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2016 July 27 - 04:08 pm

News Briefs

A summary listing of higher-ed-related news from around the nation

New Ivy Tech President To Earn $300K

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Former Indiana lieutenant governor Sue Ellspermann will earn $300,000 as president of Ivy Tech Community College.

The Indianapolis Star reports (http://indy.st/29l8Bcf ) that the board of trustees approved a three-year contract for Ellspermann. She was appointed to the position in May, Ellspermann stepped down as lieutenant governor in March as GOP Indiana Gov. Mike Pence started a re-election campaign.

The contract lets her be considered for a yearly $60,000 bonus if she meets performance goals that a state board outlines. Ellspermann will receive the same salary as her predecessor.

Ellspermann spent the month of June visiting the school’s campuses across Indiana. She says she made the tour to learn more about faculty members’ challenges and concerns.

College Creates $7 Million Fund For Health Care

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grand Rapids Community College has established a $7 million scholarship fund with Spectrum Health to help students pursuing careers in healthcare or the health sciences.

The Grand Rapids Press reports (http://bit.ly/294qChZ ) a $5 million deal for Spectrum Health to purchase the college’s athletic field near Butterworth Hospital led to the scholarship fund, which will be established at the Spectrum Health Foundation.

Five percent, or $350,000, would be provided to the Grand Rapids Community College Community Foundation annually for scholarships. Awards will be based on the recipients’ need.

Grand Rapids Community College President Steven Ender says the 2.2-acre practice field has long been seen as an underutilized asset. He says “providing affordable educational opportunities for students is paramount to ensuring the continued growth and success of our region.”

No Tuition Hikes Planned for La. Colleges

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s community and technical colleges won’t be raising tuition rates on students this fall, after lawmakers largely shielded the schools from budget cuts.

The Louisiana Community and Technical College System Board of Supervisors announced the decision Friday, saying it was the first time in five years tuition won’t be boosted on its campuses.

However, two new fees were enacted by the board — for students who take excess credit hours and for students in programs delivered in a compressed time frame to fill high-demand jobs. Five percent of any money generated by those new fees will be spent on need-based aid.

State lawmakers enacted a budget cut to the TOPS college tuition program in the financial year that began July 1, but they kept college campuses at flat financing otherwise.

Wyo. College President Leaving

RIVERTON, Wyo. (AP) — Central Wyoming College president Cristobal Valdez is leaving to take a job in Illinois.

Valdez announced in an email he will become president at Richland Community College in August.

Valdez has been president of the Riverton college since 2014.

The Riverton Ranger reports (http://bit.ly/28RiNWQ ) that Central Wyoming also is losing its vice president for administrative affairs.

The college has cut $2.4 million in spending and lost a number of faculty and staff positions this spring.

Hanson Leaving La. Chancellor’s Position

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The chancellor’s position at Louisiana Delta Community College in West Monroe is up for grabs.

Barbara Hanson announced her resignation in an open letter to the college community, saying she will be seeking new job opportunities that will let her spend more time with her first and only grandchild.

Hanson, who started as chancellor in January 2013, has already begun working with the Board of Supervisors and System President Monty Sullivan to help ensure a smooth transition for the next leader.

Under her leadership, Hanson moved the college from an inherited $3.1 million deficit to less than a $1 million deficit in two years without reducing programs or services.

Vermont Tech President To Step Down

RANDOLPH, Vt. (AP) — The president of Vermont Technical College is stepping down to lead a nonprofit.

Dan Smith, who’s been president since 2014, will step down in August.

He’s leaving to become president and CEO of the Vermont Community Foundation, a Middlebury-based nonprofit that facilitates charitable giving for philanthropists, funds and other foundations.

Smith was the director of community relations and public policy for the Vermont State College System before being appointed interim president of Vermont Tech in April 2014. He became the president in November of that year.

The Vermont State College System said in a statement that the interim VTC president will be appointed before the coming school year begins.

Ohio Gerontology Center Gets $1.4M Grant

OXFORD, Ohio (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $1.4 million research grant to a university’s gerontology center in southwestern Ohio.

Miami University in Oxford says the money awarded to its Scripps Gerontology Center will be used for research on older learners and their ability to complete college programs.

The center’s senior research scholar says the focus will be on community college students, ages 40 through 64. Scholar Phyllis Cummins says that group is an important segment of Ohio’s labor force.

About 15 percent of students at Ohio’s 23 community colleges are older learners.

Cummins says the overall goal of the research is to identify factors that are easily influenced to improve the educational and labor market outcomes for those students.

Chattanooga State Bans Campus Smoking

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Chattanooga State Community College soon will have a smoke-free campus.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/28WSFLq ) reports the ban started July 1 on smoking, along with the use of chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes.

College spokeswoman Nancy Patterson says the college wants to prepare students for a workplace that could shun smoking.

Patterson says student feedback to the ban has been generally positive. She says students will be offered services to help them quit smoking.

The college also is in the process of converting ``smoking huts’’ to solar-powered charging stations for laptop computers and smartphones.

State Rep. Retires from Ivy Tech

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Democratic state Rep. Pat Bauer has stepped down as an administrator for the state’s community college system.

The South Bend Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/299qiOs ) that the one-time Indiana House speaker recently retired from the Ivy Tech Community College. Bauer represents South Bend in the Legislature and had worked for Ivy Tech as dean of extended services.

His retirement was mentioned by incoming Ivy Tech president and former Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann during a visit to Ivy Tech’s South Bend campus.

Bauer was first elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 1970. He is running unopposed for re-election in November.

Vets’ Tuition Program Saved from Budget Cuts

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A program that provides tuition assistance for veterans has been restored for now by Gov. Matt Mead after being targeted for elimination because of budget cuts.

Mead announced that he would continue funding the program through the coming fall semester. And he didn't rule out the possibility of continuing it after this year.

The program administered by the Wyoming Community College Commission provided assistance to 162 veterans at the state's seven community colleges and the University of Wyoming last fall.

Just at UW, about 60 students had been enrolled in the program, costing the state about $312,000 a year in tuition support.

Veterans who had been deployed to combat zones could receive 10 free semesters at any Wyoming community college and the university. Veterans' surviving spouses and dependents are also eligible.

Students in the program, which was administered by the Wyoming Community College Commission, had been told recently that the program was being eliminated to save money. The state’s seven community colleges are slashing budgets because of cuts in state aid brought on by a downturn in Wyoming's mineral extraction industry.

Community colleges across the state have been forced to eliminate about 175 jobs and cut back on other expenses as a result.

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