A summary listing of higher-ed-related news from around the nation
Ill. College To Offer Degree in Fracking
ROBINSON, Ill. (AP) — A southeastern Illinois community college plans to offer a petroleum drilling technology degree program this fall that is aimed at preparing graduates for careers in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Illinois signed off on long-awaited rules to govern the highvolume oil and gas drilling process within its borders last year, and Lincoln Trail College President Kathryn Harris said state officials have approved the school’s petition to start offering the associate degree.
“Fracking is coming to Illinois soon, and that will mean good jobs. This program will help people get skills they need to find jobs in the field,” Harris said.
The school said the new degree program will focus on horizontal fracking practices and will prepare students for jobs in planning, development and the operation of oil and natural gas extraction and processing facilities.
Lincoln Trail College is in Robinson in Crawford County about 40 miles south of Terre Haute, Indiana.
Special Audit Clears Santa Fe Community College
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Auditors noted some previously disclosed problems with Santa Fe Community College’s finances but concluded that allegations of mismanagement weren’t substantiated.
A special audit conducted by an accounting and consulting firm for the Office of the Auditor General stems from allegations made by former college President Ana “Cha” Guzman after she was fired by the college’s governing board.
The audit report listed findings that included previously reported overspending and missing documents but concluded that the college “complied in all material respects” with appropriate financial requirements for fiscal years 2009 through 2012.
Current college President Randy Grissom says that clears the college.
The college’s board agreed to pay Guzman $500,000 last March to drop a lawsuit she filed against the college under whistle-blower protection laws.
S.D. College Gets $450K for New Equipment
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A community college in western South Dakota will use more than $450,000 to purchase new equipment.
The Rapid City Area School Board approved the financial addition to its budget for Western Dakota Technical Institute. President Mark Wilson says the money will come from prior federal and state grants.
The money will be used to purchase equipment for the Information Technology Department, mannequins for medical classes and other items.
The Rapid City Journal (http://bit.ly/1BKKVUg ) reports the school also is seeking approval from the state for an expansion on its campus.
Two years ago, the state Legislature approved bonding for the expansion of the school’s campus in Rapid City.
Mo. College Gets Land Donation For Expansion
REPUBLIC, Mo. (AP) — Ozarks Technical Community College officials are discussing how to use 7.6 acres of land recently donated to the school in southwest Missouri.
Chancellor Hal Higdon says it will be at least a year before the college chooses a use for the land near Republic.
The land was donated by one of the Lester E. Cox companies, owned by the Bussey, Cox and Lipscomb families. The property is worth at least $1 million.
The college is based in Springfield but has campuses between Ozark and Nixa and in Hollister, as well as learning centers in Lebanon and Waynesville.
N.M. College Warns of Likely Budget Cuts
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The president of the community college serving the Albuquerque area says fiscal belt-tightening might have to include cuts of lowenrollment classes.
Central New Mexico Community College President Kathie Winograd told employees and staff that she believes proposed increases in state funding are optimistic and that higher education could actually face funding cuts.
According to the Albuquerque Journal (http://goo.gl/mdzDEC ), Winograd’s emailed message asks employees to turn off lights at night and to urge people to take classes at the college because its state funding is based partly on enrollment.
Winograd also says travel will be limited and that hiring and capital projects will be carefully scrutinized.
Falling oil prices have prompted state officials to scale back revenue estimates based partly on energy taxes.
Proposed Ind. Medical Campus Gets Boost
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — About $19 million for a planned medical school campus in downtown Evansville is included in Gov. Mike Pence’s state budget proposal.
That money toward Indiana University’s portion of the project is part of the $50 million that IU and other state-supported schools involved in the project have requested from the state.
While the General Assembly could change that funding amount, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says Pence’s proposal is a great starting point. Winnecke tells the Evansville Courier & Press (http://bit.ly/1w3mPPM ) that IU’s portion is the project’s cornerstone and needs to be funded first.
IU, the University of Southern Indiana, Ivy Tech Community College and the private University of Evansville are all planning to offer health care-related programs at the campus that would cover about six city blocks.
New Campus on Drawing Board For Delta CC
MONROE, La. (AP) — Jackson Parish, whose residents have had to travel outside their boundaries to access Louisiana Delta Community College, will soon have its own campus.
Delta Chancellor Barbara Hanson tells The News-Star (http://tnsne.ws/1AueEBb ) the project was made possible through a 2013 law handled by hometown state Rep. Jim Fannin, R-Jonesboro, who is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
She says the law allowed for the sale of more than $251 million in bonds to provide 29 community and technical college facility projects throughout the state.
She says the Jackson Parish campus will be located in a former factory in Jonesboro following a $3 million renovation.
Hawaii College Sees 8 Percent Enrollment Dip
PUHI, Hawaii (AP) — University of Hawaii Community Colleges say there’s been an 8 percent drop in students at Kauai Community College.
The Garden Island reports (http://is.gd/6ZOtmA) 1,182 students were counted at the Puhi campus, a drop from 1,289 students at the same time last year.
Earl Nishiguichi is the vice chancellor for student affairs. He says the numbers could still increase.
He says they are waiting on Early College paperwork from high schools.
Ivy Tech Can’t Reach Deal on Buying Building
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A South Bend building that once housed the College Football Hall of Fame is back on the market after a purchase agreement between the city and Ivy Tech Community College expired.
City economic development chief Scott Ford tells the South Bend Tribune (http://bit.ly/14uZLDX ) the parties couldn’t find “an economic model that made sense” for South Bend’s taxpayers.
Ivy Tech had planned to use the 52,000-square-foot building that’s been valued at $2.68 million to house its culinary arts program.
The school entered into a purchase agreement with South Bend in April and extended it in October to allow the city to entertain other offers for the building.
The building has been largely vacant since the museum closed at the end of 2012 as the Hall of Fame moved to Atlanta.
W. Va. College Gets Grants for New Programs
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) —West Virginia University at Parkersburg is receiving grants for new broadcasting and health informatics programs as well as faculty development.
The funds totaling more than $363,000 were approved by the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia.
Officials say the majority of the funding will be used for the new degree programs. One of the programs provides a career pathway in broadcast journalism.
The money also will find a new certificate and associate of applied science in health informatics. The program combines health care, information technology and business administration.
Ex-Pa. College VP Sentenced in Fraud Case
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former Harrisburg Area Community College vice president has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for wire fraud after prosecutors say she bought $228,000 worth of Target gift cards online using a college credit card.
Nancy Rockey was sentenced in federal court. The 55-year-old Harrisburg woman resigned from the school in February 2012 during an administrative shake-up before the thefts were discovered.
Investigators say Rockey hid the thefts by submitting bogus purchasing invoices to the school. They say she used the gift cards to buy items for herself, her family and her friends.
Dauphin County prosecutors charged Rockey in January 2013. They turned the case over to federal prosecutors in October 2013.