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Regents looking for more efficiency

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 5:25 PM
Last updated Thursday, Aug 15, 2013 2:10 AM
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What might seem like different plans calling for greater efficiency, moves like the consolidation of schools such as Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities are part of a longterm strategy to get greater value and more focus on student services, a University System of Georgia spokesman said.

The system’s Board of Regents approved Wednesday a new Strategic Plan and also a new “sector policy” calling on the colleges and universities to more tightly focus on their particular missions, spokesman John Millsaps said. The process began with the arrival of Chancellor Hank Huckaby and has continued with his call for more judicious use of resources to respond to what he calls the “new normal” of reduced state funding, Millsaps said.

“His theme is to focus the system, to re-pivot it so that the focus isn’t necessarily on institutions or programs but how they serve students,” Millsaps said.

It includes things like a space utilization study to look at how efficiently schools are utilizing what they have and was one of the primary drivers behind consolidation, Millsaps said.

It is trying to answer the question of “how do you direct those resources to the primary mission in the best way possible,” he said. State funding took a hit in recent years but even with the economy slowly recovering Huckaby is warning “don’t expect that the way it has been done in years past is coming back,” Millsaps said.

For instance, a budget for new signage with the Georgia Regents University name, approved Wednesday by the board, will be funded by money from the clinical system and the margin it affords the university, a GRU official said.

There are people asking hard questions about the value of the education schools are providing and Huckaby wants schools to be able to answer that, Millsaps said.

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thauch12
6982
Points
thauch12 08/14/13 - 05:44 pm
5
1
I'll believe it when I

I'll believe it when I actually see it happen. Like most aspects of our bloated governments, public higher education has functioned with this "blank check" mentality for way too long. I definitely applaud any efforts to curb this trend through aiming for higher efficiency.

On that note, I really do hope the new GRU becomes a university with high standards, especially when it comes to its admissions process. Millions if not billions of dollars were wasted at the old ASU educating students who did not have the necessary skills to be in a four-year college in the first place and that has been reflected in the school's abysmal graduation rates over the years.

Contrary to what the leftists will tell you about "education always being a good thing," the world has little use for people with 1 or 2 semesters of college under their belt with a 1.5 GPA, and even less when it comes on the tax paying publc's dime. Send these people to two year community colleges, which in addition to being considerably cheaper, will give these students an opportunity to develop necessary skills.

Riverman1
90783
Points
Riverman1 08/15/13 - 02:48 am
1
1
Thauch12, I'll do you one even better

Thauch12, I'll do you one even better. The first two years should be done online. That way those who can't handle true college work will wash out without a lot of expense to the school or themselves.

corgimom
36830
Points
corgimom 08/15/13 - 05:38 am
1
5
As long as that HOPE

As long as that HOPE scholarship money comes rolling in, ASU will admit barely-literate, academically unqualifed students.

So what if they flunk out, as long as ASU gets the tuition money.

flcracker
137
Points
flcracker 08/15/13 - 05:38 am
1
0
GRU

Maybe GRU should focus more on getting the Financial Aid Office at the Summerville office more staff. I have been waiting since Monday for them to add one form to my account. I completed it Friday night. Once this form is added my financial aid kicks in. At this point I can't even get my books and school starts on Monday. I have called twice this week and never received a call back; and an email I sent last week has still been unanswered. Looks like I'll have to use extra gas on my lunch break and go down there in person.

wordwright
134
Points
wordwright 08/15/13 - 05:53 am
1
0
Thoughts on higher education from the inside...

1. An educated democracy is always a good thing. People are too easily led astray by shiny objects promising unfulfillable expectations. However, too many students with marginal skills are admitted to colleges today. How a"college student" with a third-grade reading level is supposed to perform in college, I have no idea. How did a student graduate from high school with a third-grade reading level in the first place?

2. Online education is not cheaper in the long run. Online classes--real classes--have high failure rates. Does no one see the conflict of interest between Bill Gates's push for more online classes and his occupation? He creates software--online classes need software, so Bill is just seeking a way to create another revenue stream for his services.

3. Complete College America (Georgia) is already leading to further dumbing down of curriculum. Even GRU is expected to increase its pass quotas. I know of a school (not GRU) that is forcing teachers to increase pass rates three percent every year. Educators are already scrambling to pass as many students as they can, but to increase the percentage rate means that some students who should not pass will. Higher pass rates don't necessarily mean that students are learning more or achieving higher goals. An unnamed nursing program is changing to easier math and science classes because they are hard subjects and difficult for students to pass. I don't know about you, but I want my nurse to be able to calculate accurately any necessary math for my medications.

4. Many educators with high standards have already left or are looking to leave the system. No raises in eight years (higher ed) or for the foreseeable future and now this assault on their integrity have taken their toll. It's not fun being Public Enemy No. 1. Soon, people will be asking where have all the good teachers gone.

5. Parents should be very concerned about what their students are learning. Many parents I see are more concerned about the grades their student receives than about whether the student actually learns anything.

6. Finally, students should be held accountable for their own learning. If students don't pass, why do many people automatically assume it's because of the teacher? Maybe, it's because the student didn't attend classes or didn't do the required assignments.

7. Don't worry about me taking your precious tax dollars. I'm on the way out--I've had enough.

KSL
140497
Points
KSL 08/15/13 - 06:11 am
1
1
From the list of top headlines

"Regents Want Schools to Focus on Students"

What a novel idea!

WalterBradfordCannon
1492
Points
WalterBradfordCannon 08/15/13 - 06:22 am
1
1
wordwright, well put. The GRU

wordwright, well put. The GRU budgets have, in the past three years, focussed a significant fraction of resources AWAY from teaching, research, and student services and into administration. This shift parallels a shift in much of the USA in which the costs of education rise faster than inflation, and virtually all of the increases in cost go to administration, and are not reflected in the primary missions of the university. As an example, Medical School tuition has risen 27% since 2009-10, yet, the university spends less on its instructional and student services budgets than it did in 2010. Much less. Where did that additional 27% ($1.4 million) go? And why isn't anyone asking the administration why it is providing a lesser quality product for an increased price?

Bizkit
34430
Points
Bizkit 08/15/13 - 07:30 am
1
1
I don't believe the

I don't believe the "assumption" that joining the schools will be more efficient and save money has any basis in fact. I predict just the opposite.

E Denise Caldon
4
Points
E Denise Caldon 08/15/13 - 07:35 am
2
1
Board of Regents' Hidden Agendas Aided by Atty. General Olens

The Regents may profess they are “seeking more efficiency,” the fact remains that their attorney, Attorney General Sam Olens, filed his fourth “Response in Opposition” on 7 September 2012 in Fulton County Superior Court to the Fourth Motion in my Georgia Whistleblower case* that requested the Court to release Depositions, Affidavits and Discovery documents which confirm ethical and fiscal violations – many thought to be criminal - by his defendants – the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia that negatively impact USG faculty, staff and students statewide. *Caldon v BOR 2009-CV-165267

Gov. Deal, the General Assembly and the public need to demand from the Regents “more accountability” as the current GA Constitution allows the BOR “exclusive authority” to do what they want. After my 15 years in the Office of the President of one public college, I assure you – Attorney General Sam Olens’s repeated oppositions to the public’s “right to know,” are further “red flags” that the BOR have a hidden agenda and a lot to keep from public view. Stay tuned…..

soapy_725
43963
Points
soapy_725 08/15/13 - 08:50 am
0
0
GRU could do "best practices/bench marking" with Paine. LOL
Unpublished

GRU could do "best practices/bench marking" with Paine. LOL

soapy_725
43963
Points
soapy_725 08/15/13 - 08:51 am
0
0
A Federal Grant Dollar is a terrible thing to waste.
Unpublished

A Federal Grant Dollar is a terrible thing to waste.

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