hearing from more schools around the country that want to send
representatives. "We are finding schools recruiting in California that we haven't seen in the past," said Helene
Kunkel, a college advisor at Palisades Charter High School.
However, Kunkel said Southern Californians may not be attracted to those campuses if they are far away or lack
a familiar brand name. "They do have an uphill battle with some of the kids here," she said.
Even so, this year for the first time, Central College in Iowa and Quinnipiac University in Connecticut are
sending envoys to Southern California. Others, including Northeastern University in Boston and the Rochester
Institute of Technology in upstate New York, have established California offices or placed full-time recruiters
Still others, including the University of Vermont, the University of Connecticut, Michigan's Kalamazoo College
and Minnesota's College of St. Benedict-St. John's University are coming more often and visiting more schools.
Kalamazoo is boosting recruiting outside the Midwest because of demographics and because Michigan's
economic decline makes it difficult for some local families to attend, said Eric Staab, dean of admissions. "It is no
longer a time to be a regional college," he said.
The University of Connecticut, where a third of undergraduates are out-of-staters, has sharply increased the time
its recruiters spend in California. "As we looked at that receding tide, we decided to have a strategy in place and
build our name brand," said Lee Melvin, director of undergraduate admissions.
Central College in Iowa anticipates what admissions dean Carol Williamson calls "incredibly tight competition"
from other Iowa schools for students. So she is sending a representative to California for two weeks this fall and
again in the spring.
Williamson concedes that Iowa might be an unusual spot for a Los Angeles student, but said the school wants
young people who are "willing to step outside their normal box and say, 'I want a different experience.' "
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of high school graduates in the U.S.
peaked this spring with about 3.35 million "Echo Boom" youngsters, offspring of Baby Boomers. The number is
projected to drop by about 18,000 next spring and continue to decline for the next five years.
New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Michigan, New York, Ohio and
Pennsylvania are projected to have significant dips while states such as Texas, Florida and Arizona are slated for
California is in a universe of its own. The "College Door" report estimates that the number of California students
graduating from high school peaked at 423,615 in 2008. The state projects a slight decrease for 2009 and a nearly
7% decline by 2017.
However, California's population of young people will remain the largest by far -- about double that of Florida
and New York -- and will continue to draw recruiters.
That's one reason Colby College, which enrolls half its 1,870 students from New England, sent Streett to
California this fall to visit more than 40 schools in two weeks. At a college fair last month at Los Angeles Trade-
Technical College, she stood shoulder-to-shoulder with representatives of other East Coast colleges, including
Middlebury, Mount Holyoke and Bates.
Southern California is a good place to look for ethnic and geographic diversity, Streett told the Gertz-Ressler
students, who were mainly Latino and black. "We want that," she said. "That is very attractive to us and that's
why we spend a couple weeks out here."
That was good news to Carlos Ramos, a Gertz-Ressler senior who attended recent presentations by several East
Coast schools and expects to apply to some of them. Ramos, 17, said he heard a clear message from the out-of-
"They definitely want L.A. kids to be there," he said.
The Wall Street Journal
For college-bound, new barriers to entry
Their budgets squeezed, state schools cap enrollment, weigh tuition increases; fears for lower-
By ROBERT TOMSHO
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
As public colleges grapple with reductions in state funding, the prospect of reduced access to higher
education is looking more likely.
Florida's state universities, squeezed early by the slumping economy's effect on tax revenues, instituted a
three-year cap on freshman enrollment last year. The mammoth California State University system -- with
450,000 students -- has announced plans to reduce its head count by up to 10,000 students for the next
school year. Absent a boost in state funding, the smaller, more-selective University of California system has
warned of a similar reduction. Enrollment limits are also under consideration in Tennessee and
Meanwhile, hefty tuition increases are on the drawing boards in many states, while private student lending
has shrunk sharply amid a broader credit crunch. Together, the pressures are threatening to restrict access
to higher education at a time when the economic crisis is driving more Americans to seek new degrees or
additional training, a common reaction in a downturn.
They also come as budget-strapped state schools are eliminating majors and reducing course offerings --
moves that could also make the road to a bachelor's degree steeper. According to the latest federal data, an
estimated 15.4 million undergraduates attended degree-granting institutions in 2007, up about 1.2% from
2006. Roughly 78% of those students went to public colleges and universities.
The federal government has tried to help college students and their families cope with the turmoil by
stepping in to insure the availability of federally guaranteed loans and to provide financing to investors who
buy securities backed by private student loans.
Some observers contend that most state schools are unlikely to adopt enrollment caps because of the risk of
sparking backlash from both the public and state legislatures that help fund them. But others fear that amid
economic turmoil and declines in state tax revenues, the schools will have no choice. Would-be students
would be forced to either forgo higher education or attend two-year community colleges, many of which
face the same economic pressures.
"It's going to be a remarkably challenging situation," says economist Michael McPherson, president of the
Spencer Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit focused on education issues. "This is going to be bad, and
it looks like the near-term impact on state budgets is going to be quite dramatic."
With public universities in Washington state being told to prepare for reductions in state funding of up to
20%, "all the expectations are that we are going to be looking at some serious budget cuts," says Norm
Arkans, a spokesman for the University of Washington.
The president of the American Council on Education, a big college trade group, has predicted that students
could face double-digit tuition increases next year. Rhode Island recently took the unusual step of
instituting midyear tuition increases of up to 6.5% at three state colleges. Trustees of the State University of
New York system have voted to increase tuition by $310 a semester, starting in the spring, making for an
annualized tuition increase of more than 14%. Elsewhere, public colleges and universities in Idaho have
asked the state board of education for permission to pursue tuition increases of more than 10%. And Jim
Rogers, chancellor of Nevada's public colleges and universities, has proposed a 25% increase.
Researchers say the impact of enrollment caps -- which are likely to be accompanied by higher admission
standards and tighter application deadlines -- will fall hardest on low-income and minority students whose
parents and high schools often have fewer resources to navigate the college-application process.
"They are not only going to have caps, they are going to have big tuition increases," says Gary Orfield, co-
director of the Civil Rights Project, a research and advocacy group at the University of California, Los
Angeles. "You put those two things together, and you have what was already a bad access situation turning
into something much worse."
State funding is a critical source of revenue for public university systems, which have long been a more
affordable path to a degree than private universities. State appropriations account for about a quarter of the
revenue for public degree-granting universities, according to the latest federal data available.
But because state universities have other sources of income, such as tuition, state legislatures tend to cut
funding to them during a recession before they reduce spending for other budget items, such as elementary
and secondary schools and Medicaid.
The Denver-based Education Commission of the States, a nonpartisan research group, estimates that 35
states face budget shortfalls in the current fiscal year, and that more than 40 face similar problems in the
fiscal year that begins July 1, 2009, in most states.
Michael Griffith, a financial analyst for the commission, says the full impact for higher education won't be
known until early next year, when most state legislatures begin meeting to hash out their budgets. But in the
meantime, some governors have already begun telling public university systems and other state agencies to
either cut their budgets or to prepare to do so.
In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed more than $460 million in cuts to higher
education to help make up for an overall budget shortfall expected to top $11 billion this year. In Kansas,
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has called for a 3% cut in the budgets of state schools this year and a 4% reduction
College enrollment typically increases during a recession, but some observers wonder whether a continuing
slump will actually keep enrollment numbers down next fall. Donald Heller, an education professor at
Pennsylvania State University, says the current downturn appears to be a prolonged one that will erode state
funding and endowment gains even as it affects the financial wherewithal of potential students. "The wild
card is that this is a very different recession," he says.
As for the Florida enrollment cap, a recent report by Enlace Florida, a Tampa-based advocacy group for
college readiness among Latino students, estimated that by 2012, the limits could prevent 40,000 or more
students from pursuing degrees at Florida's public universities.
Mark Rosenberg, chancellor of the Florida system, says that he is sympathetic, but that he favors
maintaining the cap -- in part because he has seen what funding problems have meant for his children, who
both attend Florida International University in Miami, a public school.
The dance degree his daughter, Ginelle, was pursuing is being phased out, so she made theater her major.
His son, Ben, a junior majoring in management, is taking classes online this semester because he couldn't
get the courses he needed in an actual classroom.
Mr. Rosenberg says he is a strong supporter of access, but that it is a "false promise" to admit students to a
public university and then not be able to provide the courses and counseling that they need to succeed.
"The challenge," he adds, "is that we are not funded for the level of access we would like to provide."
Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
College students not getting enough financial aid forced to drop out
By ERICA PEREZ
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Rheannon Gustafson could be a harbinger of things to come.
Even after receiving federal loans, the 19-year-old freshman from Salem still owes about $3,200 for
tuition and expenses at Winona State University in Minnesota this semester. Her parents can't afford to
fill the gap - they filed for bankruptcy this year.
Neither Gustafson nor her parents can get private loans, because lenders have tightened standards
during the credit crunch. Gustafson couldn't find a job near school that could cover the bill.
This perfect storm of economic circumstances has caused Gustafson and her parents to decide she's
dropping out after her first semester. She'll come home, work two jobs and attend a local technical
college when she can afford it.
While enrollment at many colleges appears to be holding steady, some administrators are preparing for
a coming wave of students like Gustafson.
"Colleges are in fact bracing for the certainty that the worst of the economy will manifest itself in a
huge increase in need," said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American
Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. "This is not a possibility. This is a near-
certainty. The issue is when it is going to register a significant enough scale where you can point at it
and say it is a reality."
Several colleges report increases in students requesting adjustments to their financial aid offers this
semester because their family's financial health has changed. Parents or students have lost jobs,
watched their savings drop, had their homes foreclosed on or filed for bankruptcy.
When some of these students look to private loans, they are hard-pressed to get approved without a
creditworthy co-signer because of the credit market.
"We'll probably see some students coming by who might have to talk about sitting out a semester,"
said Dawn Scott, Carroll University director of financial aid. "It will be hard to know who we've lost
"We've started reaching out to those students already. Unfortunately, we know we can't save all of
Nassirian said: "We are very concerned about the coming semester. I think the spring will take a huge .
. . next big test is whether enrollment numbers in the dip."
Delaying her dreams
Gustafson had a 3.7 GPA in high school and dreamed of being the first in her family to attend college,
with the goal of becoming a counselor.
"Ever since grade school I have always dreamed of going to college and becoming successful,"
Gustafson said. "I have seen my parents struggle financially throughout my whole life, and I always
told myself that I didn't want to end up having the same problems that they had with money."
After she applied for financial aid at Winona State earlier this year, she received an award letter that
explained how much she was eligible for in federal loans and grants: $2,925 per semester.
Gustafson thought she was set. She signed up for a residence hall and a meal plan. When she got to
campus, she registered for 17 credits of math, sociology, English and science. She made new friends.
She soaked up college life.
But a couple of months into the semester, Gustafson found out she still owed $5,200. She and her
parents hadn't realized the federal aid wasn't enough to cover expenses, even with a discount under
Wisconsin's tuition reciprocity agreement with Minnesota.
The award letter had provided a Web site to use to compare private lenders, but the semester's
expenses weren't listed on the letter. Gustafson had to either come up with thousands in cash or get
She applied with about a dozen lenders but was denied all around. Financial aid counselors advised her
mom to apply for a federal parent PLUS loan, which was denied because of the bankruptcy. That
made Gustafson eligible for an extra $2,000 per semester in federal aid, but she still owed $3,200.
There was nothing more the financial aid office could do.
"It's difficult if you don't . . . understand all the terms, and you don't . . . "It's difficult if you don't
know how to ask the right kinds of questions," said Connie Gores, vice president for student life and
development at Winona State. "I think we need to be vigilant to make sure they do understand this
complex area. I think also, though, in some cases, it might not be possible" to meet students' full
Gustafson realizes now she misinterpreted things, but that didn't stop her from feeling crushed.
"I was just thinking, OK, well, college is done with. I kind of thought schooling was just, like, a
dream," she said. "It was not going to be reality."
It also kills her mom, Terri, to see Rheannon leaving school.
"She's so smart, and I don't want her to get home and then not go back," she said. "It's so depressing
as a parent. Hindsight's 20/20. If I had known then what I know now, I would have started a college
fund. She's got a really good GPA. It breaks my heart."
Rheannon has an 18-year-old brother - a senior in high school who's taking his ACTs next month in
hopes of attending college.
"How are we going to do that?" Terri Gustafson said. "We can't even send I'm trying to tell him maybe
the military." . . . Rheannon.
Students such as Gustafson, whose parents earn about $60,000 a year combined, are at the most risk
right now, said Beatriz Contreras, director of financial aid at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
"The students that we believe are hurting the most are those that have only loans as a resource,"
Contreras said. "These are the students with both parents working in low- to mid-income jobs with
adjusted gross income between $50,000-$60,000. These parents are unable to help their student with
UW-Oshkosh formed a Student Financial Emergency Response Team to help students find alternative
sources of funding or jobs so they don't have to drop out.
The school has seen a 30% increase this year in inquiries and requests for revisions to financial aid
It's one of several colleges and universities taking steps to alert financially struggling students that
options may be available.
After Mount Mary College sent a letter earlier this month urging struggling students to call the financial
aid office, several students came in to talk about their circumstances. One, a senior fashion major who
works full time, said her employer had frozen its tuition reimbursement benefit in the middle of the
semester. Mount Mary gave her a short-term loan, financial aid director Amy Dobson said.
Some families may not realize they may be able to increase their eligibility for federal loans if the
parents can document a loss of income. Parents also can apply for the federal PLUS loan program. If a
parent is denied a PLUS loan, the student becomes eligible for up to $4,000 more a year in federal
Concordia University faculty have been instructed to look out for students in the hallways bemoaning
their financial straits, said Steve Taylor, director of financial aid.
"If you hear students talking like that, make sure you interject to say, " Taylor said. 'Make sure you talk
to financial aid,'
The school had one student whose parents had lost $60,000 of their 401(k) and didn't think they could
support their son.
"I think he's going to be OK. We talked about options," Taylor said. "Our fear is that students are
sitting out there dealing with this by themselves."
Some schools, such as technical colleges and lower-priced public institutions, can see increases in
enrollment during a recession. Still, higher education ex-perts were concerned they would see big drop-
offs in enrollment at some institutions this fall because of the economy.
Although Winona State's enrollment is holding steady, administrators are expecting a coming wave of
students like Gustafson.
"I think we'll probably see more of these," Gores said.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Conference gives further signs that student lenders are struggling
By KELLY FIELD
Friday, December 5, 2008
Arlington, Va. – Anyone looking for further proof that the student-loan industry is hurting could have
found it here on Thursday at the annual student-lending conference of the Consumer Bankers
Last year, 300 industry representatives filled a large conference room at a Ritz Carlton just outside
Washington to hear speakers talk about the fallout from the scandal over lenders' relationships with
colleges and a recent round of cuts in federal subsidies to lenders; this year, only 180 people showed up
for a meeting that presented an even gloomier forecast for the industry.
Asked about the low turnout in an interview, John Dean, special counsel to the association, blamed
travel restrictions that many lenders have put in place to cut costs.
Tom P. Levandowski, senior vice president and assistant general counsel at the Wachovia Corporation,
agreed. "We're all being told, 'No nonessential travel; batten down the hatches,'" he said. "At this point,
we're all feeling around to see where the bottom is."
Things are looking pretty grim for lenders, who have seen their profit margins evaporate over the last
two years as a result of subsidy cuts and continuing turmoil in the credit markets.
Shift to Direct Lending
Since the subprime mortgage crisis seeped into student lending, freezing the market for securities
backed by student loans, more than 168 lenders have exited the federal government's guaranteed-
student-loan program and 38 lenders have stopped making private student loans, according to FinAid,
a Web site that provides information about student aid.
Meanwhile, more than 400 colleges have joined the government's direct-lending program, fearing that
federal loans might become unavailable through the bank-based guaranteed-loan program. In direct
lending, the U.S. Department of Education provides loans directly to students.
Michael C. McFarlane, chairman of the bankers association committee that deals with student lending,
said that it has "become a much bigger task" to persuade lenders to remain in the bank-based program,
which is formally known as the Federal Family Education Loan Program, or FFEL. He said lenders
should acknowledge the difficulties the industry has faced but remind colleges that competition
between direct lending and the FFEL program "has resulted in lower prices and a higher level of
That is a mantra that lenders will have to repeat often in the coming year, as they begin to work with
Barack Obama, who has called for the elimination of the guaranteed-loan program. Spokesmen for
several loan groups said they were working on proposals for restructuring the guaranteed-loan program
to ensure its survival.
"We realize we're going to have to make some changes," said Ron Gambill, chairman of the National
Council of Higher Education Loan Programs. He stressed the importance of taking a "unified"
approach to the process.
"If we don't go to Congress with a single focus, if we each go out there with different programs, we
just lay ourselves open," he said.
One possible approach was offered by Richard D. George, president and chief executive officer of the
Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation, which guarantees and services student loans. He
suggested eliminating all subsidies in the guaranteed-student-loan program and allowing lenders to set
different market rates, subject to a cap that would be set by Congress. He also proposed raising the
amounts students can borrow in federal loans up to the cost of attendance, so students wouldn't have
to take out costlier private loans, and front-loading the Pell Grant so that low-income students would
not have to borrow during their first two years of college.
Some Good News
There was a bit of good news amid the charts showing shrinking profitability and rising costs: So far,
students who are eligible for loans haven't had trouble obtaining them.
"Despite these troubling developments, our members are telling us they're getting the loans they need,"
said Philip R. Day Jr., president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
"We're not getting any reports of systemic problems."
Mr. Day and other speakers credited Congress with "ensuring continued access to student loans," by
passing a law by that name. The law, which was enacted in May, allowed the secretary of education to
buy up loans that lenders have struggled to sell to investors, making more capital available for issuing
"The fact is, we probably wouldn't be here today ... if Congress hadn't the foresight to enact" the law,
said Joe Belew, president of the bankers association. "The act saved the FFEL program."
But that bill, and others that followed it, have done nothing to restore the market for asset-backed
securities, a fact that many speakers acknowledged. That market could be slow to recover because it
was one of the first to be affected by the credit crunch, said Mark J. Weadick, managing director of
Student Loan Capital Strategies, a financial-advisory firm.
"We haven't yet hit the bottom," he said, "but hopefully we do soon."
Jeff Noordhoek, president of Nelnet, one of the nation's largest student-loan companies, was less
optimistic, predicting that the market for securities backed by student loans would never recover fully.
"That market has changed forever," he said. "New pockets of money will have to be found."
Mr. Noordhoek said Congress should make the Education Department's loan-purchase program
permanent, to guard against future crises.
"There ultimately has to be some kind of liquidity backstop in case the market fails again," he said.
The New York Times
College may become unaffordable for most in U.S.
By TAMAR LEWIN
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The rising cost of college — even before the recession — threatens to put higher education out of reach for
most Americans, according to the biennial report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher
Over all, the report found, published college tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007
while median family income rose 147 percent. Student borrowing has more than doubled in the last decade,
and students from lower-income families, on average, get smaller grants from the colleges they attend than
students from more affluent families.
―If we go on this way for another 25 years, we won‘t have an affordable system of higher education,‖ said
Patrick M. Callan, president of the center, a nonpartisan organization that promotes access to higher
―When we come out of the recession,‖ Mr. Callan added, ―we‘re really going to be in jeopardy, because the
educational gap between our work force and the rest of the world will make it very hard to be competitive.
Already, we‘re one of the few countries where 25- to 34-year-olds are less educated than older workers.‖
Although college enrollment has continued to rise in recent years, Mr. Callan said, it is not clear how long
that can continue.
―The middle class has been financing it through debt,‖ he said. ―The scenario has been that families that
have a history of sending kids to college will do whatever if takes, even if that means a huge amount of
But low-income students, he said, will be less able to afford college. Already, he said, the strains are clear.
The report, ―Measuring Up 2008,‖ is one of the few to compare net college costs — that is, a year‘s tuition,
fees, room and board, minus financial aid — against median family income. Those findings are stark. Last
year, the net cost at a four-year public university amounted to 28 percent of the median family income,
while a four-year private university cost 76 percent of the median family income.
The share of income required to pay for college, even with financial aid, has been growing especially fast for
lower-income families, the report found.
Among the poorest families — those with incomes in the lowest 20 percent — the net cost of a year at a
public university was 55 percent of median income, up from 39 percent in 1999-2000. At community
colleges, long seen as a safety net, that cost was 49 percent of the poorest families‘ median income last year,
up from 40 percent in 1999-2000.
The likelihood of large tuition increases next year is especially worrying, Mr. Callan said. ―Most governors‘
budgets don‘t come out until January, but what we‘re seeing so far is Florida talking about a 15 percent
increase, Washington State talking about a 20 percent increase, and California with a mixture of budget cuts
and enrollment cuts,‖ he said.
In a separate report released this week by the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant
Colleges, the public universities acknowledged the looming crisis, but painted a different picture.
That report emphasized that families have many higher-education choices, from community colleges, where
tuition and fees averaged about $3,200, to private research universities, where they cost more than $33,000.
―We think public higher education is affordable right now, but we‘re concerned that it won‘t be, if the
changes we‘re seeing continue, and family income doesn‘t go up,‖ said David Shulenburger, the group‘s vice
president for academic affairs and co-author of the report. ―The public conversation is very often in terms
of a $35,000 price tag, but what you get at major public research university is, for the most part, still
affordable at 6,000 bucks a year.‖
While tuition has risen at public universities, his report said, that has largely been to make up for declining
state appropriations. The report offered its own cost projections, not including room and board.
―Projecting out to 2036, tuition would go from 11 percent of the family budget to 24 percent of the family
budget, and that‘s pretty huge,‖ Mr. Shulenburger said. ―We only looked at tuition and fees because those
are the only things we can control.‖
Looking at total costs, as families must, he said, his group shared Mr. Callan‘s concerns.
Mr. Shulenburger‘s report suggested that public universities explore a variety of approaches to lower costs
— distance learning, better use of senior year in high school, perhaps even shortening college from four
―There‘s an awful lot of experimentation going on right now, and that needs to go on,‖ he said. ―If you
teach a course by distance with 1,000 students, does that affect learning? Till we know the answer, it‘s
difficult to control costs in ways that don‘t affect quality.‖
Mr. Callan, for his part, urged a reversal in states‘ approach to higher-education financing.
―When the economy is good, and state universities are somewhat better funded, we raise tuition as little as
possible,‖ he said. ―When the economy is bad, we raise tuition and sock it to families, when people can least
afford it. That‘s exactly the opposite of what we need.‖
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: December 4, 2008
Because of an editing error, an article on Wednesday about the increasing cost of higher education gave an incorrect context for
two figures: the 439 percent increase in college tuition and fees and the 147 percent increase in median family income since
1982. Those figures were not adjusted for inflation. The error was repeated for the data in an accompanying chart. A corrected
chart appears at nytimes.com/national.
The article also described incorrectly the report for the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education that cited the
figures. It is produced every other year, not annually.
Op-ed: Best branding practices – Avoiding assumptions that miss the media mark
Campaigns that deliver the best results always involve bold leadership and tough decisions
By RANDELL J. KENNEDY
As branding initiatives in higher education have emerged and evolved over the past two decades, the media-
outreach segments of the plans often continue to miss the mark. The reason? The campus professionals who are
responsible for strategic communication are often relegated to a back-seat role in the process, or are left in the
dark until the branding campaign is ready to be rolled out.
My company is often brought in by the president‘s office or by the PR team (or both) after the fact to help a
university refine the key themes identified through branding—and to promote those aspects of a university‘s
essence that move beyond advertising to represent what reporters, editors, and producers will actually consider
for possible news coverage. We review branding plans, integrated marketing initiatives, and strategic
communication plans and we see the same approach over and over again.
While the media-outreach portion of a branding campaign usually represents some of the project‘s greatest and
most ambitious expectations, we find that this part of the plan is rarely developed with significant input from
campus PR professionals, which is a huge mistake. Instead, it is often created by people who do not really
understand how these expectations can be met.
The president‘s or chancellor‘s office, trustees and others often assume that the firms that perform branding
possess a deeper skill set in external communication than the senior members of the campus PR team. Despite
the talents, resources and collective experience that a branding firm brings to the table, this assumption is
typically flawed. Unless they are a very recent hire, senior public relations professionals can provide an insider‘s
perspective with accurate and extremely valuable input for the branding team. They should always be tapped to
work in a partnership as a key player in the branding process.
If approached and executed the right way, branding campaigns can pay huge dividends. They can help an
institution define and showcase its special place in higher education. Additionally, they often reveal specific gaps
that may exist between the impressions of those on and off campus, and the return on investment to obtain this
information and to craft an effective way to use it is generally good.
Because ―branding‖ is such a powerful buzzword, some colleges and universities dive into a branding campaign
for all the wrong reasons, and pursue expensive and overly ambitious branding initiatives that completely miss
the mark. This can alienate key internal and external audiences, including faculty members and alumni.
The best-practice branding efforts typically succeed in answering the question: ―Who are we…really?‖ and then
proceed to deliver a clear and strategic roadmap for colleges and universities to explain exactly what sets them
apart. In positioning an institutional ―brand‖ to the right audiences in the best possible ways, a university‘s brand
identity must be true—and it must also be clear and easy to understand. The best branding campaigns are those
that are not only relevant and powerful, but those that showcase a college or university‘s identity accurately and
consistently, and that really provide them with a long-lasting competitive advantage in the higher education
The most successful branding approaches identify a specific ―North Star‖ that can serve as a guide, a helpful
beacon for integrated marketing, admissions, fundraising, advertising, media relations, and all outreach that
serves to sustain and advance an institution of higher education.
In some cases, simply creating a campaign through which a consistent institutional image can be achieved via
branding is in itself a wise investment of time and resources. This can serve to help a campus streamline and
enhance the look and content of its web presence, as well as gain an otherwise elusive consistency in logos,
letterhead, publications, brochures, and materials for its most important external audiences.
In some cases, smart branding can even go well beyond that, and can generate the type of attention, support, and
understanding that may have been missing—though desired by institutional leadership—for years.
While the media-relations component of a branding campaign represents one of the most strategically important
long-term assets, it frequently becomes the plan‘s weakest link.
Why? This is usually because of the PR or media-outreach recommendations that are not there. Those that
eventually do become incorporated into a branding initiative have usually been generated by those connected
with branding consultants or other professionals, who somehow become tied to the project, who possess little or
no real experience working with the media. They often confuse advertising with efforts to secure story
placement—and this is where many branding initiatives in higher education hit a snag.
In many cases, the recommendations for media outreach fall many miles short of reality. The suggestions offered
in the official final branding document for campus PR initiatives simply don‘t line up with what can realistically
be accomplished. The branding ―action plans‖ often do not mention a strategy to identify and promote
newsworthy themes, stories, messages, or ideas that truly resonate with the type of news media with whom these
schools are seeking to connect.
University leaders should keep this in mind when the topic of media outreach comes up in the first ten minutes
of a discussion with a branding consultant and a half-dozen university administrators, and their senior campus
PR person is not among those at the table. It happens all the time. PR professionals owe it to their educational
institutions to insist that they be involved in the branding effort early on. Those who are already stretched too
thin should ask for and receive the additional support and resources from campus leadership that they need to
play a crucial role in the branding process.
The branding committee might also be hesitant to fact-check—or even fine-tune—the PR or media-outreach
recommendations made in a draft version of the brand strategy document with their PR department, for fear of
alienating the key stakeholders whose input was solicited for the project. The result, then, is often a final
institutional branding document that too often relies on random PR advice, nebulous goals, and off-target
strategies and expectations.
Most campus branding initiatives include a great deal of engagement, and they cast a wide net in obtaining
interviews and seeking input. Usually, the ―key informants‖ whose opinions are solicited for the branding report
include powerful alumni and other influential members of the larger campus community who typically argue that
their institution is the ―best-kept secret‖ in higher education. In many cases, these folks are among the first
recruited to secure resources and promote the need for an institutional branding effort in the first place. Their
views of the university can be quite lofty, and a much-needed reality check is something they may not welcome.
The branding campaigns that deliver the best results always involve bold leadership and tough decisions from the
president‘s office to streamline the process and keep things on track. Best-practice scenarios have typically also
benefited from having a senior campus PR professional help guide the media-relations segment of the initiative.
They understand change and the need for a good look in the mirror. In most cases, they also know their own
campus, its players, programs, specific brand niche, and personality better than anyone else in the world.
Randell J. Kennedy is president of Academy Communications, a Boston-based national consulting agency that represents colleges and
universities. Visit www.academy-media.com.
Getting consumers to spend $150,000 with a viral effort
Colleges change their tactics to appeal to today’s kids
By LENORE SKENAZY
Monday, December 1, 2008
How do you get a consumer to plunk down $150,000 nowadays?
Verrrrry slowly. And with a viral ad.
In fact, the process may take years, says Andy Beedle, CEO of agency abeedle.com. That's because the
consumers are usually about 16 when they start shopping, and 18 when they -- or their parents -- buy. What,
exactly, have they been shopping for all that time?
I'm not in the market yet. But the other day, my 12-year-old, Morry, showed me this funny video clip he'd seen
on one of the free online games he plays. (Yes, we're cheap and we're raising cheap kids.) It showed a really
rotten rapper singing the praises of his college, Roanoke, and getting rejected at mascot tryouts. Morry clicked on
another clip, this one of a redneck also trying out. Rejected. A streaker? Rejected. A goth girl? Rejected. Every
possible stereotype had a 30-second audition in front of a weary, bemused panel of judges à la "American Idol,"
and they all failed delightfully.
"Roanoke College," mused Morry. "I'm thinking of going there. Or M.I.T."
As this was our first college conversation, I had to find out more about this campy campaign. Is this the future of
In a word: yes. "We're a classic liberal-arts institution," said Blair Garland, director of marketing at Roanoke.
("We're not the lost colony," he added.) Despite his college's 166-year history, however, a survey of high school
students aware of Roanoke found that most had no idea what its specialty was. How do you brand a college?
That's where Beedle comes in. His agency specializes in online marketing of colleges. It's a field Beedle grew into
from his own years as a philosophy professor before turning adman/entrepreneur. The way colleges used to
advertise, he said, was through their "view books" -- those brochures featuring college kids studying under a tree
on the quad.
When a student requested the brochure, his name went on the college's recruiting list, and soon he'd be getting
all sorts of correspondence from the school. "You'd get them to try to come visit the campus," said Beedle. "And
then you'd try to get them to apply." It was a long courtship. But when colleges started posting their information
-- and pictures -- on the web, "They wrote themselves out of the sales process. All of a sudden the student
thought everything they needed was there on the web, so they didn't have to get in touch with the school."
When the Roanoke folks called Beedle, they wanted to get high school students interacting with them again.
They also really needed a mascot. (Roanoke athletes have been "The Maroons" since a uniform shortage forced
them wear maroon outfits 100 years ago. Their actual school colors are blue and gold). Beedle's solution: Turn
the hunt into an online contest. Roanoke students portray the funny "Rejected" mascots, but high-school
students are encouraged to send in their own mascot ideas or videos. So far, 300 have. And 30,000 have viewed
the viral campaign. Now the school has all those names to start recruiting.
WildTangent, the company that runs freeonlinegames.com, says Roanoke's campaign is the future of advertising.
Few folks, especially kids, mind watching a short spot while their game loads gratis, said the company's
spokesman, Sean Sundwall. "And it's a lot easier to sponsor a Dora the Explorer game and know exactly how
many people played it, for how long, than to sponsor a TV show not knowing if it was TiVo'd or whatever."
Let's just hope colleges don't advertise on Dora yet. Six years of shopping is enough.
Studies link part-time college faculty to worse education
By MARY BETH MARKLEIN
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
It's no secret that colleges and universities are relying increasingly on part-time instructors or other faculty
who are neither tenured nor on track for tenure. But a flurry of recent studies draw troubling conclusions
about what kind of impact that is having on the quality of a student's education.
A study released today by the American Federation of Teachers, a faculty union, finds that these instructors
— dubbed contingent faculty to reflect their limited-term appointments — are pervasive throughout public
higher education. Not only do they teach many undergraduate courses, they're also teaching "significant
percentages" of classes and students across multiple disciplines.
Meanwhile, other recent studies suggest that over-reliance on these instructors can erode the quality of
education for many students. And a report to be released next week by the Modern Language Association is
expected to raise concerns about what it calls a "rapidly accelerating trend" toward the use of part-timers in
English and foreign-language departments nationwide.
The use of adjuncts is particularly robust at community colleges, where, the AFT study found, 57.5% of
undergraduate courses in 2003 were taught by contingent faculty. That figure was 38.4% at public four-year
schools that offer bachelor's and master's degrees, and 41.8% at public doctorate-granting universities.
The reports stress that contingent faculty are not the problem; rather, they argue that universities fail to
provide adequate resources to support them.
"Part-time faculty, in particular, are miserably compensated, and often have to teach at several institutions
to patch together a living," says AFT president Randi Weingarten. Such an arrangement "shortchanges
students who may not have their professors as available as they would otherwise be."
Researchers last month similarly linked education quality with academic staffing:
A study of California community college students found that as their exposure to part-time faculty
increased, their likelihood of completing associate's degrees significantly decreased. A similar pattern
was found in a study of students pursuing bachelor's degrees in the University of North Carolina
system, says Audrey Jaeger, associate professor at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She was
involved in both studies.
When adjuncts accounted for a substantial share of instructors, full-time professors devoted
significantly fewer hours to preparing for class and advising students. Author Paul Umbach, an
associate professor at NC State, says full-time faculty at schools where part-time ranks are growing may
feel less secure in their job, which "translates into lower levels of commitment and performance."
Colleges typically say they hire contingent faculty to handle enrollment fluctuations, offer special expertise
or fill gaps when full-timers are unavailable.
It's not clear how state budget cuts will affect academic staffing at public universities. Arizona State
University, for example, recently said it was ending contracts with about 200 adjuncts. But over time,
colleges may turn to more part-time faculty as a hedge against uncertainty.
"Universities are going to be reluctant to (hire full-timers) until they're reasonably certain they'll have secure
funding," says David Shulenburger of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant
Colleges, a non-profit representing most large public institutions.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
In bad economy, students worried about internships
By KATHY BOCCELLA
Monday, December 1, 2008
Kelly Pitcher knows how lucky she was to land a prized internship at SAP America Inc. in Newtown Square
After this semester, the business-software giant is putting its internship program on hold, eliminating paid,
on-the-job training for as many as 100 students a year.
"I'm glad I got in before things got bad," said Pitcher, 20, a junior accounting major at Widener University
who worked in the accounts-payable department. "But I'm a little worried because I want to do another co-
op. Depending on where the economy stands, I'm sure it will be harder."
As fear stalks the job world, the crumbling economy is poised to claim yet another set of innocent victims,
according to college and labor experts: students seeking work experience to go along with the book smarts.
With many families facing hard times and the financial-aid budgets of colleges stretched, interest in co-ops
has grown as students look for help with expenses and an edge in landing jobs after graduation. Like short-
term apprentices, they apply what they've learned in class to the real world under the tutelage of
Nationally, participation in co-ops and internships has grown about 10 percent in the last five years, to
250,000 to 300,000 students, earning $8 to $15 per hour, said Peggy Harrier, manager of the Cooperative
Education and Internship Association. More than 4,000 colleges in the United States offer some form of
But as the labor market tightens, industries laid low by the financial wreckage are nipping student workers
from their weakened budgets.
"We're already starting to see a loss of co-op positions," Harrier said. "We expect a roughly 15 percent
decline through the end of the academic year," particularly in the areas of manufacturing, engineering and
Others see a sliver of hope for students looking for experience in an anemic job market, which saw new
claims for unemployment benefits jump this month to a 16-year high. Companies that can't afford to hire
full-time workers may take on more undergraduates at a fraction of the cost.
"Students can still bring talent into their companies at a less expensive rate," said Paul Stonely, president of
the National Commission for Cooperative Education.
But colleges agree on one thing: They're going to have to hustle to tap new job-rich pipelines for their
Drexel University, the region's co-op leader with 4,200 students a year gaining work experience, anticipates
a 97 percent placement rate for the spring session, about the same as last year.
But jobs are slipping away even as the school ratchets up the hunt for new ones, with 150 fewer company
postings for the next co-op session. Earlier this month, the school held an all-day conference to brainstorm
ways of boosting work opportunities as the economy worsens.
"Obviously, co-op employment is connected to the general labor situation," said Peter J. Franks, executive
director of the Steinbright Career Development Center at Drexel.
Rutgers University in New Brunswick is also worried about summer jobs, after a year in which its co-ops
"I think we will see a drop," said Carol Martin Rutgers, director of the cooperative education program for
the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, which offers the most employment at the university.
Interest in co-op has skyrocketed. A fall seminar on the program drew 30 students, more than double the
usual number that attend, she said.
"We haven't seen rock-bottom in our programs yet," said Rutgers. "We had a couple of students in the
veterinary industry that were hired and then told, 'We don't have enough work for you.' But our big
employers, the pharmaceutical and food companies, tend to be recession proof."
Not so the hospitality industry, particularly in Atlantic City, where struggling hotels have frozen student
"Economically, they're all suffering," said Joy Dickerson, director of cooperative education for hospitality
management at Widener, adding that one hotel tried to lay off a student before the school intervened.
A mechanical engineering student at Widener working at a sensing device company in Lancaster was told
her hours were being cut because of low seasonal sales, said Craig Single, director of co-ops for the schools
of engineering and business administration.
The loss of SAP, which employed seven or eight students each semester, was also a blow.
"That was kind of a shock to us. We get into a groove with our companies. We know who's going to hire
and how many. When we have a big company that says they're not going to hire this term, that makes a big
impact on our program. That could be 10 percent of our students," he said.
For Drexel, the cut was deeper, with about 30 students per session working at the company.
SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said the company instituted a hiring freeze that included students last
month as a "precautionary" response to market uncertainty. He said he did not know how long it would
Another big student employer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, which hires 125 students at its Philadelphia and
Harrisburg offices annually, plans no cutbacks, said a company spokesman.
While other hiring may fluctuate, the company maintains its student workers because 70 percent of its
entry-level class comes from that pool.
"It's really to build for the future," said Holly Paul, national sourcing operations leader. "We're looking to
make future managers and future partners."
That's what Kelly Pitcher wants to become, but she knows that in the hypercompetitive quest for jobs, she
will need all the experience she can get to leapfrog over the competition.
In just a few months at SAP, she's already learned a lot about the business world. With rumors of layoffs
and relocation swirling, she said, "everyone is working to the best of their ability just to make sure they get
to stay with the company."
The Post and Courier
Opinion: Heed call for higher-ed summit on wasteful duplications, costs
Sunday, November 30, 2008
South Carolina's colleges and universities collectively sustained one of the biggest hits in the recent
budget cuts and are struggling with a variety of cutbacks, furloughs and hiring freezes. Higher
education should look for ways to use its resources to best advantage in the years to come. That will
require more cooperation and less duplication.
South Carolina State University President George E. Cooper wants college and university officials to
consider a collaborative way to use higher-ed funds. Dr. Cooper recognizes that the state doesn't have
the resources to allow for waste and duplication.
He also recognizes that a university like South Carolina State is likely to emerge with fewer resources in
a funding free-for-all with, say, the University of South Carolina or Clemson. "I'm going to be the
squeaky wheel" for funding reform, he said in a recent meeting with The Post and Courier's editorial
His call for fiscal prudence demands the attention of his counterparts at other colleges, as well as the
new leadership of the Commission on Higher Education.
Dr. Cooper, who took over as president of S.C. State this year, has the benefit of broad experience
elsewhere in higher education. He cites the comparative lack of state support for higher ed in South
Carolina, and the strain it regularly puts on colleges to find other funding, including higher tuition.
The current fiscal crisis underscores the financial challenge. South Carolina universities are dealing with
a mandated 15 percent cutback as a result of the revenue shortfall. In contrast, he notes, North
Carolina's colleges face a 5 percent cutback.
But there's a more systemic problem for South Carolina higher ed, Dr. Cooper says. When the state
has a good economic year, the attitude is "let's spend money like there's no tomorrow."
"Rather than get rid of excess baggage, we're just throwing more on the train," he says.
He recommends partnerships among major universities, aimed at reducing program duplication and
improving collaboration. Dr. Cooper has asked the Commission on Higher Education to help make it
Ken Wingate, recently appointed chairman of the CHE, should be highly receptive to the idea. Mr.
Wingate was previously chairman of the citizens committee, appointed by Gov. Mark Sanford during
his first term, that recommended millions in cost-cutting ideas to the state.
"Why can't we work together on some things?" Dr. Cooper asks.
That's a good question — one that the state's taxpayers would like to hear answered.
U-M saves energy, cash with green computing
Group aims to pull plug on wasting electricity
By KATHERINE YUNG
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Spurred into action by a phone call from Google cofounder Larry Page, the University of Michigan is
on its way to becoming a leader in green computing, hoping to save money and the environment.
The campus-wide volunteer effort, which officially kicked off in March, involves a number of
initiatives designed to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy used to power the school's
80,000 desktop computers, half a dozen data centers and more than 100 server rooms.
Teams of more than 90 U-M students, faculty and staff members are working to purchase more
energy-efficient computers and other technological devices, reduce the number of server rooms on
campus and get everyone to turn off computers and printers when they are not using them and print
only necessary documents.
One group set up a program that allows people to use computer equipment that others no longer
want. Another is looking at switching to systems that allow one computer to do the job of multiple
ones. And one plan involves certifying university departments that meet energy efficiency standards.
"There is such a groundswell of support," said Bill Wrobleski, the director of U-M's technical
infrastructure operations who is leading the effort. "A lot of little things make a big thing."
Not surprisingly, universities use enormous amounts of computing power, particularly top research
institutions such as U-M. Physics students often conduct simulations that require running computers
for days on end.
These kinds of power needs add up. U-M spends about $4.8 million a year on electricity for computers
and other office equipment. This activity generates about 65 million pounds of carbon emissions
The school wants to reduce this amount by 10% by adopting green computing practices, saving half a
million dollars each year.
"It's not just a fad," said Timothy Slottow, the university's executive vice president and chief financial
officer. "There are lots of folks helping us think through how to change behavior."
The school's shift to green computing began in May 2007 when Page, a U-M alumnus, called the
university's president, Mary Sue Coleman, telling her about a nonprofit group called the Climate Savers
Started by Google and Intel last year, the alliance now boasts 338 members, ranging from consumers
and businesses to conservation organizations. It seeks to cut current computer energy consumption in
half by 2010, saving $5.5 billion.
It hopes to achieve this ambitious goal by improving the efficiency of computers' power delivery and
minimizing the amount of energy used by idle computers.
Meeting this target would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 54 million tons a year, an amount
generated annually by 11 million cars, or 10 to 20 coal-fired power plants.
Page sits on Climate Savers' board. U-M agreed to join the group, becoming a founding higher
education member along with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University.
Since then, three other schools have joined.
To launch the effort at U-M, a small group of staff members led by Wrobleski came up with a business
plan for more than half a dozen initiatives. It proved an easy sell to the school's administrators.
Since then, the initiative has drawn so much interest that a team of staff members, including a full-time
project manager, work to support the volunteers.
One of the biggest payoffs so far involved moving some servers from a small room in the basement of
the Fleming Administrative Building to an environmentally controlled data center. The switch is
expected to save the school $94,000 a year in heating and cooling costs alone.
"We think there's dozens of opportunities like that," Wrobleski said.
Green computing is one of about a dozen major efforts U-M has undertaken to become more energy
efficient. It spends more than $100 million each year on utilities, and its demand for power keeps
growing as the school expands.
Energy conservation measures over the last eight years have saved the school more than $10 million,
It's also meeting with school groups, sending e-mails, hanging up posters around campus and bringing
in lecturers to speak about green topics. lt's even considering adding an energy savings reminder to the
little dialogue box that students, faculty and staff see when they log off from university-furnished
The efforts extend beyond the school's campus. It has helped get other Big 10 schools to join Climate
Savers. And in May, the university hosted a recycling event at Ann Arbor's Pioneer High School that
filled 11 tractor-trailers with 145 tons of old computers, printers and other equipment.
Ultimately, U-M hopes all these initiatives will teach students green practices that they can carry with
them throughout their life, said Joan Witte, a spokeswoman.
"It is very beneficial to do these things, and you don't sacrifice performance," she said.
The Huffington Post
The college board crisis
By NICOLAUS MILLS
Monday, December 1, 2008
While the crisis of confidence in the nation's banking system has been capturing headlines this fall, a
second crisis in confidence---this one on the reliability of the standardized tests (SAT and ACT) used
by most colleges and universities in their admissions process---has been going on just below the radar.
This second crisis is no small matter, especially if you are a high school senior trying to get into highly
competitive public or private school.
Every year increasing numbers of students (1.5 million took the SAT in 2007) take these standardized
admissions tests, hoping that high scores will get them into the college of their choice and help them
win scholarships. The pressure to do well on these tests is so great that they have spawned a test
preparation industry in which charges run as high as $1,500 for 24 hours of small-group tutoring and
between $150 and $750 an hour for one-on-one tutoring.
Colleges, fearful of losing out to rivals or not getting a high ranking in the widely read, annual U.S.
News & World Report on higher education, have also gotten caught up in the test-preparation
sweepstakes. This year Baylor University in Waco, Texas, offered its incoming freshmen a $300 credit
at its campus bookstore if they retook their SAT's, and Baylor students who raised their test score by
50 points were rewarded with a $1,000-a-year merit scholarship.
Behind this crisis over standardized testing is the growing belief, as William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of
admissions at Harvard, observed, that standardized tests are "incredibly imprecise" at measuring
academic ability and predicting how well a student will perform in four years of college. This fall at the
annual meeting of the 11,000-member National Association for College Admission Counseling
(NACAC), the doubts of admissions directors such as Fitzsimmons took center stage. NACAC
members were, however, willing to do more than just voice their doubts about the reliability of
standardized tests and the special burden they place on students from the socio-economic groups that
do poorly on them. NACAC members talked at length about taking steps that in the future would
reduce the role that standardized tests play in college admissions.
The question for the NACAC and for students across the country is, what to put in place of the tests?
An "A" in a suburban high school or an elite prep school can be very different from an "A" in an
inner-city high school, where half the students drop out by their senior year.
At the college in which I teach, the answer we hit upon several years ago was to go cold turkey with
regard to standardized test scores. We stopped asked for them, starting with the high school graduating
class of 2005, and we have not looked back. We find that we are getting just as good students as we got
when we used standardized tests, and we are benefiting from reaching out to students for whom our
emphasis on grades, teacher recommendations, and writing samples is especially appealing.
At its annual meeting the NACAC took a middle-of-the road stance on standardized testing. While few
of its college admissions directors were willing to commit themselves to going test-optional in the
future, they were prepared to consider reducing their reliance on standardized tests represented by the
SAT AND ACT. In its 2008 report, the NACAC underscored its belief that these standardized tests
"should not be considered as sole predictors of true college success" but instead viewed as one of
many indicators of a student's potential.
There is every reason to see this middle-of-the-road step as a good beginning. The original idea behind
standardized testing for college admissions, as Nicholas Lemann pointed out a decade ago in "The Big
Test," was to expand the pool of college students, and in 2008 we are only building on history if we
take that original idea further.
The catch is that we need to keep in mind that fixing our standardized testing problem, like fixing our
broken banking system, cannot be done on the cheap. If colleges and universities are going to move
past their current, undue reliance on standardized testing, they are going to have to invest more money
in their admissions procedures and staffs.
For schools with freshmen classes under 500, such an adjustment should be a smooth one. But for
schools with freshmen classes numbering in the thousands, such change will be difficult if they are to
avoid creating unwieldy admissions bureaucracies. The good news is that if colleges and universities
can break the hold that standardized testing has on them, they will not just become more diverse. They
will increasingly find themselves enrolling students with skills and interests that once went
Nicolaus Mills, a professor of American Studies at Sarah Lawrence College, is author of "Winning the Peace: The
Marshall Plan and America's Coming of Age as a Superpower."
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Despite alcohol crackdown, the party goes on
By ROBIN WILSON
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Frostburg, Md. – Early this semester, Jonathan C. Gibralter traveled to Washington, D.C., to accept an
award for cracking down on student drinking at Frostburg State University. But within days, Mr. Gibralter,
Frostburg's president, was already wondering whether he should give it back.
The night after Mr. Gibralter returned from Washington, a Frostburg freshman landed in the hospital with
alcohol poisoning. The 18-year-old had been drinking Everclear grain alcohol mixed with juice at an off-
campus party and nearly died.
"I actually had the feeling I didn't deserve the award," says Mr. Gibralter, who was chosen over 17 other
college presidents for the national honor bestowed by higher-education associations and anti-drinking
What happened at Frostburg illustrates how difficult it is to wipe out dangerous drinking on college
campuses even when the president makes it a top priority. Since Mr. Gibralter came to this rural campus in
the Appalachians two years ago, he has tried to erase its party-school image. He has cracked down on
boisterous off-campus parties, reached out to city police — who have stepped up their patrols — and
written letters to parents and students about the problem. His goal is to reduce underage and binge
"I'm not a vigilante against alcohol," he says. "I just don't want a student to die."
Students here are well aware of Mr. Gibralter's campaign. But they say that while they may be quieter now
about their partying — holding smaller gatherings with friends as opposed to big, open-door bashes — they
are drinking just as much as they ever have. Alcohol, they say, is simply part of college life. And they doubt
that President Gibralter or anyone else can do much to change that.
"It used to be you'd pay $3 at the door and in five minutes, you were down drinking in the basement," says
Andrew, a senior, explaining the house-party scene before Mr. Gibralter became president. "Now, at parties
you only let in people you know. If kids are looking to have fun and drink, they're gonna do it whatever way
Frostburg is one of 11 four-year colleges in the University System of Maryland. Known to students as "the
'Burg," it is a campus that many have chosen as a last resort, when their grades and standardized-test scores
haven't been good enough to qualify them for the state's flagship, the University of Maryland at College
Located less than a mile off Interstate 68, which runs through rural western Maryland and on into West
Virginia, Frostburg sits at an elevation of 2,070 feet and can get 50 inches of snow a year. Many of the
students here are outdoor enthusiasts, and it isn't unusual to see an undergraduate practicing his bow-
hunting on a life-size replica of a deer.
Because of its remote location, though, students say there is not much to do at night besides party. The
university, with its 5,215 students, is the biggest thing happening in the town. Pittsburgh, the nearest large
city, is 100 miles away. There is a tiny movie theater here, a few stores on Main Street, and a half-dozen bars
within walking distance of the campus.
The major social scene takes place on a few streets just off the campus, where most of the university's
upperclassmen live in closely spaced rental homes.
It was outside a party at one of those houses on Maple Street where a local man was nearly killed in
September 2006, a month after Mr. Gibralter began his presidency here. The 45-year-old man was walking
home from work when he was punched in the face by a student who walked out of the party. The man fell
backwards and smacked his head on the curb. He went to the hospital in critical condition, and for a while
Mr. Gibralter and others on the campus thought he might die.
The next weekend, local police raided another off-campus party that was overflowing with students, issuing
86 citations for underage drinking.
Mr. Gibralter says he was stunned by the two incidents. He hadn't known much about the party scene at
Frostburg before he came. But he was haunted by the memory of a fatal alcohol-fueled incident in 1989.
Back then, he was an assistant professor of social science at the State University of New York A&T College
at Morrisville, and his wife ran an alcohol-prevention program for students there. She told him that the
college's president needed to do something to stem student drinking or someone would die. Mr. Gibralter
relayed her concerns to the president. But a few weeks later, one of Mr. Gibralter's own students fatally
slashed another student with a knife at an off-campus party where both of them had been drinking.
"I knew I would never see him again," Mr. Gibralter says of his student, "and his life would never be the
Now that he is president of Frostburg, Mr. Gibralter is determined not to let something like that happen on
his watch. He admits that right after the incidents in September 2006, his first impulse was to make
Frostburg alcohol-free. "I have the authority and the ability and the will to do that," he says.
But he didn't want to punish the entire student population because of the actions of a smaller number of
students. And besides, he says, "I don't believe that completely outlawing alcohol would change the
situation for students who binge drink."
In fact, some college presidents think the wisest move may be to lower the drinking age. More than 100 of
them have joined a campaign called the Amethyst Initiative, saying colleges' efforts to combat underage
drinking just aren't working and have actually encouraged "a culture of dangerous, clandestine 'binge
But Mr. Gibralter, who didn't endorse the Amethyst Initiative, says he isn't ready to give up trying to
combat underage drinking. After the incidents here in 2006, the president responded forcefully. He issued a
"zero tolerance" policy for underage and binge drinking both on and off the campus.
And he held a universitywide forum to explain the policy, which states that all drinking infractions, even
those that students commit off the campus, will be prosecuted through the campus's judicial system, and
that students' parents will be informed. The university has stepped up communication with local police so
that, unlike in the past, it now learns of all off-campus infractions.
Students weren't happy with the new rules, and one of them stood up during the forum to tell Mr. Gibralter
so. "He said, 'I came to Frostburg State because I knew it was OK to drink here, and if you are going to
crack down on that, I'm going to leave and I'm going to tell my friends not to come here,'" the president
remembers. Mr. Gibralter says it took all his reserve not to respond: "There's the door."
The president also regularly talks to first-year students and their parents during freshmen orientation. "I
stand in front of them and say, This is what's going to happen: 1,700 students nationwide are going to die
from alcohol abuse this year and are never going to come home."
That kind of involvement by a president is unusual, and it is part of what won Mr. Gibralter the leadership
award. But Brandon Busteed, founder of Outside the Classroom, a company that combats high-risk
drinking, and which helped sponsor the award, isn't surprised that Frostburg still has trouble with alcohol.
"Even on campuses that are doing some of the best work," he says, "the issue is still such a big problem
that all of us are a heartbeat away from potential disaster."
Progress Has Been Made
Frostburg has seen some progress since Mr. Gibralter took over as president. Off-campus alcohol citations
have decreased by nearly 40 percent — from 245 in the 2006-7 academic year to 150 in 2007-8.
Administrators have successfully encouraged the local Liquor Control Board to pressure some bar owners
to stop offering all-you-can-drink specials.
And by working with law-enforcement and local civic groups, which now check with the university before
agreeing to rent their buildings to Frostburg students for large parties, the university has been able to stop
some beerfests before they begin.
The Chronicle did talk with some students who say they don't spend their free time drinking. Melinda Croft is
a senior and president of the Burg Peer Education Network, which promotes alternatives to drinking. She
turned 21 last month, and, like every year, she spent her birthday at a Denny's restaurant, which serves no
alcohol. She and her friends don't need alcohol to have fun, she says: "We listen to music, watch movies,
and just hang out."
But Mr. Gibralter knows many students here aren't like Ms. Croft. He is reminded of that every morning on
his drive to the campus, where he sees beer cans overflowing in the trash bags outside homes on Bowery
Earlier this semester, a Chronicle reporter spent a Thursday evening talking with students at their houses
along Bowery Street and at the Acropolis Restaurant & Lounge, which locals call the Diamond Lounge, on
Main Street. Although most agreed to give only their first names, they were open and friendly and eager to
explain the effect they thought Mr. Gibralter's campaign has had on their social lives.
Brent, who is in his fifth year as an undergraduate at Frostburg, says he hasn't changed his drinking habits at
all. And he offers a quick chronology of his day to prove it. He had a beer with his cereal at 9 a.m., he says,
then watched Pure Country music videos on TV, then went to his first class of the day — advanced
finance. At 12:30 he chugged a Keystone Light beer, then another, then went to a lab at 1 p.m. After that,
he says, he downed six more beers before going to his advanced tax class at 3:30. In the early evening, he
played Frisbeer, a drinking game. By the time Brent meets a Chronicle reporter around 7 p.m., he figures he
has had around 16 beers and a whiskey drink.
While Brent is relating his day, Mark, a 22-year-old wearing a black North Face jacket, is waiting to talk
about an incident last spring that nearly got him kicked out of the university. Frostburg took students on a
sightseeing trip to New York City, and on the bus ride there, Mark and a buddy each drank a fifth of vodka.
In New York, he says, "we got off the bus and started buying beer and chugging." The young men
proceeded to do the same on the way home until the bus driver, who had warned them to stop, pulled the
vehicle over somewhere in Pennsylvania and called the police. Mark and his friend got off the bus and
wandered into a neighborhood. (Mr. Gibralter remembers the incident well, including the telephone call he
got at 3 a.m., saying the young men were missing.) Mark is now on academic probation.
'Never Any Blowouts'
While it is clear that drinking antics have continued even since Mr. Gibralter's crackdown, some students
here say some things have changed. It used to be, they say, that students would get fliers under their
residence-hall doors advertising keg parties.
"You used to know where you were going to go party," says Greg, who is wearing an Alaskan Brewing
Company T-shirt and sitting on his porch when a Chronicle reporter comes by. "Everyone would be there,
and you were pushing your way through to the beer. Now it's word-of-mouth, and there are never any
Cops circle the neighborhood here in the evenings — a police car goes by about every 10 to 15 minutes
while the reporter talks with students on Bowery. But the students say as long as they aren't on the sidewalk
or in the street with an open can of beer, the police won't bother them.
"It's not the keg sitting on the sidewalk anymore," says Mark, the student on academic probation. "It's
inside now, with the door closed."
Students here acknowledge they drink a lot, but several contend it doesn't jeopardize their academic work.
"I have a 3.4, but I still have a really good time," says Andrew, the 21-year-old senior who is sitting on his
porch with friends. "I have a paper due tomorrow for advanced English comp. I'll write it tonight, in an
hour or two." Andrew and his friends offer the reporter a glass of orange soda and vodka while they talk, as
country music plays in the background.
Up the hill on Main Street outside the Diamond Lounge, three sophomore girls are standing around in
short black dresses. They had gotten inside the bar earlier using fake ID's.
Caroline, a 19-year-old blonde with a tongue stud, says she came to Frostburg knowing about its reputation.
"In high school I partied," she says. "That's what I was used to."
Her friend Kaila, a 19-year-old psychology major, says she came to Frostburg from her home, in Baltimore,
"because it was the farthest away I could get from home and still live in Maryland."
But then Brittany, a 19-year-old business major, pipes up. She doesn't want the reporter to think that she
and her friends aren't serious students. "We make sure drinking doesn't affect our schoolwork," she says.
"And we vote." Kaila and Caroline agree. "I'm a great American girl," adds Caroline.
On Thursday nights, the Diamond Lounge sells nine-ounce cups of beer for 10 cents each. Inside the bar,
the basement is packed with students who have written their names in black marker on clear plastic cups.
Chris, a 21-year-old business-marketing major, takes a look around and tells a reporter that about a quarter
of the students he sees are underage.
Since Mr. Gibralter came, says Chris, students at Frostburg have become smarter about drinking. "Partying
hasn't stopped," he says, "it's just changed." After all, the students who come to Frostburg "got just good-
enough grades in high school to get by," he says. "Those are the people who party, and those people are all
"Nobody will ever stop this."
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Terrorism is unlikely to keep U.S. colleges away from India
By KARIN FISCHER
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Last week's terror attacks in Mumbai are likely to do little to cool India's standing as a higher-education
hot spot, international-education experts say.
American colleges have been drawn in recent years to the South Asian country to recruit students, raise
funds, and set up academic and research partnerships. This fall alone, two Ivy League institutions,
Cornell and Yale Universities, separately announced multimillion-dollar efforts to increase their
engagement in India (The Chronicle, October 24 and November 18). And the number of American
students studying there, though still small, has soared.
While they condemned the assaults, which left nearly 175 people dead in Mumbai, India's financial
center, educators agreed the attacks were no reason to quit the country. "In some way, it only
intensifies the need to better understand India," said George Joseph, assistant secretary for
international affairs at Yale, which plans to spend $30-million from its endowment on an ambitious
interdisciplinary effort to build its course offerings and faculty expertise on India.
"A singular event, no matter how awful," Mr. Joseph said, "shouldn't compel us to rethink our long-
India is simply too geopolitically important to ignore, said Stevan Trooboff, president and chief
executive of the Council on International Educational Exchange, which runs overseas-study programs
for students and faculty members, including one under way in Hyderabad, the capital of the southern
Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. "This doesn't fundamentally change the relationship" between
American higher education and its Indian partners, he said.
Officials from other American institutions echoed similar sentiments. The Georgia Institute of
Technology, for example, will press ahead in its efforts to set up an overseas campus in Andhra
Pradesh. (The university first needs the Indian government to pass legislation allowing foreign
universities to operate independently in the country.)
"To be quite frank," said Gary B. Schuster, Georgia Tech's provost and interim president, "a bigger
obstacle right now is the economy."
Safety Measures Taken
Meanwhile, Champlain College took the precaution of closing its Mumbai campus for just one day, on
the advice of Indian authorities, said Michelle Miller, associate provost of the institution, in Vermont.
Champlain's campus in Mumbai, which it operates with a local partner, enrolls about 70 Indian
students in business, hospitality management, and software engineering.
At Wells College, in upstate New York, John Wells, the director of off-campus study, has fielded a
flurry of phone calls and e-mail messages from concerned parents. But—at least thus far—none of the
nine students scheduled to spend the spring semester in Mumbai as part of a Wells program on gender
and development studies have withdrawn. The college, which has no students in India now, will make
a final decision in the next couple of weeks about whether to go forward with the program in January,
Mr. Wells said.
Madeleine F. Green, vice president of the Center for International Initiatives at the American Council
on Education, said she expected the terror attacks to have little effect on American students studying
in India. For one thing, she points out, that number remains fairly low. Just 2,627 Americans studied in
India in the 2006-7 academic year, according to the Institute of International Education. But India also
saw one of the largest percentage increases in students from the United States, up 24.2 percent.
Far more Indian students, as well as faculty members, come to study at American universities. "There's
no reason to think that will be disrupted," Ms. Green said.
Still, officials at some American universities said the terrorist strikes might lead them to be even more
deliberate in their actions in India. Duke University will do a "finer analysis" in the coming weeks to
see what effect the attacks might have on its decision to send students there, said Michael J.
Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations. Duke's Fuqua School of
Business announced an ambitious plan this year to set up five overseas campuses, including one in
Cornell's president, David J. Skorton, said the attacks show "how much more interaction is needed
between different cultures."
"This is not a time to retrench from our partnerships," Dr. Skorton said in an interview with The
Chronicle on Monday. The university is, however, reassessing plans various officials had to visit India in
the near future. "We do believe that our India colleagues have a lot on their hands right now," he said.
"We may wait to pursue those plans, but we will continue to be active partners."
For Cornell officials, many of the scenes of carnage played out in a site that was all too familiar, the Taj
Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai. A delegation from the university, led by Dr. Skorton, stayed there
on a trip last year (The Chronicle, March 2, 2007).
The hotel is owned by Ratan Tata, an Indian industrialist and Cornell University alumnus who recently
donated $50-million to his alma mater to help recruit top Indian students to the campus and to
support joint research projects with Indian universities in agriculture and nutrition.
Dr. Skorton said he reached Mr. Tata last week "to make sure that he and his colleagues were all right."
Jeffrey J. Selingo contributed to this article.
Counselor: Sleep class necessary for some college students
Monday, December 1, 2008
Newswise — By the time students get to university, they should have about 18 years of sleeping practice
under their belts and be experts in the field, right?
When the time comes for higher education, odd hours, late night parties and studying for tests can wreck a
student‘s sleeping habits, said Bryan Duncan, a counseling psychologist at Texas Tech University‘s Student
Wellness Center. And those bad sleeping habits can bleed into adult life.
The National Sleep Foundation‘s 2008 Sleep in America poll reported American‘s work nine hours and 28
minutes on average, but spend only six hours and 40 minutes actually sleeping. NSF recommends getting at
least seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
―No doubt about it, college is definitely one of the places where people learn bad sleeping habits,‖ he said.
―There isn‘t the structure in college that you have when you‘re in high school. One of the biggest problems
is fluctuating sleep. Students may have class at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but start at 8 a.m. on
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This is really disruptive in terms of getting your sleep.‖
Because of this, Duncan instructs an Improving Your Sleep Habits class that teaches students how to be
more effective sleepers. The workshops take place one hour a week for four weeks.
―It‘s easier to get thrown off than to get back on schedule with your sleeping habits,‖ Duncan said.
―Getting into a pattern is usually the hardest part.‖
Stress from school, personal problems, studying and partying all night can cause bad sleeping habits, he
said. Duncan tries to teach his students how to handle stresses during the day, or looks at possible
psychological issues to alleviate worries that may cause sleeplessness.
―When students come here, their sleeping patterns have changed a great deal and it‘s impacting their daily
lives,‖ he said. ―Some people try to self-medicate with sleeping pills or alcohol. Sometimes, it‘s lifestyle
issues standing in the way of getting enough sleep. We look at all of these things and try to get students
back on track.‖
His clients have three basic problems: Either not enough sleep, too much sleep, or restless sleep that‘s
―One of the biggest problems is naps. Naps get in the way of a healthy pattern. I joke with my clients that
‗you are 20 years old. You don‘t need naps.' Generally, I get them to practice good sleeping patterns for
about two weeks, and then it‘s habit for them. ‖
While getting good sleep might not fix all the problems students face, it will definitely give them an
academic edge, he said.
―Well, it can help them get to class, and there‘s a definite correlation between attendance and better grades,‖
he said. ―Also, people who don‘t get enough sleep are at greater risk for problems such as obesity, diabetes,
psychological distress and death in a motor vehicle accident.‖
The Chronicle of Higher Education
What universities can do to graduate more minority Ph.D.’s
By DAVID GLENN
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Washington – Universities have long rued the stark disparity between minority students' share of the
population and their share of Ph.D.'s, especially in engineering and the sciences. And three decades'
worth of efforts by private foundations and federal agencies seem to have had only sporadic positive
effects. But in a session here Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Council of Graduate Schools,
three scholars said there is no legitimate reason for universities to give up on diversifying doctoral
education. Successful models are out there, the scholars said, and ought to be imitated.
In a nutshell, the panelists' advice was: Think broadly.
If universities want to diversify their doctoral programs, the scholars said, they should improve the
academic climate for all of their students, not just for minorities. Universities should consolidate and
coordinate the support that is offered by foundations and federal agencies, rather than relying on a
hodgepodge of small diversity-related grants and programs. And universities should work together
with their regional peers—and even with local school districts—rather than trying to solve the problem
on their own.
"Diversity programs can only be successful if the climate for all students is a good one," said Janet C.
Rutledge, interim vice provost for graduate education at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
Ms. Rutledge's campus is among the 29 institutions participating in the Council of Graduate Schools'
Ph.D. Completion Project, a seven-year effort to reduce attrition among doctoral students (The
Chronicle, September 19). She said that the mere act of carefully measuring their attrition rates had caused
many programs on her campus to be more thoughtful about recruiting, training, and overseeing their
students. And students from underrepresented minority groups, she added, have disproportionately
benefited from those changes.
Daryl E. Chubin, director of the Center for Advancing Science & Engineering Capacity, a project of
the American Association for the Advancement of Science, agreed that paying even modest attention
to attrition patterns could pay huge dividends.
"Why do people leave graduate programs?" he asked. "I've always found this to be interesting and
alarming. An institution has already decided at the admission stage that an individual is prepared to
complete a Ph.D. So the preparation is there, at least nominally, and the interest is there—and yet
people don't finish."
Climate Change in Doctoral Programs
In some cases, Mr. Chubin said, explanations for attrition are benign. But too often, he argued,
students leave because a doctoral program's climate is unnecessarily punitive and alienating. In too
many science programs, he said, "there is a sort of pride about not allowing students to complete—
about how hard it is and how not everyone can be an X." Instead, he said, programs should take pride
in ensuring that all of their students succeed.
Twenty years ago, officials at Ms. Rutledge's campus created the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program, a
widely praised effort to improve undergraduate minority students' participation in the sciences (The
Chronicle, June 1, 2007). In 2002 the program was expanded to the doctoral level. Since then, she said, in
science and engineering doctoral programs on her campus, the number of entering students from
underrepresented minority groups has increased by 44 percent, and the number of doctorates awarded
to such students has increased by 45 percent.
Students who participate in the program, Ms. Rutledge said, must be prepared for intrusive mentors.
"Like it or not, we are going to be in your business, monitoring your progress," she said. "That's a
condition for receiving this money."
The Meyerhoff program is open to students of all races, in part because of legal challenges to racially
restrictive programs (The Chronicle, October 25, 1996). Broadening the project, Ms. Rutledge said, has
"turned out to be a wonderful thing—because what we're getting is students from across the spectrum
who have a full understanding of the importance of diversifying the science work force."
Ms. Rutledge and her colleagues recently published a paper that sketches 10 lessons that the Baltimore
County campus has learned about diversifying its doctoral-student body.
Duane K. Larick, interim dean of the graduate school at North Carolina State University, described a
statewide project, known as Opt-Ed, in which universities and school districts collaborate to encourage
minority students to earn advanced degrees in science.
"Leveraging and utilizing our combined resources is really a critical part of making this work," Mr.
Larick said. Grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and
private foundations have all been coordinated within the program, he said.
One of the project's central features is an annual conference and science fair that brings together
students from middle schools, high schools, undergraduate programs, and doctoral programs. "The
opportunities for mentoring and building bridges are remarkable," he said.
Ideally, Mr. Larick said, a minority student might encounter the program in high school and be
encouraged to attend college, then take advantage of intensive summer research programs as an
undergraduate, and finally enter a Ph.D. program and participate in mentoring and faculty-
development projects during that phase.
All three scholars said that more research needed to be done on the effectiveness of various efforts to
diversify doctoral education. Mr. Chubin noted that a 2004 analysis found that dozens of such
programs had never been carefully evaluated. Privacy laws should not be interpreted in ways that make
it impossible to track students' progress over time, he said.
"We are underutilizing a lot of the talent in this country," he said. "A lot of people will reply, Well,
over all, there's no shortage of Ph.D.'s. And that's true. But this is not simply a supply-and-demand
question. Women and underrepresented minorities are not participating in the sciences anywhere close
to their representation in the general population."
The Chronicle of Higher Education
On the road to tenure, minority professors report frustrations
By AUDREY WILLIAMS JUNE
Friday, December 5, 2008
Minority professors on the tenure track aren't as satisfied with their academic workplace as their white
counterparts are, says a new report.
Native American junior faculty members, for instance, felt that most aspects of the tenure process were less
clear than did white faculty members, and they were less satisfied with their institution's culture.
"Mixing lack of clarity about the tenure process and criteria with dissatisfaction about the workplace culture
and climate is not a recipe for success," said Cathy A. Trower, research director at the group that released
the report, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, or Coache. It is based at Harvard
University's Graduate School of Education. The report stems from a Coache survey that measures the
attitudes of junior faculty members in several areas, including tenure, the culture of their institution, and
policies and practices. More than 8,500 junior faculty members at 96 institutions answered questions for the
On many questions—including one on whether their academic department treats pretenure faculty fairly
and equally—Native American faculty members were less positive than their white colleagues. On a five-
point scale, with 5 meaning "strongly agree" and 1 meaning "strongly disagree," the mean rating for Native
Americans was 3.33, the lowest of all minority groups surveyed. The mean rating for Asian faculty members
was 3.83, slightly higher than the 3.81 rating from white faculty members. Hispanic faculty members' mean
rating was 3.75, compared with African Americans at 3.6.
African-American faculty members tended to agree with white faculty members on statements related to
work-life balance. But the gap between the two groups widened when they were asked about whether they
agreed that tenure decisions were based mainly on their performance.
White faculty members' mean rating in response to that statement was 3.62, a more positive response than
the mean of 3.23 for African-American faculty members. African Americans also were less satisfied with
Meanwhile, Hispanic faculty members' tended to be just as satisfied as their white peers about key
institutional and departmental variables of climate, collegiality, and culture, the report said.
Respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction with their institution as a place to work on a five-point
scale, with 5 meaning "very satisfied" and 1 meaning "very dissatisfied." The mean for white faculty
members was 3.67, compared with 3.47 for Native American faculty members and 3.65 for Asian faculty
members. The mean for Hispanic and African-American faculty members was basically the same at 3.7.
Minority faculty members were more satisfied with their individual departments than with their institutions,
with the lowest mean rating coming from Native Americans at 3.69. The mean for white faculty members
Would minority junior faculty members choose to work at their institutions if they were on the market
again? Most likely they would. The mean ratings from each of the minority groups surveyed hovered around
4 on the five-point scale.
The full report, "Highlights Report 2008: Selected Results from the Coache Tenure-Track Faculty Job
Satisfaction Survey," can be found on the group's Web site.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Graduate schools seeking international partners need clearer guidelines, educators say
By KARIN FISCHER
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Washington – A growing number of American graduate schools are moving to establish joint-degree
or dual-degree programs with international universities—38 percent of all graduate schools have at
least one such degree or certificate program, according to the Council of Graduate Schools, and 31
percent plan to start one in the next two years.
But as a workshop held Wednesday during the council's annual meeting here made clear, there is much
uncertainty among educators about how to fashion such collaborative agreements, how to promote
them to students and faculty members, and how to evaluate their effectiveness.
"There really is a need," said Daniel D. Denecke, the group's director of international engagement, "to
have more of a national discussion about best practices."
Wednesday's panel discussion featured Mr. Denecke, who is also the council's program director for
best practices, as well as administrators from Clemson University and the University of Michigan at
Ann Arbor, who talked about their experiences in setting up such programs.
In dual-degree programs, which are far more common than joint programs, students take courses and
receive a degree or diploma from each participating college. In joint programs, which are more
complex to arrange, students take courses at both institutions but receive a single degree.
John B. Godfrey, assistant dean for international education at Michigan, said joint- and dual-degree
programs can help American universities build broader institutional relationships with partners abroad,
expand research collaborations, and recruit top-notch students. Michigan offers a joint undergraduate
engineering degree with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, in China, and is working to establish a
program on the graduate level.
But graduate schools need to ask themselves critical questions before signing such agreements, Mr.
Godfrey said. For one, they should articulate exactly how the arrangement meets the strategic
objectives not just of the university but of the graduate school.
They also need to specify how academic disputes will be resolved, how curricula will be developed and
reviewed, and how questions over intellectual-property rights will be settled when research is being
conducted. And Mr. Godfrey said there must be a "translator" at the graduate school who can serve as
an intermediary between administrators and faculty members and who can understand the institutional
and academic culture of the partner university.
"A good idea," he said, "is not always a sound strategy."
James P. Cross, vice provost for international affairs at Clemson, offered cautionary tales about how
even the most well-thought-out agreements can falter. In one case, the university set up a dual
master's-degree program in international management. But the idea for the program was advanced by
administrators, and faculty members have not yet recruited students for it.
In another case, Clemson established a joint doctorate in materials science with the University of
Bordeaux. That program also has struggled to attract students, in part because of differences between
French and American models of doctoral education and in part because of a lack of a feeder program
for American students into the degree.
Encouraging American graduate students to enroll in such a program can be difficult, panelists and
audience members agreed. Although joint or dual master's-degree programs are more common than
doctoral programs, according to a survey by the Council of Graduate Schools, students seeking
master's degrees often hesitate to go abroad because of the relatively short duration of their programs,
Mr. Godfrey said.
Doctoral students may balk if they do not see how the dual or joint degree ties into their research.
Graduate students' dependence on stipends from teaching or research assistanceships also can be a
By far, the largest number of collaborative graduate degree programs are in business, according to the
council, which surveyed its membership about such agreements this summer as part of its annual study
of graduate-school admissions trends (The Chronicle, September 5).
The largest number of partnerships are with European universities, although programs also have been
established in China, India, and South Korea, among other locations.
There's unmistakable interest among graduate schools in dual- and joint-degree programs, Mr.
Denecke said. The share of American graduate schools offering at least one such program jumped to
38 percent from 29 percent a year ago. And at Wednesday's session, there were few empty seats and
plenty of questions for presenters.
Given all the interest, Mr. Denecke said, the graduate-schools association plans to hold focus-group
sessions and issue a white paper on the issue in the coming months.