Tag Archives: colleges

Community college paying $400k in bonus ‘stipends’ to selected officials

Former Chattanooga State Community College President Jim Catanzaro quietly awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional compensation to select professors and administrators and the practice remains in effect, reports the Times-Free Press.

Stipends are a common practice for colleges and school systems, which often pay teachers more for coaching, sponsoring clubs or taking on other additional duties. Those stipends exist at Chattanooga State, but much of the college’s $400,000 in stipends is going to those at the top — sometimes to executives already making six-digit salaries.

Catanzaro resigned in December amid a scandal surrounding his hiring of Chief Innovations Officer Lisa Haynes, who herself had received an $18,000 stipend on top of a base salary of $90,000.

The Times Free Press received a list of the stipends under the state’s open records act.

Altogether, the college was budgeted to spend about $408,000 this year on stipends for the faculty, staff and administration, including:

* Jim Barrott, vice president of technology and technical college director, who receives $22,800 on top of his annual salary of $116,316 for supervising the college’s engineering division, business division and computer center.

* Executive Vice President for Business and Finance Tammy Swenson, who receives an extra $12,000 annually for undefined “additional duties” on top of her $128,430 salary.

* Basketball coach Jay Price, who receives an extra $24,896 in annual stipends on top of his $63,312 salary.

* Baseball coach Greg Dennis, whose $63,383 salary is boosted by an extra $26,000 — $21,000 of which is compensation for field maintenance and fundraising efforts.

…Chattanooga State interim President Fannie Hewlett said she’s looking into all stipends and expects to end some of them as contracts expire this summer. The college is searching for a permanent president, who likely will take over sometime in the summer.

More than 1,000 register to vote on TN college campuses

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — More than 1,000 Tennesseans registered to vote during a month-long drive on college campuses in September.

According to the secretary of state’s office, 23 colleges participated in the campaign in honor of National Voter Registration Month.

Participating schools included public and private colleges, four-year universities and community colleges. Students, faculty and administrators all participated in the effort.

Secretary of State Tre Hargett said in a news release that he was pleased with the response at the colleges. And he said there is still time to register.

People who register to vote by Oct. 6 are eligible to participate in the November elections.

This Year’s Regents Tuition Increases: 1.2 to 7.8 Percent

The Tennessee Board of Regents is considering tuition increases ranging from 1.2 to 7.8 percent for students at Regents-governed colleges and universities this fall, reports The Commercial Appeal.
Those rates were presented by TBR staff as the starting point for discussion by the Board’s Finance and Business Operations Committee last week. The staff will develop its formal recommendations for presentation to the committee on Tuesday. The full Board of Regents meets June 21 to approve tuition and fee increases — usually at the rate the committee recommends.
But if those rates are ultimately approved, it would mean a $419 increase per academic year for a University of Memphis student taking 15 hours and $136 per year for a student at Southwest. U of M students taking 15 hours currently pay $8,234 in tuition and mandatory fees for two semesters and would pay $8,653, excluding residence halls and meal plans. Annual tuition and mandatory fees for a Southwest student taking 15 hours are $3,717 and would rise to $3,853. (Note: The U of M increase would be 5.1 percent.)
The U of M has the highest tuition and mandatory fees (fees that all full-time students must pay) of any of the six Regents-governed universities. The second highest is Middle Tennessee State University at $7,492 per academic year.
However, those rates are lower than the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where tuition and mandatory fees totaled $9,092 during the 2012-13 academic year. The UT Board of Trustees meets June 19-20 to set tuition and fees for its campuses.
;;;The committee discussed tuition and fee increases at the other five universities: Austin Peay State University, 3.3 percent; East Tennessee State, 7.8 percent; MTSU, 4.8 percent, Tennessee State, 1.2 percent and Tennessee Technological University, 5.6 percent.
Increases discussed at the 13 community colleges were 3.7 to 3.8 percent.
The committee also discussed, but did not act on, a possible tuition increase of 0.8 percent for community college students to pay for a $2 million comprehensive marketing initiative for the two-year schools

Chamber Gives TN Colleges a ‘B’ Report Card Average (with A-to-F range)

Tennessee university and college systems got a mixed report card from a business organization, reports the Commercial Appeal, with grades ranging from an ‘A’ in fostering online learning but ‘F’ in another category.
Tennessee was graded an F in one area because of “burdensome” state regulations for the accreditation of schools.
“One of the reasons Tennessee legislators have made it more difficult for Tennessee schools to get approved is the default rate for student loans at for-profit schools is significantly high,” University of Memphis President Shirley Raines said.
The U of M is a public, not-for-profit school with all of its degrees nationally accredited and some internationally.
Tennessee leads the country, however, in policies promoting outcomes-based funding and a common course numbering system that allows students to transfer credits from one campus to another. It was also applauded for its “robust” endorsement of online learning.
The state-by-state report, “Leaders & Laggards,” prepared by a division of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, doesn’t break down data by institution, but the U of M may have helped Tennessee get a B in online learning innovation.
The university provides more online courses than any other public or private institution in the state, according to the report.
Raines said the U of M is focused on “keeping students on track,” an area the report shows needs some attention statewide.
Tennessee’s four-year universities received a D for student access and success. The state is doing well in getting students enrolled in college, with a high percentage of students receiving Pell Grants, but not so well on keeping them there.