College in fall

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22twain
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Re: College in fall

Post by 22twain » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:12 am

Normchad wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:53 am
And for a lot of schools, the students are paying an additional fee to support the athletic department.

https://www.al.com/sports/2014/08/ncaa_ ... 20_fb.html
And usually the full cost isn't broken out separately.

Hiding the High Price of College Sports
Suppose that the per-student athletic cost at a small college with Division II football comes to $2,500 — and that the school made it clear that students must pay that amount separately, whether they participate in sports or not, or attend any games. Would students and their parents choose to spend $10,000 (over four years) for sports? Or might they prefer to trim $10,000 from their college debt?
Help save endangered words! When you write "princiPLE", make sure you don't really mean "princiPAL"!

Normchad
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Re: College in fall

Post by Normchad » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:35 am

22twain wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:12 am
Normchad wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:53 am
And for a lot of schools, the students are paying an additional fee to support the athletic department.

https://www.al.com/sports/2014/08/ncaa_ ... 20_fb.html
And usually the full cost isn't broken out separately.

Hiding the High Price of College Sports
Suppose that the per-student athletic cost at a small college with Division II football comes to $2,500 — and that the school made it clear that students must pay that amount separately, whether they participate in sports or not, or attend any games. Would students and their parents choose to spend $10,000 (over four years) for sports? Or might they prefer to trim $10,000 from their college debt?
That is a very good read, I hadn’t seen the data framed quite that way before.

A juicy nugget, at Duke, the per student cost of the athletic department is $12,000. That is stunning; given how successful Duke is and how much revenue they can generate in their own from athletics.

HereToLearn
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Re: College in fall

Post by HereToLearn » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:38 am

Normchad wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:59 am
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:22 am
Normchad wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:08 pm
She has fully funded offers to start PhD programs in the fall, and also have good job offers. And she is trying to figure out what to do. If she goes the PhD route, and that starts out online, I think that is a complete waste of her time. On the other hand, if she commits to the jobs, who knows if they will still actually be there when she is supposed to start.
Not true. The first couple or few years of a PhD program are spent on course works, especially before a qualifying exam, unless she is lab oriented. It is about learning how to learn by herself.
Thanks for your thoughts. Since decisions were due on April 15th, and she saw no value in starting a PhD program remotely, she turned down those offers and is going into industry instead. In the absence of COVID-19, she likely would have made a different decision.
Was she able to find a new position?

Normchad
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Re: College in fall

Post by Normchad » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:46 am

HereToLearn wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:38 am
Normchad wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:59 am
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:22 am
Normchad wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:08 pm
She has fully funded offers to start PhD programs in the fall, and also have good job offers. And she is trying to figure out what to do. If she goes the PhD route, and that starts out online, I think that is a complete waste of her time. On the other hand, if she commits to the jobs, who knows if they will still actually be there when she is supposed to start.
Not true. The first couple or few years of a PhD program are spent on course works, especially before a qualifying exam, unless she is lab oriented. It is about learning how to learn by herself.
Thanks for your thoughts. Since decisions were due on April 15th, and she saw no value in starting a PhD program remotely, she turned down those offers and is going into industry instead. In the absence of COVID-19, she likely would have made a different decision.
Was she able to find a new position?
Somewhere I had posted that she accepted her “dream job”, and that had fallen through. If you’re referring to that, I’m impressed by your recall.

The “dream job” is back on again, thankfully. They have figured out how to safely onboard and train her, so we feel very fortunate for that.

The month or so she spent looking for a new position though, wasn’t good. Very stressful time. Most employers aren’t interviewing, etc. and of course, there is a pool of roughly 40 million newly unemployed folks also looking for jobs.

tibbitts
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Re: College in fall

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:05 am

xenochrony wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 2:02 pm
Ive made it clear to the admissions officers of my HS senior's college that should they go all or mostly online we simply will not pay or enroll our daughter. As a STEM major / athlete, an online approach is simply unacceptable and would be catastrophic. No thank you. Many of my friends with HS senior kids have the same position. Though each have different solutions (e.g gap year, Community college, etc.).
I guess I'm missing the point but if you mean athlete as in scholarship, getting the scholarship with no work required would be a deal, although from what I've heard athletics are what most universities are most desperate to bring back. But if she could avoid the beating, banging, surgeries and being crippled when she's old, and get to keep the money - what a deal! I guess for a truly extraordinary elite athlete where college is the minor leagues and a professional career inevitable (barring too many of those surgeries) it might be an issue. But in that case, an early exit from college might be likely anyway, and the STEM aspect put on hold. On the STEM front, my limited understanding is that lab courses won't be 100% online.

I guess I would be more concerned about social behavior. I'd probably super-glue the most sophisticated respirator equipment I could find to her head before sending her off. Have you been beating up on the admissions officers to the same extent to define their procedures to keep kids isolated from each othe, and have you investigated how they're going to police that? Found out what testing protocols they have in place?

HereToLearn
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Re: College in fall

Post by HereToLearn » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:08 am

Normchad wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:46 am
HereToLearn wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:38 am
Normchad wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:59 am
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:22 am
Normchad wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:08 pm
She has fully funded offers to start PhD programs in the fall, and also have good job offers. And she is trying to figure out what to do. If she goes the PhD route, and that starts out online, I think that is a complete waste of her time. On the other hand, if she commits to the jobs, who knows if they will still actually be there when she is supposed to start.
Not true. The first couple or few years of a PhD program are spent on course works, especially before a qualifying exam, unless she is lab oriented. It is about learning how to learn by herself.
Thanks for your thoughts. Since decisions were due on April 15th, and she saw no value in starting a PhD program remotely, she turned down those offers and is going into industry instead. In the absence of COVID-19, she likely would have made a different decision.
Was she able to find a new position?
Somewhere I had posted that she accepted her “dream job”, and that had fallen through. If you’re referring to that, I’m impressed by your recall.

The “dream job” is back on again, thankfully. They have figured out how to safely onboard and train her, so we feel very fortunate for that.

The month or so she spent looking for a new position though, wasn’t good. Very stressful time. Most employers aren’t interviewing, etc. and of course, there is a pool of roughly 40 million newly unemployed folks also looking for jobs.
Oh, wonderful news! I was away from this site for a while, consumed with other media, and may have missed your post.

Yes, very difficult time for any new college grad (or anyone) attempting to secure a new position. Congrats! Glad it worked out.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: College in fall

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:23 am

HereToLearn wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:08 am
Yes, very difficult time for any new college grad (or anyone) attempting to secure a new position. Congrats! Glad it worked out.
And yet, humans find a way. Son’s GF had difficulty finding a new job pre-COVID, but got almost exactly the job she wanted recently. She graduated around 2 years ago. Interviewed, accepted job, resigned old job, said “goodbyes,” got on-boarded, and is working — all virtually. For the others out there — persevere.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

stoptothink
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Re: College in fall

Post by stoptothink » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:37 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:23 am
HereToLearn wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:08 am
Yes, very difficult time for any new college grad (or anyone) attempting to secure a new position. Congrats! Glad it worked out.
And yet, humans find a way. Son’s GF had difficulty finding a new job pre-COVID, but got almost exactly the job she wanted recently. She graduated around 2 years ago. Interviewed, accepted job, resigned old job, said “goodbyes,” got on-boarded, and is working — all virtually. For the others out there — persevere.
The May jobs report was significantly better than anybody expected. My employer has 70+ positions open and we are on-boarding every week while almost all these new employees are remote (for the time being).

SimonJester
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Re: College in fall

Post by SimonJester » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:45 am

My youngest son's college just announced,everyone will be back the 2nd week of August, and going home after Thanksgiving. Dorms will all be converted to singles, students will wear face masks and socially distance at all times (yah right), no visitors. Classes will be a mix of F2F and online, he will found out which classes are which format in July. He can get out of his dorm contact through the end of July if all his classes are online.

Dining halls will have reduce seating, more grab and go options.

Students may defer their application for upto one year and may defer three times.

There will be no refunds of any tuition or fees if they have to switch to 100% online

Grading will not be in a P+ P, NP format but will go back to traditional letter grades.

For F2F Classes they are prioritizing those classes with labs, studios, and first year experiences...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

MathIsMyWayr
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Location: CA

Re: College in fall

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:58 am

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:05 am
xenochrony wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 2:02 pm
Ive made it clear to the admissions officers of my HS senior's college that should they go all or mostly online we simply will not pay or enroll our daughter. As a STEM major / athlete, an online approach is simply unacceptable and would be catastrophic. No thank you. Many of my friends with HS senior kids have the same position. Though each have different solutions (e.g gap year, Community college, etc.).
I guess I'm missing the point but if you mean athlete as in scholarship, getting the scholarship with no work required would be a deal, although from what I've heard athletics are what most universities are most desperate to bring back. But if she could avoid the beating, banging, surgeries and being crippled when she's old, and get to keep the money - what a deal! I guess for a truly extraordinary elite athlete where college is the minor leagues and a professional career inevitable (barring too many of those surgeries) it might be an issue. But in that case, an early exit from college might be likely anyway, and the STEM aspect put on hold. On the STEM front, my limited understanding is that lab courses won't be 100% online.

I guess I would be more concerned about social behavior. I'd probably super-glue the most sophisticated respirator equipment I could find to her head before sending her off. Have you been beating up on the admissions officers to the same extent to define their procedures to keep kids isolated from each othe, and have you investigated how they're going to police that? Found out what testing protocols they have in place?t
In my opinion, what is much more catastrophic is a gap period, especially for a STEM major. STEM is kind of dealing with an abstract concept and one has to be engaged in continuously. In my works, previous and current, I have seen many who struggle when they are away from their hands-on hard fields for a number of years, e.g., managements. They are all highly educated.

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willthrill81
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Re: College in fall

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:06 pm

22twain wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:27 am
Mudpuppy wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:35 pm
Quite a few of the private universities that have always existed on the financial margin are likely to be pushed far enough into a deficit to fold entirely. The ones with healthier endowments and private fundraising are still going to have to shrink their expenses given the current economic uncertainty and revenue impacts due to the pandemic.
We heard through the faculty grapevine yesterday that the small private college where we both taught has cut faculty salaries 3% and top administrators' salaries by more. In addition, the employer contribution to the TIAA 403(b) plan, formerly > 7%, has been eliminated completely. No word yet about shutting down any majors etc., but we won't be surprised if that shoe drops soon.
My university will shortly be eliminating majors. It has well over 100, but 80% of the students are in 50 of those majors, and 40% of the students are in just 10. At least a third and probably more of the majors are effectively being subsidized by the rest. Many other universities are in a very similar position.

I've repeatedly told my university's administrators that they cannot pull off such heavy subsidization in periods of financial stress. It would have been far better for them to gradually and methodically weed out such programs, giving the impacted faculty and staff the time and opportunity to make career changes. But now, they have little choice but to 'hack and slash', and impacted individuals are going into a very rough job market.

The radical egalitarianism of higher ed is starting to bite it in the backside. Forum rules won't let me expound upon that much though.
22twain wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:27 am
It will be interesting to see what happens to the athletic program, because about a third of the students participate in it. Many faculty consider that the college made an expensive mistake when it moved from NCAA Div II to Div I (FCS) just before the Great Recession hit. One of its nearby "comparison schools", which has been in much better financial shape as far as we know, has eliminated baseball and lacrosse. On the other hand, we already made significant changes a few years ago in an effort to "right-size" the athletic program, so maybe no further changes will be needed.
Normchad wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:53 am
For the vast majority of schools, college athletics is a big money loser. And honestly, how does it further the core mission of education?
You've both hit the nail on the head. College sports are a big money maker for the large universities with a long track and at least somewhat successful track record, but they are nothing more than a cash drain at most mid-tier and smaller universities. A few smaller universities that focus on just one or two sports do really well with them, but they are definitely in the minority.

Beyond that, students at mid-sized and small universities are, for the most part, not impacted by the university's athletic program (or the absence of one) much at all. They are typically far more interested in cost, specific programs, a different academic and/or social experience, a place that's close to home, etc.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

Mudpuppy
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Re: College in fall

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:59 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:06 pm
22twain wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:27 am
Mudpuppy wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:35 pm
Quite a few of the private universities that have always existed on the financial margin are likely to be pushed far enough into a deficit to fold entirely. The ones with healthier endowments and private fundraising are still going to have to shrink their expenses given the current economic uncertainty and revenue impacts due to the pandemic.
We heard through the faculty grapevine yesterday that the small private college where we both taught has cut faculty salaries 3% and top administrators' salaries by more. In addition, the employer contribution to the TIAA 403(b) plan, formerly > 7%, has been eliminated completely. No word yet about shutting down any majors etc., but we won't be surprised if that shoe drops soon.
My university will shortly be eliminating majors. It has well over 100, but 80% of the students are in 50 of those majors, and 40% of the students are in just 10. At least a third and probably more of the majors are effectively being subsidized by the rest. Many other universities are in a very similar position.
I would hope that they look at the number of students served by the faculty in those majors, not just the number of majors. For example, most universities will have a relatively small number of mathematics and physics majors compared to their other STEM majors, but they still teach a large number of students due to how many STEM students, particularly engineers, need to take those courses as part of their majors. There's still room for reorganization, such as combining the support faculty into other administrative units to save on overhead, but more metrics than just number of majors needs to be considered.

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willthrill81
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Re: College in fall

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:06 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:59 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:06 pm
22twain wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:27 am
Mudpuppy wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:35 pm
Quite a few of the private universities that have always existed on the financial margin are likely to be pushed far enough into a deficit to fold entirely. The ones with healthier endowments and private fundraising are still going to have to shrink their expenses given the current economic uncertainty and revenue impacts due to the pandemic.
We heard through the faculty grapevine yesterday that the small private college where we both taught has cut faculty salaries 3% and top administrators' salaries by more. In addition, the employer contribution to the TIAA 403(b) plan, formerly > 7%, has been eliminated completely. No word yet about shutting down any majors etc., but we won't be surprised if that shoe drops soon.
My university will shortly be eliminating majors. It has well over 100, but 80% of the students are in 50 of those majors, and 40% of the students are in just 10. At least a third and probably more of the majors are effectively being subsidized by the rest. Many other universities are in a very similar position.
I would hope that they look at the number of students served by the faculty in those majors, not just the number of majors. For example, most universities will have a relatively small number of mathematics and physics majors compared to their other STEM majors, but they still teach a large number of students due to how many STEM students, particularly engineers, need to take those courses as part of their majors. There's still room for reorganization, such as combining the support faculty into other administrative units to save on overhead, but more metrics than just number of majors needs to be considered.
I'm sure that they will. There aren't many history majors, for instance, but intro to history courses are a mainstay of freshman and sophomore education.

That said, if you just move faculty from one place to another, you haven't reduced costs. One way or the other, layoffs will have to be done to reduce cash outlays.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

Mudpuppy
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Re: College in fall

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:48 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:06 pm
That said, if you just move faculty from one place to another, you haven't reduced costs. One way or the other, layoffs will have to be done to reduce cash outlays.
Just a quick note that combining administrative units does reduce cost: whatever the administrative head and administrative assistant cost for the two (or more) units have now been combined into costs for one unit. Granted, if the old administrative head is allowed to stay on as a faculty member, the costs are primarily whatever extra pay they got for being the head and the pay+benefits for the administrative assistant, but that can add up during a major restructuring of units.

Universities that aren't thinking about minor cost savings like these are the ones that will be hurting, or gone, in a couple of years. There's only so many faculty that can be let go before the teaching mission suffers, but there are a lot of smaller inefficiencies and extra overhead like this that can really add up if things are restructured to eliminate them.

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willthrill81
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Re: College in fall

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:15 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:48 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:06 pm
That said, if you just move faculty from one place to another, you haven't reduced costs. One way or the other, layoffs will have to be done to reduce cash outlays.
Just a quick note that combining administrative units does reduce cost: whatever the administrative head and administrative assistant cost for the two (or more) units have now been combined into costs for one unit. Granted, if the old administrative head is allowed to stay on as a faculty member, the costs are primarily whatever extra pay they got for being the head and the pay+benefits for the administrative assistant, but that can add up during a major restructuring of units.
That was the point I was trying to make but clearly didn't. The only way that restructuring results in meaningful savings is if there are fewer people on the payroll and/or someone on the payroll is getting paid less. And I suspect that many institutions will see both over the next year or two. Few will experience neither.
Mudpuppy wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:48 pm
Universities that aren't thinking about minor cost savings like these are the ones that will be hurting, or gone, in a couple of years. There's only so many faculty that can be let go before the teaching mission suffers, but there are a lot of smaller inefficiencies and extra overhead like this that can really add up if things are restructured to eliminate them.
If you're referring to reductions in administration, I entirely agree. Most universities I'm familiar with have far too many 'chiefs', especially those that aren't directly related to teaching. At some universities, administration (not including department chairs and directors) represents 40% or more of the university's total budget, and 30% is very common.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

stoptothink
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Re: College in fall

Post by stoptothink » Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:16 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:06 pm
Mudpuppy wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:59 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:06 pm
22twain wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:27 am
Mudpuppy wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:35 pm
Quite a few of the private universities that have always existed on the financial margin are likely to be pushed far enough into a deficit to fold entirely. The ones with healthier endowments and private fundraising are still going to have to shrink their expenses given the current economic uncertainty and revenue impacts due to the pandemic.
We heard through the faculty grapevine yesterday that the small private college where we both taught has cut faculty salaries 3% and top administrators' salaries by more. In addition, the employer contribution to the TIAA 403(b) plan, formerly > 7%, has been eliminated completely. No word yet about shutting down any majors etc., but we won't be surprised if that shoe drops soon.
My university will shortly be eliminating majors. It has well over 100, but 80% of the students are in 50 of those majors, and 40% of the students are in just 10. At least a third and probably more of the majors are effectively being subsidized by the rest. Many other universities are in a very similar position.
I would hope that they look at the number of students served by the faculty in those majors, not just the number of majors. For example, most universities will have a relatively small number of mathematics and physics majors compared to their other STEM majors, but they still teach a large number of students due to how many STEM students, particularly engineers, need to take those courses as part of their majors. There's still room for reorganization, such as combining the support faculty into other administrative units to save on overhead, but more metrics than just number of majors needs to be considered.
I'm sure that they will. There aren't many history majors, for instance, but intro to history courses are a mainstay of freshman and sophomore education.

That said, if you just move faculty from one place to another, you haven't reduced costs. One way or the other, layoffs will have to be done to reduce cash outlays.
So no more "western musicology" or "cinema studies" programs? Sadly, I have someone in my family who is sitting on an insurmountable amount of debt (and has almost no transferable workforce skills) because she pursued those degrees at two of the top universities in the world. IMO, this is a great thing in the long run.

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William Million
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Re: College in fall

Post by William Million » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:35 pm

Word on the street is colleges that start early and let out by Thanksgiving are more likely to actually hold classes. Time will tell.

e5116
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Re: College in fall

Post by e5116 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:02 pm

Normchad wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:35 am
22twain wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:12 am
Normchad wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:53 am
And for a lot of schools, the students are paying an additional fee to support the athletic department.

https://www.al.com/sports/2014/08/ncaa_ ... 20_fb.html
And usually the full cost isn't broken out separately.

Hiding the High Price of College Sports
Suppose that the per-student athletic cost at a small college with Division II football comes to $2,500 — and that the school made it clear that students must pay that amount separately, whether they participate in sports or not, or attend any games. Would students and their parents choose to spend $10,000 (over four years) for sports? Or might they prefer to trim $10,000 from their college debt?
That is a very good read, I hadn’t seen the data framed quite that way before.

A juicy nugget, at Duke, the per student cost of the athletic department is $12,000. That is stunning; given how successful Duke is and how much revenue they can generate in their own from athletics.
The $12,000 cost at Duke (and Wake Forest they note) is ONLY the expense side, not taking into consideration revenues. That is, the athletic department spends student population x $12k.

I actually know that in 2015, it was about $91M total in expenses or $14k/student. However, they had revenues of about...you guessed it $91M. So basically the athletic department was neutral for cost at Duke. (Made $500k that year total actually....men's basketball was +14M in the black while football was 10M in the red).

I'm guessing that's not the case at Wake Forest (I'd expect their athletic department loses money), but don't know their numbers as well.

AD3
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Re: College in fall

Post by AD3 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:15 pm

SimonJester wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:45 am
My youngest son's college just announced,everyone will be back the 2nd week of August, and going home after Thanksgiving. Dorms will all be converted to singles, students will wear face masks and socially distance at all times (yah right), no visitors. Classes will be a mix of F2F and online, he will found out which classes are which format in July. He can get out of his dorm contact through the end of July if all his classes are online.

Dining halls will have reduce seating, more grab and go options.

Students may defer their application for upto one year and may defer three times.

There will be no refunds of any tuition or fees if they have to switch to 100% online

Grading will not be in a P+ P, NP format but will go back to traditional letter grades.

For F2F Classes they are prioritizing those classes with labs, studios, and first year experiences...
This is terrible. I would be upset if I was a parent, if my kids were in their first or second year I would be talking to them about deferring and seeing if they could attend a community college for the year. Paying the full cost for a diminished education during covid is not worth the ROI to parents. Have you decided what you were going to do?

marcopolo
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Re: College in fall

Post by marcopolo » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:30 pm

AD3 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:15 pm
SimonJester wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:45 am
My youngest son's college just announced,everyone will be back the 2nd week of August, and going home after Thanksgiving. Dorms will all be converted to singles, students will wear face masks and socially distance at all times (yah right), no visitors. Classes will be a mix of F2F and online, he will found out which classes are which format in July. He can get out of his dorm contact through the end of July if all his classes are online.

Dining halls will have reduce seating, more grab and go options.

Students may defer their application for upto one year and may defer three times.

There will be no refunds of any tuition or fees if they have to switch to 100% online

Grading will not be in a P+ P, NP format but will go back to traditional letter grades.

For F2F Classes they are prioritizing those classes with labs, studios, and first year experiences...
This is terrible. I would be upset if I was a parent, if my kids were in their first or second year I would be talking to them about deferring and seeing if they could attend a community college for the year. Paying the full cost for a diminished education during covid is not worth the ROI to parents. Have you decided what you were going to do?
It is a terrible situation. Whether it diminishes the ROI is a different matter. I think that depends a lot on how employers view this in their hiring/compensation decisions.
Will they discount the value of students graduating over the next few years relative to other graduates? Maybe, but it is not at all clear to me that will be the case.

The option to attend community college for a year to save money was always there. From an ROI perspective, I am not sure that decision is any different today.

I have a son entering his sophomore year. His school still has not announced what they are going to do. But, I don't foresee any decision they make leading us to sending him to Community College in the Fall.

He is taking some course at one over the summer, as i did not want him out working for safety, and as to not take an available job away from someone who may need it more at this time.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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willthrill81
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Re: College in fall

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:40 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:30 pm
AD3 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:15 pm
SimonJester wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:45 am
My youngest son's college just announced,everyone will be back the 2nd week of August, and going home after Thanksgiving. Dorms will all be converted to singles, students will wear face masks and socially distance at all times (yah right), no visitors. Classes will be a mix of F2F and online, he will found out which classes are which format in July. He can get out of his dorm contact through the end of July if all his classes are online.

Dining halls will have reduce seating, more grab and go options.

Students may defer their application for upto one year and may defer three times.

There will be no refunds of any tuition or fees if they have to switch to 100% online

Grading will not be in a P+ P, NP format but will go back to traditional letter grades.

For F2F Classes they are prioritizing those classes with labs, studios, and first year experiences...
This is terrible. I would be upset if I was a parent, if my kids were in their first or second year I would be talking to them about deferring and seeing if they could attend a community college for the year. Paying the full cost for a diminished education during covid is not worth the ROI to parents. Have you decided what you were going to do?
It is a terrible situation. Whether it diminishes the ROI is a different matter. I think that depends a lot on how employers view this in their hiring/compensation decisions.
Will they discount the value of students graduating over the next few years relative to other graduates? Maybe, but it is not at all clear to me that will be the case.
I generally agree. Employers aren't likely to care that the current cohort of college grads had a year or so of online education. The exception to this is disciplines where online education is simply impossible.
marcopolo wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:30 pm
The option to attend community college for a year to save money was always there. From an ROI perspective, I am not sure that decision is any different today.
You're right that it's the same financial decision as before, but many students/parents are only willing to pay for certain universities because of the total experience associated with attendance, not just the degree at the end. If that experience is severely compromised due to the education being moved online, its perceived value in the mind of these people will go down and, in turn, their willingness to pay a premium for that university rather than something like a community college.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: College in fall

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:45 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:15 pm
Mudpuppy wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:48 pm
Universities that aren't thinking about minor cost savings like these are the ones that will be hurting, or gone, in a couple of years. There's only so many faculty that can be let go before the teaching mission suffers, but there are a lot of smaller inefficiencies and extra overhead like this that can really add up if things are restructured to eliminate them.
If you're referring to reductions in administration, I entirely agree. Most universities I'm familiar with have far too many 'chiefs', especially those that aren't directly related to teaching. At some universities, administration (not including department chairs and directors) represents 40% or more of the university's total budget, and 30% is very common.
I was referring to reductions in administrators and staff. I recall a news story about the disparities of faculty hiring and administrator/staff hiring when recovering from the 2008 recession. I can't remember the exact numbers, but I remember thinking the disparity was quite absurd. If the university's students are upset because there aren't enough courses available for them to get to a full load because the university is not hiring enough faculty, hiring someone to oversee a new "graduate in four years" initiative or to provide academic advising seems rather silly.

Granted, universities need certain essential support services to continue functioning, but even the essential services could be over-staffed or have an unbalanced management structure. The optics of bringing in an efficiency expert to suggest effective reorganization might not be great, but the optics of completely botching the budget and sending the institution off a proverbial fiscal cliff are even worse.

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Re: College in fall

Post by marcopolo » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:46 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:40 pm

You're right that it's the same financial decision as before, but many students/parents are only willing to pay for certain universities because of the total experience associated with attendance, not just the degree at the end. If that experience is severely compromised due to the education being moved online, its perceived value in the mind of these people will go down and, in turn, their willingness to pay a premium for that university rather than something like a community college.
That is a good point. I am one of those people that values the "whole college experience". And you are right, I already feel my son is missing out on a lot of that. But, I am not yet willing to take the leap to having him withdraw to go to CC for a while. But, I can certainly see the rationale for doing so.

He signed a lease for an off campus apartment already, so a sizable chunk is already sunk cost.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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Re: College in fall

Post by Katietsu » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:54 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:15 pm

If you're referring to reductions in administration, I entirely agree. Most universities I'm familiar with have far too many 'chiefs', especially those that aren't directly related to teaching. At some universities, administration (not including department chairs and directors) represents 40% or more of the university's total budget, and 30% is very common.
This has been highlighted in these last few months. The administrators with impactful positions have been hustling to keep the balls in the air and making often difficult decisions. Others are putting in 10 hours a week, maybe, now that all of the non essential meetings, lunches, and chats at the coffee pot have been eliminated.

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Re: College in fall

Post by Cooper62 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:43 pm

Rising junior daughter at state school in Midwest just announced classes on campus in fall. They will be starting a week early, no fall break and classes end at Thanksgiving. Exams will be after Thanksgiving online. Dorms will close at Thanksgiving. I like this plan as there are only two weeks of class/exams between Thanksgiving/Christmas break and eliminates an extra trip home and back. Daughter is an engineering major and didn't do well with online labs and engineering classes so is really happy to be going back for live instruction. She is moving off campus with three friends to a four bedroom, two bath apartment so socially distancing will be much easier than if she was still in the dorms sharing a room. I'm not sure what the college is doing with the dorms and dining hall. I think it is still being worked out. Assume it will be like others that have announced; more grab and go in the dining hall, allowing sophomores to move off campus and face coverings. She works as a tour guide on campus so that will be interesting to see how they handle her job and the tours.

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Re: College in fall

Post by SimonJester » Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:11 am

AD3 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:15 pm
SimonJester wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:45 am
My youngest son's college just announced,everyone will be back the 2nd week of August, and going home after Thanksgiving. Dorms will all be converted to singles, students will wear face masks and socially distance at all times (yah right), no visitors. Classes will be a mix of F2F and online, he will found out which classes are which format in July. He can get out of his dorm contact through the end of July if all his classes are online.

Dining halls will have reduce seating, more grab and go options.

Students may defer their application for upto one year and may defer three times.

There will be no refunds of any tuition or fees if they have to switch to 100% online

Grading will not be in a P+ P, NP format but will go back to traditional letter grades.

For F2F Classes they are prioritizing those classes with labs, studios, and first year experiences...
This is terrible. I would be upset if I was a parent, if my kids were in their first or second year I would be talking to them about deferring and seeing if they could attend a community college for the year. Paying the full cost for a diminished education during covid is not worth the ROI to parents. Have you decided what you were going to do?
In my Son's case he obtained a number of college credits in High School, so many of the courses not directly related to his major are already now completed. He has a few things like humanities and international perspective type classes that he might be willing to take online.

Right now we are waiting until July to see which of his major specific classes are online vs F2F. Ultimately it will be his decision. I can tell you the kids that take a gap year are not going to be in much better shape. Imaging what the daily routine for these kids will be during that year. Jobs will be very hard to find, social lock down will still be in place, traveling will not be an option. They will not grow much intellectually, nor socially.

A big part of college is learning how to live on your own and transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. I truly do not believe this happens well for those still living with parents. I fear we might be creating a whole new generation of failure to launch children!
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: College in fall

Post by Exterous » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:11 am

I work with a sizable number of colleges and while I have no doubt there area few unscrupulous actors concerns for students, faculty and staff are at the forefront. My experience has been that delays are more around the uncertainty of the world environment and the complexities of moving classes, labs and activities online at a scale to accommodate tens of thousands of students (and the desire to avoid the educational and experiential downsides of doing that) as opposed to some of the reasons mentioned here. The biggest miss I can see in this area is the lack of collaboration that appears to be going on among schools. There are likely discussions at the top level between Universities but that hasn't seemed to filter down much. Most of the people I'm working with have little to no idea what the game plan or potential game plans are. Even within Universities some units are feeling left to their own devices to invent the wheel. Some of that is difficulty of changing mindset and structure as schools tend to take a slow, considered and debated approach to change. Not all that surprising given the traditional work and roles but it's not a system that deals with rapid change. And some is because schools vary heavily in terms of degrees, activities and geographical region so there won't be a one sized fits all approach but there still seems to be room for improvement. I'm hopeful more is going on behind the curtain but I am skeptical of that.

I'll caveat the next section that my experience is with schools that fully self fund or come close to fully self funding athletics and research heavy institutions. Higher ed is an incredibly diverse environment and one of my pet peeves are articles that lump it all together with no delineations. You might as well lump together the neighborhood bakery with Ford Motor company and draw business trends from that. Useful perhaps for broad trends but statements around sports and administration levels get muddled real fast. Yes there are schools that grossly over spend on athletics. Yes there are schools that grossly overspend on administration. But there are valid reasons that some may choose to go in certain directions. This also isn't to say that changes won't be coming to ameliorate financial shortfalls.

For sports - there are benefits that are gained that are rarely if ever accounted for in the general discussions that tip the balance for those close to breaking even. First its a great tool for gaining donations. Even beyond the "invite a big donor to a suite for a football game" interactions, donations tick notably upwards during athletic seasons the school is known for (football season, basketball season etc) as Alumni or even just fans are reminded of their college experiences or whatever else compels them to donate. Vendors and businesses compete harder for contracts if they can leverage your sports team's name or even donate resources\equipment\product that can be used outside of athletics outright. Schools can leverage the local economic impact of well attended athletic events for discounts\subsidies on city\local services that benefit the greater University (congested buried conduit access, beneficial routing of services etc). This won't offset costs schools who are hemorrhaging money on athletics but the "Only 24 schools make money on athletics" is not as dire as the headline sounds.

Administration levels are even more complicated. "Administration" is not just your Presidents, Provosts, Key Administrators but also your researchers, programmers, librarians, facilities, IT, maintenance and janitors. Faculty are being asked to do less administrative work that is offloaded to their units - or at least they are not being asked to take on as much additional administrative work as new things (regulations, technology etc) come up. New pedagogical staff resources are available to them to help with their instruction. Programmers available to help them get\model\manipulate research data. Librarians and archivists to help them retain information "indefinitely" in new ways. Movers to move furniture throughout the day to accommodate different session\labs without needing to buy\build\remodel buildings. For students there are more staff resources to help them with career counseling, interview\resume prep, navigate increasingly complex degree, transfer, financial aid programs. The government and grant programs are also asking for increasing regulatory compliance. Coming from a defense contractor I was surprised how much more complex the regulatory environment for higher education is. Many also have defense contracts. And need to comply with Health regulations (HIPPA, Human subject research), Financial (GLBA, PCI), Export controls (ITAR, EAR), Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and of course their own regulations like FERPA and Title IX. Grants\agreements may require their own views on how to meet data security levels resulting in a myriad of one-off compliance situations. Even more fun many schools run into scenarios where a federal law requires one thing while a state law requires the exact opposite. So you've got a small hoard of administration (lawyers, data stewards, IT, research program administrators etc) who try and make sure the school is in compliance with everything, negotiate agreements with third parties for data protection, doesn't suffer data breaches and doesn't lose millions to billions in research funding. Expenditures on compliance can reach up to 25% of research expenditures and 8% of non-research expenditures. Not to say this effort is not needed at least to a decent amount. Systems, processes and behaviors are often not familiar or cognizant of the measures necessary to keep this information safe and IT systems are frequently well behind the curve. Schools have access to a lot of sensitive data types and need to secure it. I am not in favor of any of the "Regulatory holidays" people pitch due to the risks those carry but there does need to be some normalization of regulations. And again there are schools that are too administrative heavy compared to the need or workload but there's more depth to the issue than often reported.

https://news.vanderbilt.edu/files/Cost- ... e-2015.pdf

oldfort
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Re: College in fall

Post by oldfort » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:51 pm

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:58 am
tibbitts wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:05 am
xenochrony wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 2:02 pm
Ive made it clear to the admissions officers of my HS senior's college that should they go all or mostly online we simply will not pay or enroll our daughter. As a STEM major / athlete, an online approach is simply unacceptable and would be catastrophic. No thank you. Many of my friends with HS senior kids have the same position. Though each have different solutions (e.g gap year, Community college, etc.).
I guess I'm missing the point but if you mean athlete as in scholarship, getting the scholarship with no work required would be a deal, although from what I've heard athletics are what most universities are most desperate to bring back. But if she could avoid the beating, banging, surgeries and being crippled when she's old, and get to keep the money - what a deal! I guess for a truly extraordinary elite athlete where college is the minor leagues and a professional career inevitable (barring too many of those surgeries) it might be an issue. But in that case, an early exit from college might be likely anyway, and the STEM aspect put on hold. On the STEM front, my limited understanding is that lab courses won't be 100% online.

I guess I would be more concerned about social behavior. I'd probably super-glue the most sophisticated respirator equipment I could find to her head before sending her off. Have you been beating up on the admissions officers to the same extent to define their procedures to keep kids isolated from each othe, and have you investigated how they're going to police that? Found out what testing protocols they have in place?t
In my opinion, what is much more catastrophic is a gap period, especially for a STEM major. STEM is kind of dealing with an abstract concept and one has to be engaged in continuously. In my works, previous and current, I have seen many who struggle when they are away from their hands-on hard fields for a number of years, e.g., managements. They are all highly educated.
It depends on the length of the gap period. In some countries, like the UK and Australia, it's very common to take a gap year before entering a university.

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Re: College in fall

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:01 pm

Exterous wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:11 am
Administration levels are even more complicated. "Administration" is not just your Presidents, Provosts, Key Administrators but also your researchers, programmers, librarians, facilities, IT, maintenance and janitors. Faculty are being asked to do less administrative work that is offloaded to their units - or at least they are not being asked to take on as much additional administrative work as new things (regulations, technology etc) come up. New pedagogical staff resources are available to them to help with their instruction. Programmers available to help them get\model\manipulate research data. Librarians and archivists to help them retain information "indefinitely" in new ways. Movers to move furniture throughout the day to accommodate different session\labs without needing to buy\build\remodel buildings.
That's all well and good... if those support staff are actually doing essential jobs and also performing in their jobs at a level that warranted their retention in an economic downturn. I'll just say that this is not true given the information I've heard from the people I know who work at the local public universities. They describe multiple scenarios, all anecdotal of course, but with a heft of repetition across different people, that boil down to severe inefficiencies and bloat within those offices. To give an example of some common themes, they hire more people but do not address training issues that are causing problems with current staff, or they hire more people to manually process data instead of investigating a software tool that would make it possible to automate tasks and accomplish them with fewer people. It all just screams of structural inefficiencies, and I'm sure their institutions are not the only ones suffering from it.

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willthrill81
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Re: College in fall

Post by willthrill81 » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:07 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:01 pm
Exterous wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:11 am
Administration levels are even more complicated. "Administration" is not just your Presidents, Provosts, Key Administrators but also your researchers, programmers, librarians, facilities, IT, maintenance and janitors. Faculty are being asked to do less administrative work that is offloaded to their units - or at least they are not being asked to take on as much additional administrative work as new things (regulations, technology etc) come up. New pedagogical staff resources are available to them to help with their instruction. Programmers available to help them get\model\manipulate research data. Librarians and archivists to help them retain information "indefinitely" in new ways. Movers to move furniture throughout the day to accommodate different session\labs without needing to buy\build\remodel buildings.
That's all well and good... if those support staff are actually doing essential jobs and also performing in their jobs at a level that warranted their retention in an economic downturn. I'll just say that this is not true given the information I've heard from the people I know who work at the local public universities. They describe multiple scenarios, all anecdotal of course, but with a heft of repetition across different people, that boil down to severe inefficiencies and bloat within those offices. To give an example of some common themes, they hire more people but do not address training issues that are causing problems with current staff, or they hire more people to manually process data instead of investigating a software tool that would make it possible to automate tasks and accomplish them with fewer people. It all just screams of structural inefficiencies, and I'm sure their institutions are not the only ones suffering from it.
Here's an example: an upper level administrator in charge of 'diversity'. This isn't a social or political commentary, but in reality, how much influence does a university administrator have over this? About zero. Of those who have held such positions that I'm familiar with, all they do is go around talking to various campus groups about how great diversity is and how we should all be sensitive to others' needs. Does that justify an expense over $100k, including benefits, employment taxes, etc.?
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

oldfort
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Re: College in fall

Post by oldfort » Sun Jun 07, 2020 3:39 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:07 pm
Mudpuppy wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:01 pm
Exterous wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:11 am
Administration levels are even more complicated. "Administration" is not just your Presidents, Provosts, Key Administrators but also your researchers, programmers, librarians, facilities, IT, maintenance and janitors. Faculty are being asked to do less administrative work that is offloaded to their units - or at least they are not being asked to take on as much additional administrative work as new things (regulations, technology etc) come up. New pedagogical staff resources are available to them to help with their instruction. Programmers available to help them get\model\manipulate research data. Librarians and archivists to help them retain information "indefinitely" in new ways. Movers to move furniture throughout the day to accommodate different session\labs without needing to buy\build\remodel buildings.
That's all well and good... if those support staff are actually doing essential jobs and also performing in their jobs at a level that warranted their retention in an economic downturn. I'll just say that this is not true given the information I've heard from the people I know who work at the local public universities. They describe multiple scenarios, all anecdotal of course, but with a heft of repetition across different people, that boil down to severe inefficiencies and bloat within those offices. To give an example of some common themes, they hire more people but do not address training issues that are causing problems with current staff, or they hire more people to manually process data instead of investigating a software tool that would make it possible to automate tasks and accomplish them with fewer people. It all just screams of structural inefficiencies, and I'm sure their institutions are not the only ones suffering from it.
Here's an example: an upper level administrator in charge of 'diversity'. This isn't a social or political commentary, but in reality, how much influence does a university administrator have over this? About zero. Of those who have held such positions that I'm familiar with, all they do is go around talking to various campus groups about how great diversity is and how we should all be sensitive to others' needs. Does that justify an expense over $100k, including benefits, employment taxes, etc.?
Realistically, no university is going to scale back its diversity program in the current environment. If anything, I would expect them to double up on the number of diversity administrators.

oldfort
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Re: College in fall

Post by oldfort » Sun Jun 07, 2020 3:45 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:05 am
xenochrony wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 2:02 pm
Ive made it clear to the admissions officers of my HS senior's college that should they go all or mostly online we simply will not pay or enroll our daughter. As a STEM major / athlete, an online approach is simply unacceptable and would be catastrophic. No thank you. Many of my friends with HS senior kids have the same position. Though each have different solutions (e.g gap year, Community college, etc.).
I guess I'm missing the point but if you mean athlete as in scholarship, getting the scholarship with no work required would be a deal, although from what I've heard athletics are what most universities are most desperate to bring back. But if she could avoid the beating, banging, surgeries and being crippled when she's old, and get to keep the money - what a deal!
This depends on a lot on the sport. Football, rugby, and ice hockey can be brutal on the body. Diving has a high rate of SCIs. Most other sports will be a net health benefit for the players.

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Re: College in fall

Post by nerdymarketer » Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:23 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:07 pm
Here's an example: an upper level administrator in charge of 'diversity'. This isn't a social or political commentary, but in reality, how much influence does a university administrator have over this? About zero. Of those who have held such positions that I'm familiar with, all they do is go around talking to various campus groups about how great diversity is and how we should all be sensitive to others' needs. Does that justify an expense over $100k, including benefits, employment taxes, etc.?
:sharebeer

There's a reason why college tuition has been skyrocketing. Anytime things keep booming with no bust cycle, positions that add less value than they cost never get cleared out... If the pandemic comes back in force this fall, that may finally force universities to do a serious re-evaluation of budgetary black holes (which come in all shapes and sizes, such as facilities, groundskeeping, etc, not just jobs). I would expect the equation for value-received per tuition dollar to shift to be a lot more efficient. For the sake of the next generation, I certainly hope so.

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Re: College in fall

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:38 pm

nerdymarketer wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:23 pm
I would expect the equation for value-received per tuition dollar to shift to be a lot more efficient. For the sake of the next generation, I certainly hope so.
Many, probably most, universities will be forced to do so in order to stay open.

This is very likely to cause many of them to start doing a cost-benefit analysis of new majors (i.e. how much will it cost the institution to support the program vs. how much tuition and other financial support it will bring in). It's shocking to many, but this is rarely done at public universities.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: College in fall

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:44 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:07 pm
Mudpuppy wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:01 pm
Exterous wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:11 am
Administration levels are even more complicated. "Administration" is not just your Presidents, Provosts, Key Administrators but also your researchers, programmers, librarians, facilities, IT, maintenance and janitors. Faculty are being asked to do less administrative work that is offloaded to their units - or at least they are not being asked to take on as much additional administrative work as new things (regulations, technology etc) come up. New pedagogical staff resources are available to them to help with their instruction. Programmers available to help them get\model\manipulate research data. Librarians and archivists to help them retain information "indefinitely" in new ways. Movers to move furniture throughout the day to accommodate different session\labs without needing to buy\build\remodel buildings.
That's all well and good... if those support staff are actually doing essential jobs and also performing in their jobs at a level that warranted their retention in an economic downturn. I'll just say that this is not true given the information I've heard from the people I know who work at the local public universities. They describe multiple scenarios, all anecdotal of course, but with a heft of repetition across different people, that boil down to severe inefficiencies and bloat within those offices. To give an example of some common themes, they hire more people but do not address training issues that are causing problems with current staff, or they hire more people to manually process data instead of investigating a software tool that would make it possible to automate tasks and accomplish them with fewer people. It all just screams of structural inefficiencies, and I'm sure their institutions are not the only ones suffering from it.
Here's an example: an upper level administrator in charge of 'diversity'. This isn't a social or political commentary, but in reality, how much influence does a university administrator have over this? About zero. Of those who have held such positions that I'm familiar with, all they do is go around talking to various campus groups about how great diversity is and how we should all be sensitive to others' needs. Does that justify an expense over $100k, including benefits, employment taxes, etc.?
This nonsense is also coming to the private workforce. One of my employees was yesterday named my employer's "director of diversity". If I was to list her responsibilities, it would get this thread locked down immediately.

oldfatguy
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Re: College in fall

Post by oldfatguy » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:40 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:07 pm

Here's an example: an upper level administrator in charge of 'diversity'. This isn't a social or political commentary, but ...
Yes, actually, it is.

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Re: College in fall

Post by oldfatguy » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:45 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:01 pm

That's all well and good... if those support staff are actually doing essential jobs and also performing in their jobs at a level that warranted their retention in an economic downturn. I'll just say that this is not true given the information I've heard from the people I know who work at the local public universities.
In my experience, nearly everyone thinks their own job/department is essential, but others are not.

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willthrill81
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Re: College in fall

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:49 pm

oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:40 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:07 pm

Here's an example: an upper level administrator in charge of 'diversity'. This isn't a social or political commentary, but ...
Yes, actually, it is.
What I said has nothing whatsoever to do with how much value a university should place on diversity. It has everything to do with 'window dressing'.
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:45 pm
Mudpuppy wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:01 pm

That's all well and good... if those support staff are actually doing essential jobs and also performing in their jobs at a level that warranted their retention in an economic downturn. I'll just say that this is not true given the information I've heard from the people I know who work at the local public universities.
In my experience, nearly everyone thinks their own job/department is essential, but others are not.
Of course.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
-Upton Sinclair
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

oldfatguy
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Re: College in fall

Post by oldfatguy » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:57 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:49 pm
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:40 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:07 pm

Here's an example: an upper level administrator in charge of 'diversity'. This isn't a social or political commentary, but ...
Yes, actually, it is.
What I said has nothing whatsoever to do with how much value a university should place on diversity. It has everything to do with 'window dressing'.
The fact that you view it as "window dressing" IS social/political commentary, regardless of whether you are right or wrong.

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willthrill81
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Re: College in fall

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:59 pm

oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:57 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:49 pm
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:40 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:07 pm

Here's an example: an upper level administrator in charge of 'diversity'. This isn't a social or political commentary, but ...
Yes, actually, it is.
What I said has nothing whatsoever to do with how much value a university should place on diversity. It has everything to do with 'window dressing'.
The fact that you view it as "window dressing" IS social/political commentary, regardless of whether you are right or wrong.
Not at all. A person going around making speeches does virtually nothing to change an institution's diversity. If you have evidence to the contrary, I'd love to hear it.

The 'window dressing' refers to the fact that the institution can and does tell outside entities "Look, we have a director of diversity. That means that we're committed to diversity." Hiring a director of diversity who goes around making speeches does not make the institution more diverse or place more value on diversity in any way.
Last edited by willthrill81 on Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: College in fall

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:00 pm

oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:57 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:49 pm
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:40 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:07 pm

Here's an example: an upper level administrator in charge of 'diversity'. This isn't a social or political commentary, but ...
Yes, actually, it is.
What I said has nothing whatsoever to do with how much value a university should place on diversity. It has everything to do with 'window dressing'.
The fact that you view it as "window dressing" IS social/political commentary, regardless of whether you are right or wrong.
And, regardless of right or wrong, let’s please not get this useful thread closed.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

oldfatguy
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Re: College in fall

Post by oldfatguy » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:01 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:00 pm
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:57 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:49 pm
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:40 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:07 pm

Here's an example: an upper level administrator in charge of 'diversity'. This isn't a social or political commentary, but ...
Yes, actually, it is.
What I said has nothing whatsoever to do with how much value a university should place on diversity. It has everything to do with 'window dressing'.
The fact that you view it as "window dressing" IS social/political commentary, regardless of whether you are right or wrong.
And, regardless of right or wrong, let’s please not get this useful thread closed.
I don't believe I've posted anything that violates the forum rules, nor am I the one who brought up the topic.

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willthrill81
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Re: College in fall

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:01 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:00 pm
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:57 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:49 pm
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:40 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:07 pm

Here's an example: an upper level administrator in charge of 'diversity'. This isn't a social or political commentary, but ...
Yes, actually, it is.
What I said has nothing whatsoever to do with how much value a university should place on diversity. It has everything to do with 'window dressing'.
The fact that you view it as "window dressing" IS social/political commentary, regardless of whether you are right or wrong.
And, regardless of right or wrong, let’s please not get this useful thread closed.
Agreed. I won't respond to further comments on that topic.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

DoTheMath
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Re: College in fall

Post by DoTheMath » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:28 pm

Exterous wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:11 am
Faculty are being asked to do less administrative work that is offloaded to their units - or at least they are not being asked to take on as much additional administrative work as new things (regulations, technology etc) come up.
This has not been my experience. Year-by-year the administrative duties on departments in general and faculty in particular rachet ever upward. Like with inflation, even small amounts of extra work accumulate over time.
“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains...” -- John Muir

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willthrill81
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Re: College in fall

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:39 pm

DoTheMath wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:28 pm
Exterous wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:11 am
Faculty are being asked to do less administrative work that is offloaded to their units - or at least they are not being asked to take on as much additional administrative work as new things (regulations, technology etc) come up.
This has not been my experience. Year-by-year the administrative duties on departments in general and faculty in particular rachet ever upward. Like with inflation, even small amounts of extra work accumulate over time.
My experience as been very similar. Faculty at my institution must go through annual training for the Clery act (the same training as every other year), complete a form annually related to the Clery act (even if nothing was reported to them), go through annual IT security training, go through annual diversity training, etc. Nothing is ever dropped; new duties just keep being added. This is especially true of department chairs, which are not usually counted as administrators.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

UniversityMgmt
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Re: College in fall

Post by UniversityMgmt » Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:19 pm

University Administrator here. I would strongly advise anyone considering Community College because of Covid to ensure that course credit is transferrable to your home institution and is degree pursuant. My university has rules about how much credit will be accepted as transient work.

Also anyone whose child is considering a gap year should be preparing that student to do work to keep up their math and science skills or to plan on taking those courses as repeats when they do start college. These courses are the ones in which students are most likely to struggle and the coursework builds upon itself making it very difficult to move forward if you have a knowledge/skill gap in a particular concept. Even a few months not doing math hurts kids, a whole year could be devastating. Having a bad first semester can really hurt students in terms of their academic progress, impacts scholarships and aid. Just keep those things in mind as you are helping your kids decide.

I have two kids in school. Senior in Nursing and sophomore in Computer Science. My Nursing kid doesn't care if her classes are online as long as they get clinicals in the hospital. My computer science kid, wants all online classes because she doesn't want to be exposed to the kids who won't follow the "rules". I think they will both get their wishes.

The level of complication involved in making college happen for kids this fall is absolutely unbelievable. Almost all of the templates are out the window. The ripple effects of every decision go on and on. A colleague who does admin support has a faculty husband. Two weeks into working from home he told her he couldn't believe how hard administrators worked. If you know anyone who works in higher ed. finance, financial aid, or communications, I can assure you that they have been working their tails off for months.

RetiredCSProf
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Re: College in fall

Post by RetiredCSProf » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:44 pm

One local private college is taking a "hybrid" approach to having face-to-face classes this fall. School will start in the fall as usual with face-to-face classes, but will transition to online classes after Thanksgiving break. The school is thinking that this will reduce a potential spike in virus / flu / or whatever for students traveling over Thanksgiving and then returning to campus a week later.

22twain
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Re: College in fall

Post by 22twain » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:57 pm

RetiredCSProf wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:44 pm
One local private college is taking a "hybrid" approach to having face-to-face classes this fall. School will start in the fall as usual with face-to-face classes, but will transition to online classes after Thanksgiving break.
That's what my (former) college is planning also. In my experience, this makes some sense academically, because I (and most of my colleagues) never managed to cover much new material after Thanksgiving break. We usually had students complete projects and give presentations during that period, followed by final exams. Most or all of that can be reasonably done remotely.
Help save endangered words! When you write "princiPLE", make sure you don't really mean "princiPAL"!

HereToLearn
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Re: College in fall

Post by HereToLearn » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:58 am

RetiredCSProf wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:44 pm
One local private college is taking a "hybrid" approach to having face-to-face classes this fall. School will start in the fall as usual with face-to-face classes, but will transition to online classes after Thanksgiving break. The school is thinking that this will reduce a potential spike in virus / flu / or whatever for students traveling over Thanksgiving and then returning to campus a week later.
This is the most commonly-discussed model. Schools also plan to eliminate fall break and cancel Parents' Weekend. Again, hoping to cut down on travel-related transmission.

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Re: College in fall

Post by Mudpuppy » Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:14 am

Wall Street Journal released a YouTube video on the impacts of the pandemic on higher education that discusses several of the points on this thread: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo9UxC6dfG4

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