Office of Planning and Budgeting

Higher Ed News Roundup

The below are some of the non-Washington State higher education budget and policy stories that made the news this week:

  • Arizona: Senate Bill 1115 was passed out of Appropriations Committee after midnight on Tuesday. The hastily considered bill surprised many and would effect dramatic change in Arizona higher education should it make its way to law, including replacing the current state funding to institutions with a voucher system that would provide an as yet unspecified amount of money directly to the student, abolishing the Arizona Board of Regents and creating individual governing boards at each institution, and allowing for the addition of more state institutions, including making ASU’s East Mesa campus a freestanding Polytechnic University. Committee chair and bill sponsor, Andy Biggs, said, “I’m trying to get at greater autonomy and greater stability and flexibility to the university heads by having their own boards of trustees.” The universities oppose this measure.
  • Georgia: Budget pressures in Georgia make deep cuts and eligibility changes to the innovative HOPE Scholarship program likely. The current program is the most generous state financial aid program in the nation as it has no income caps and provides the full cost of an undergraduate degree at any public institution in Georgia for all students with a 3.0 or above high school gpa. Over one third of all resident students currently enrolled in Georgia public institutions benefit from the program.
  • Ohio: Inside Higher Ed pondered the role politics played in the resignation of University System of Ohio Chancellor Eric Fingerhut more than a year before his term was up.
  • Wisconsin: The revelation that Governor Walker was set to propose increased autonomy for UW Madison led to some fallout with the UW System Regents who support increased flexibility, but are troubled by the idea of separating UW Madison from the system. A special Regents meeting to discuss the proposal was called for today. In response, UW Madison produced a summary of the proposal and its anticipated effects to help quell opposition.

Also note that NYT reporter David Leonhardt published an interview with the authors of the recent book Why Does College Cost So Much?. We were pretty honored that Leonhardt recommended our summary of the book in the introduction of the piece!

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