At a Legislative hearing Nov. 19 the Coordinating Commission made the case for continuing to use a share of State lottery revenue to help fund a need-based financial aid program for Nebraska college students.
The Coordinating Commission at its Oct. 14 meeting approved its 2015-2017 budget recommendations for the University of Nebraska, State College System and the state’s community colleges. The Commission now forwards those recommendations to the Legislature and Governor for their consideration before they approve higher-education budgets during the upcoming Legislative session.
Gov. Dave Heineman has appointed John Bernthal, a retired professor and department chair at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, to fill the 1st District vacancy for the Coordinating Commission.
Before retiring in 2011, Bernthal was a professor and served as chair of the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also has served in leadership positions in professional associations and is the past president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Nebraska has been approved for participation in a national reciprocity agreement that will streamline the process for institutions to offer distance learning courses to out-of-state students.
Nebraska's Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education has hired Dr. Michael Baumgartner as its next Executive Director.
The Commission voted unanimously to hire Baumgartner after interviewing him in Lincoln on July 11. Baumgartner currently serves as Chief Financial Officer for Complete College America, a national nonprofit organization that works with states to increase the number of Americans with quality career certificates or college degrees and to close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations.
The Commission recently approved the latest of many reports it issues, Nebraska Postsecondary Enrollment, Tuition & Fees, and Financial Aid: 2013 Supplemental Data Report. This report focuses on enrollment, tuition and fees, and financial aid for Nebraska's public postsecondary institutions. A few of the report's key findings:
The Nebraska Legislature adjourned April 17 after debating and passing numerous higher-education bills. The Coordinating Commission offered testimony on 10 bills and monitored their progress throughout the session.
The Commission also worked with several senators and their staff as they researched and drafted legislation.
The Coordinating Commission has formally begun its search process for a new executive director. The Commission is filling the vacancy left by Dr. Marshall Hill, who resigned in August 2013 to accept another higher-education position in Colorado. Since then, Dr. Carna Pfeil has served as the Commission’s interim executive director. Pfeil was associate director for finance and administration and has been with the Commission for more than 20 years. Those interested in learning more about the executive director position and the search process should visit the Commission's website.
The Coordinating Commission recently voted to fund four projects through a U.S. Department of Education grant program designed to improve K-12 teachers’ content knowledge and professional skills.
The Coordinating Commission offered testimony on 10 higher-education-related bills currently being considered by the State Legislature. Interim Executive Director Carna Pfeil spoke on behalf of the commission for five of the bills; the commission submitted testimony in letter form for the others. Below is a brief description of those bills, as well as a link to the commission's submitted testimony.