Week in review: June 13, 2013

Earlier this week, a state report showed that the rising costs of public higher education in Virginia are largely due to increased spending on non-educational expenses. According to the study, “student housing, dining, and intercollegiate athletics – through auxiliary enterprises – has been the largest driver of spending increases at Virginia institutions.” At the same time, financial support from the state has declined 22 percent over the past 20 years, putting more financial strain on students. 

Source: Virginia Jouint Legislative Audit and Review Commission

According to the report, Mason spends 44 percent of its total budget on instruction, the highest in the state. Auxiliary Enterprises, which encompasses programs such as student housing and sports, makes up 25 percent of Mason’s overall budget, a nine percent increase from last year. The full report is here.

Source: George Mason University Office of Budget & Planning

Study: Most Virginia college spending not on instruction. The cost of attending Virginia’s public universities has been driven up 150 percent in the past two decades largely as the result of spending not directly related to instruction and declining state funding, according to a study mandated by the General Assembly. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) report Monday found that most spending by four-year institutions is on auxiliary enterprises, such as intercollegiate athletics, student housing and dining. By Karin Kapsidelis on Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Q&A: Alan Merten on GMU’s Place in NOVA Economy, IT Education: “ExecutiveBiz: How can higher level educators help students gain successful careers beyond the traditional classroom education? Merten: In the Mason case the educator may be a traditional faculty member or a full-time employee that just teaches one class. I think it’s important that the university create situations where students hear from traditional faculty an also hear from non-traditional faculty – those who are in the world of work. Back to Dr. Johnson’s time, we always made sure we and the deans hired people who were in the world of work. That makes it easy to talk about the world of work because they were in it.” By Ross Wilkers on ExecutiveBiz.com.

Report: Mason students are working harder: “Compared to their 2006 counterparts, 2012 FY students reported significantly more gains in acquiring job related knowledge and skills, understanding themselves, solving complex real-world problems, developing a personal code of values and ethics, and contributing to the welfare of the community; 2012 SR students also reported significantly more gains in learning effectively on their own.” Read the full report here.

The Freshman Focus has arrived! A new magazine entirely dedicated to freshmen life at Mason. Check out how students spent their first year at Mason, including C2M’s own meteorologist! See the full publication here.

Betting Against the Future: How Industry Loses When Interns Go Unpaid: “To put it simply, the current arrangement between employers and unpaid interns is neither fair nor sustainable. The set-up — where organizations hire workers under pet names such as “apprentice” or “volunteer” and pass off full-time employees’ responsibilities without compensation — undermines a large pool of people in this country, typically young folks.” By Hannah Trudo on ProPublica. 

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