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2013 July 8 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Audit: Unreliable Data Used for La. College Tuition Increases

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Nearly 80 percent of community and technical colleges using a program that lets them raise student tuition didn’t provide reliable data to obtain that permission, according to an audit.

The review by Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office echoed findings from a year earlier, which found flaws in data submitted by the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.

The data is used to determine if the schools are meeting performance improvements needed to increase tuition, benchmarks required under a 2010 law authorizing tuition increases of up to 10 percent a year.

Purpera’s office said 11 of 14 community and technical colleges used unreliable fall 2012 student data to get permission to raise tuition from the Board of Regents, which oversees higher education in the state. Regents review the data annually to help determine if the campuses have met their benchmarks and can again raise tuition for the next year.

In a written response to the audit, Louisiana Community and Technical College System President Joe May said the schools had problems shifting to a new software system and were correcting the errors.

“We are aware of these issues and have made great strides to install edit routines that better ensure data integrity,” he wrote. “We do not anticipate repeat issues for the fall 2013 semester.”

  • Kapiolani Students Take Top Prize in Space Contest

HONOLULU (AP) — A team of Kapiolani Community College students won the top prize at an international competition for building and launching a space-related mission.

Team Mod 6 won the Cansat competition last weekend after eight months of preparation. The seven students defeated teams representing top universities from Iran, Canada, India and the United States.

In January, the students presented a 100-page document describing their design to NASA judges. They later launched their final payload on a rocket flying about 2000 feet in the atmosphere above Texas. Afterward they analyzed data collected during the flight.

The Cansat competition is sponsored by NASA, the American Astronautical Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

  • Arkansas College Opts Out of Campus Gun Carry Law

HARRISON, Ark. (AP) — The North Arkansas College Board of Trustees has decided to opt out of a state law that would allow faculty and staff members to carry concealed handguns on campus.

The community college in Harrison is the latest school to opt out of the law passed this year by the Legislature. The Harrison Daily Times reported that Northark’s board decided on a 4-1 vote to not allow the weapons.

The new law says faculty and staff with concealed-carry permits can bring the weapons on campus, unless the school specifically opts out of the law.

Board trustee Jim Milum cast the lone dissenting vote. He says faculty and staff would have to be trained and work with security members to bring the guns on campus.

  • Grand Valley State, Mott CC Reach Deal On Transfers

ALLENDALE, Mich. (AP) — Grand Valley State University has signed a transfer agreement with Flint’s Mott Community College.

The deal means students who transfer to the Allendale school from Mott before earning an associate degree now will have the opportunity to do so.

MLive.com reports the agreement will enable students who earned at least 45 credits at MCC before transferring to earn an associate’s degree.

Grand Valley has similar agreements with 13 other community colleges in Michigan, including schools in Muskegon, Macomb County, Detroit and Traverse City.

GVSU accepts between 1,500 and 2,000 transfer students annually.

  • Bridgeport Cites Dip In Enrollment in Announcing Layoffs

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) — The parent company of Ashford University in Clinton has announced a series of voluntary layoffs due to falling enrollment.

KWQC-TV in Davenport reports the parent company, Bridgeport Education, will cut positions to align its employee base with enrollment.

Total enrollment at the company’s academic institutions, including Ashford, fell to less than 79,000 students this year, compared to nearly 95,000 in the previous year.

Ashford University employs roughly 400 people. University officials declined to say how many they intend to cut, but hundreds have been given the option to voluntarily resign.

Faculty members and certain departments are exempt from the voluntary layoffs. Those resigning will receive three months’ salary as a severance.

  • New Kan. Gun Laws Prompt Colleges To Form Insurance Group

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Three Kansas community colleges have created an insurance consortium in response to higher insurance rates and new laws that allow weapons on campus.

The Independence Community College board of trustees voted last week to join Coffeyville and Neosho community colleges in the consortium. The three community colleges are all insured by EMC Insurance Company, which told colleges last week that it was raising rates in response to a law that allows some guns on campus.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the three colleges will buy a policy from Wright Speciality, which has a neutral stance on the new guns laws. Officials say the policy offers a modest savings in the first year but members believe the savings will grow as more education groups join the consortium.

  • Kentucky Colleges Raise Tuition, Gives Faculty Pay Hikes

CUMBERLAND, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Community and Technical College System Board of Regents has voted to raise tuition by 2.86 percent and give faculty and staff pay raises of 2 percent.

President Michael B. McCall recommended the increases that were approved by regents.

Full-time employees at the state’s 16 community and technical colleges who received favorable performance evaluations will get the 2 percent raises or $1,000, whichever is larger. Tuition for in-state students will rise from $140 to $144 per credit hour.

Board Chairman P.G. Peeples said the colleges continue to be “the best postsecondary education value in the state.”

  • Gillette College Has Strong Showing at National Rodeo Finals

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The Gillette College rodeo team gave a strong showing in the National College Finals Rodeo.

The Gillette College women’s team placed fourth overall led by Jordan Thurston-Miller, who won her second national goat tying title. The Gillette men’s team finished eighth, led by Dayne Kissack, who accounted for 80 points.

In the women’s final standings, Idaho State won the team title, followed by Northeastern Junior College, Tarleton State, Gillette and Southern Idaho to round out the top five. The Wyoming women’s team placed 12th and Central Wyoming 17th.

In the men’s competition, Panhandle State took first, followed by Southern Idaho and Tarleton State. Eastern Wyoming College placed fourth, followed by Hill College. UW finished 25th and Central Wyoming College 53rd.

  • Longtime Arkansas Chancellor Announces Retirement Plans

NEWPORT, Ark. (AP) — The first chancellor of Arkansas State University-Newport is stepping down.

Larry Williams says he will retire Aug. 31 after 12 years of service. He’s served as the only chancellor in the school’s history.

The two-year college has campuses in Newport, Jonesboro and Marked Tree. ASU System President Charles Welch says the search for Williams’ successor begins immediately, and the school hopes to have a replacement hired by Sept. 1.

During Williams’ tenure, enrollment climbed from 500 students in 2001 to 2,160 students this spring. The campus also embarked on several capital projects under Williams’ leadership, including a $3 million transportation technology center and a $3.2 million student community center.

  • Nebraska College Taps ACCT in Search For Next President

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) — The Southeast Community College board will have help in its search for a new president.

Beatrice station KWBE reports that college President Jack Huck intends to retire at the end of June 2014.

The district board decided that an executive team will work on the search with the Association of Community College Trustees.

Huck’s time with the district began in 1975 when he was hired as coordinator of community services. He became chancellor of the college in 1994. The title was changed to president later.

The district serves 15 counties in southeast Nebraska and has campuses in Beatrice, Lincoln and Milford.

  • Second-in-Command Named Acting Chief of Pima CC Police

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Pima Community College has named Manuel “Manny” Amado as its acting police chief. He replaces Stella Bay, who retired after seven years at the Tucson school.

Amado has 25 years of law enforcement experience and has served as police commander at Pima Community since 2004. As commander, he was second-in-command of the college’s police department which has 38 full-time and 22 part-time employees.

School officials say Amado developed Pima Community’s campus watch program and has taught emergency preparedness and workplace safety.

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