Tag Archives: Universities

Two of Seven Regents Universities Lose Money Under ‘Complete College Act’

The University of Memphis and Southwest Tennessee Community College will receive less money from the state in the upcoming school yard than in the current year because of the Complete College Act passed by the Legislature in 2010, reports the Commercial Appeal.
The Memphis schools are the only two among the Tennessee Board of Regents’ six universities and 13 community colleges that the new formula would have cut for the 2013-14 school year if the extra money wasn’t available, according to TBR figures.
The new outcomes-based formula takes into account the colleges’ and universities’ success in such factors as retaining students, advancing them steadily toward degrees and awarding degrees and other credentials. As a result, the schools are placing new emphasis on student success, including tutoring and advising centers.
U of M and Regents officials emphasize that the University of Memphis had positive outcomes under the formula and that the indicated reduction is due to other factors.
U of M faces a $737,300 reduction in its recurring funding from state appropriations for 2013-14 — but a one-time, or nonrecurring, appropriation of $1,976,600 will more than offset that reduction — for one year only.
Southwest Tennessee Community College is losing $2.2 million in recurring state funding and is getting about $1.2 million in nonrecurring funding, for a net reduction from the state of about $1 million. The Board of Regents is expected to approve tuition increases of 3 percent for the community colleges and 6 percent at the U of M later this month, to round out the institutions’ operational funding.
In contrast, the other five Regents universities will receive increased recurring funding from the state ranging from $893,100 at Tennessee State University in Nashville to $3.7 million at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville. And the 12 other community colleges will receive increases ranging from $463,100 at Volunteer State in Gallatin to $4.7 million at Chattanooga State.
TBR figures indicate that when the so-called “hold harmless” money — it holds the campuses “harmless” from funding cuts — ends after the upcoming school year, institutions on the lower end of the outcomes model could face state funding cuts unless the governor and legislature provide real increases in higher education operational funding across the board. They did that this year, for the first time in nearly a decade.
David G. Zettergren, vice president for business and finance at the U of M, said the university is taking several steps to control costs to compensate for state appropriation reductions while continuing to serve students. They include “streamlining, consolidating and reorganizing offices and services,” he said.
Memphis lawyer John Farris, a Board of Regents member and chairman of its Finance and Business Operations Committee, said he’s disappointed with the impact of base funding cuts on the Memphis schools
.

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
.

Ban on ‘All Comers’ Policy at State Universities Goes to Gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal to bar public universities and colleges from implementing nondiscrimination policies for student groups is headed to the governor for his consideration.
The measure unanimously passed the Senate 30-0 on Wednesday. It was approved in the House 75-21 earlier this month.
The legislation does not include private institutions like Vanderbilt University — a provision that caused Republican Gov. Bill Haslam to veto last year’s version. The governor’s office says it’s OK with the current legislation.
Sponsors say the measure is aimed at preventing colleges from creating policies requiring student groups to open membership to all students and allow all members to seek leadership posts.
Christian groups have protested a similar policy at Vanderbilt, saying it forces them to allow nonbelievers and gay students to join. Officials say about 15 student groups have refused to comply with the policy, while 480 have accepted it.

Gresham Bill: Teachers Should Learn Brain Science

News release from Senate Republican Caucus:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) has filed legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly to authorize and encourage coursework in neurological or brain science as part of teacher training programs at the state’s public colleges and universities. Gresham said leading education experts agree that knowledge about the brain is essential for educators at all grade levels as an important part of understanding how students learn.
“Evidence continues to mount that there is great benefit for our teachers to have a rudimentary course on how the human brain works,” said Senator Gresham. “Neuroscience gives us much information to help us adapt learning technology to meet many challenges that face teachers today in trying to raise student achievement. A basic understanding of how the brain works helps teachers not only identify student difficulties, but gives them more information to support families in taking appropriate steps to overcome these challenges.”
Gresham said Senate Bill 59 also promotes coordination between educators and neuroscientists in Tennessee. She supports the establishment of a knowledge exchange network, which would provide cutting edge research regarding proven neurology-based approaches for teaching students.
Research shows remarkable new information regarding the brain’s function during adolescence that experts maintain have implications for everyone working with teenagers. This research includes new findings regarding the effect of sleep deprivation in adolescence. There are also new breakthroughs in understanding how long-term memories are created, which have implications for student learning
“Teachers face many barriers, from adolescent sleep deprivation to learning difficulties like Dyslexia and Dyscalculia,” said Gresham. “Tennessee has incredible scientific resources within our universities and elsewhere that we can tap into to better understand how we can utilize new discoveries to address such barriers. I am very excited about the opportunities that this legislation offers to increase student achievement.”

Committee Says ‘No’ to College ID for Voting

A bill to make college student cards valid identification for voting was killed Tuesday by Republicans who said the cards are already being used too often for fraudulent purposes.
The state law that took effect Jan. 1 to require a photo ID issued by state or federal government for voting excluded college cards, including those issued by state universities.
Democratic Rep. Joe Pitts of Clarksville, sponsor of the bill, said the current law wrongfully excludes college students who might not have a driver’s license, but have met all other qualifications for voting.
“We should be encouraging young people to vote, not discouraging them,” he said.
But House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, said he understands that many students already obtain fake student ID cards to buy alcohol when underage, “not that my 21-year-old angel (daughter) over at UT would ever do anything like that.”
Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland, a former deputy sheriff, recalled a case of a youth using a college ID to buy alcohol, then becoming involved in a fatal accident. He said the validity of a driver’s license can be readily checked by law enforcement and others, but a college ID cannot.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner of Nashville rejected the Republican suggestions that students would use a fake college ID to vote.
“They might swap college IDs around to buy beer,” he said. “But vote fraud is a felony. A lot of young people like me, but they’re not going to go to prison to vote for me.”
Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, said that if colleges and universities could be trusted to educate young adults, they can also be trusted to issue valid ID and do so now with “campus security” in mind.
All six Democrats on the House State and Local Government Committee voted for HB2730 while 11 Republicans voted against it.