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Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
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 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:21 pm 
Below is an excerpt from the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee, Program Evaluation: High Educational Cost Drivers and Cost Savings, Oct 24, 2017.

“However, WNMU and NNMC had proportional spending on administration close to double their national benchmarks, indicating they are overspending on their institution’s executives and administrative operations and not enough on providing instruction for their students.

Spending on administration…$7,454,144
Spending on instruction…$16,162,313
Ratio administration/instruction….0.46
National Benchmark ratio…0.28

Although WNMU also saw declines in spending per student FTE over the 10 year period (FY07 to FY16), much of this decline came in spending on instruction, a category linked to improved student outcomes. While spending on instruction declined by 16 percent over the 10 year period, spending on instructional support grew by 68 percent. WNMU almost doubled staff and spending on executive management over 10 year period growing from 12.8 staff FTE at $1 million in FY07 to 23.8 staff FTE and $1.9 million.

Instructional leadership positions seeing the largest increase over 10 year period (FY07 to FY16) include… WNMU (43 percent for president)”.

The study, also, showed WNMU to have the highest cost of attendance of any university in the state at $19,810 per year.
ENMU had a cost of attendance of only $13,974 per year. That’s a difference between WNMU and ENMU of $5,836 per year.

 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:52 pm 
Get your own copy of the report at:

https://www.nmlegis.gov/Entity/LFC/Docu ... avings.pdf

Check out Appendix N

 Author: Kevin B
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:25 am 
Wow Al, thanks for sharing that link. I note that the historical data based on the ten year period between '06-'16 is essentially twice the length of time Joe Shepard has been in office, so it really straddles his term here. When I look over the programs and progress he's already made during that time and the direction he's heading I'm way more impressed now than I've been. I knew for instance that he's increased research programs at WNMU directly impacting quality of education, and he's tackled the school's considerable housing challenges he inherited as Appendix N you drew attention to makes clear. In fact, in both respects I understand WNMU recently purchased some nine acres of land on Alabama Street earmarked to become either a research park or for housing, so clearly his focus continues to center on solving both those needs. I did not know however that WNMU also gained enrollment by 25% during that period as the chart on page 30 points out. To succeed in growing the school's infrastructure, while, increasing research initiatives, while boosting student enrollment, all amid woefully falling off State appropriated funding support as described on page 2 seems almost miraculous. Evidently getting rid of the old guard and lackluster instructors who used to lounge around at this school has really made a difference, clearly WNMU is at last heading forward thanks to Sheppard's progressive thinking and action. I presume you recognize the same remarkable progress under his leadership for which reason you posted this link. Thanks again for sharing with us.

 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:17 pm 
Kevin B: I will use President Shepard’s favorite statement he makes about my data about your statement, if you really believe what you wrote, you don’t understand the data.

For 2006 to 2010 President Counts operated the University, all of the increase in enrollment occurred during this time. What follows is the data staring in 2010 the last year of President Counts, 2016 the last year in the study and also this year 2017. President Shepard took over in 2011.

2010 ( last year of President Counts)
Head Count..3,506
Tuition and Fees…$1,800

2016 ( last year in study)
Head Count…3,427
Tuition and Fees…$3,322

Results from beginning of President Shepard’s administration to end of study
Head Count ..down 2.3%
FTE…down 1%
Tuition and fees…up 85% as a comparison during the same period UNM’s tuition and fees increased 38%

Head count..3,088
Tuition and fees.. $3,412

Results from the beginning of President Shepard’s administration to present
Head Count… down 12%
FTE…down 8.5%
Tuition and fees…up 90%

Other landmarks of the President Shepard administration:

Mustang Village construction cost overrun of over $5 million. Every full time student pays fees of over $500 a year to subsidize the students in the dorms.

Student Rec Center ran out of money before the project was completed, no outside sound stage, no outside basketball court, no outside volleyball court, and no walking trail.

WOW Café over 4 months behind schedule.

In 2010 the nursing student pass rate for licensing was 94.7%, in 2016 68% one of the lowest in the state.

Attendance at athletic events down 70%.

Full time students pay $240 a year in student infrastructure fees to pay for the University face lift.

I could include some statistics that show positive increase but they’re all administrative salaries.

As far as I know I’m the only old guard and lackluster instructor that left the University.

 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:10 am 
Kevin B.

The only thing that Appendix N shows is that Western is the most expensive state school to attend. More expensive than any of the research universities that includes UNM, NMSU and NM Tech.

How does Western being the most expensive school to attend help the people of southwest New Mexico?

 Author: crow
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:19 pm 
Yeah, the most expensive in one of the poorest areas of the state. I'm not sure when WNMU took the elite direction because when I moved my family here in 1980 the university prided itself in providing an educational opportunity to what were called "nontraditional students". Nontraditional students are working families, often poor, often with kids, often raised in SW NM and many were the first in their family to go to college. These students could take 5 to 7 years or longer to graduate and it was no big deal and student debt was kept low.

These students were one of the motivating factors to provide the "Early Learning Facility" on 12th Street.

 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:50 pm 
You could tell that the type of student wanted by the Western administration changed when President Shepard closed down the married student/family housing. The non-traditional student was no longer wanted.

Western is the only 4-year state school that does not have married student/family housing.

Northern New mexico College does not have any student housing.

 Author: Kevin B
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:18 pm 
> The only thing that Appendix N shows is that Western is the most expensive state school to attend. More expensive than any of the research universities that includes UNM, NMSU and NM Tech. - Al Milligan

Well Al, you're certainly entitled to your opinion and entitled to base your opinion on whatever you want, even factually incorrect statements absent any verification or fact checking you're quick to lecture others over. In any case, I see so little balance in your assertions I can't accept any of what you say without a great deal of caution.

In this instance, when I look at Appendix N, I see a lot more than "only" Western's cost of attendance. I see a summary breakdown of Tuition and Fees, Room and Board, Books and Supplies, and Miscellaneous expenses comparing WNMU against 10 other New Mexico schools, three of which are Community College's. Of those schools, I see that books, supplies, and miscellaneous costs are about the same across the board, and most of all I see Appendix N clearly shows that actual cost for Tuition and Fees to attend Western, are LESS EXPENSIVE than those at UNM, NMSU and NM Tech.

But in addition I see Appendix N claims to include the local cost of living within the cost of attendance, most notably room and board. And I see the data it's using to do that is so hopelessly flawed as to be utterly useless and obviously not fact checked, neither by the LFC nor by you. Just a quick scan down the numbers shows such wide variation as to immediately provoke suspicion and only a few minutes with Google bares out that the numbers shown are just wrong; which at least in some cases you're well aware of. So while you may be happy to use obviously wrong data to bolster your opinions and advance your agenda, that doesn't work for me. Rather, the credibility of the entire study is called into question. If the LFC made no effort to confirm the validity of their room and board data, what else did they slop and skip over for you to capitalize on.

Perhaps the most telling insight about the study can be found in the Executive Summary on Page 1 prominently declaring, "New Mexico's institutions of higher education must improve efficiency to keep college affordable." Right there the LFC reveals its fundamentally flawed premise that our schools are affordable now and just need a bit of improved efficiency to remain so. Not only is that notion patently absurd it expresses total disconnection with the real problems of outrageous education cost, student loan debt, and the meager ROI for those pursuing higher education anywhere in this country. Which as you know, are nationwide problems are far above Western's ability to solve just as Western can't realistically change the cost of living in Silver City or the position it's been assigned on Appendix N thanks to flawed data.

What could change is your crusade to influence anyone possible with your derogatory remarks about WNMU based on every misleading factor you can drum up. For within that impressionable group are our aspiring young minds struggling to figure out a way through the morass toward making academic and career choices for themselves, kids looking to you and your words for advice and guidance.

So as to your question: "How does Western being the most expensive school to attend help the people of southwest New Mexico?"

What will help the people of southwest New Mexico, is fact checking, truth, realty, and positive suggestions toward improving the school. Not what you're doing.

 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:33 pm 
Kevin B: You need to remember that the data the LFC used in the study are for fiscal year 2016-17 the numbers you’ll find on the web sites for the various schools now is for fiscal year 2017-18. For example tuition and fees for Western in 2016-17 is $6,644 but now on Western’s web site you’ll find tuition and fees $6,824. I did find a mistake of a couple of thousand for ENMU but it doesn’t change the results.

2017-18 tuition and fees
Things to notice: for the research universities the difference between the high and low is $42, the difference between the high and low for comprehensive universities is $1,020, with Western $908 more than the next higher.

2017-18 cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room, meals)
UNM is now $64 more expensive than Western. The above numbers are only for tuition, fees, room, and meals. I don’t like to use books and miscellaneous costs because there is now basis in fact for the numbers used.

Most freshmen from New Mexico can qualify for the Lottery Scholarship
2017-18 Tuition and Fees for Lottery Scholarships
For a person on the Lottery Scholarship Western is by far the most expensive university for tuition and fees.

2017-18 cost of attendance with lottery scholarship
If a student qualifies for the Lottery Scholarship he can attend any university in New Mexico and pay less than Western.

Can anyone explain why Western should cost so much more than its peers? How do you explain to a parent why they should have to pay a thousand dollars more to send their child to Western than a parent in Portales pays to send their child to Eastern?

All of the above data is available on the Higher Ed web site and the official web sites of the various schools. If you look at web sites such as collegecalc.org you may get different numbers.

 Author: Kevin B
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:48 pm 
Once again Al, the figures you relied on to represent Western as being the most costly to attend based on the inclusion of room and board and just wrong; differences between 2016, 2017 and 2018 notwithstanding. Not only are the figures attributed to Western overly burdened, other schools show way under valued rates for their room and board costs. That's certainly true for ENMU for instance, where in addition they also neglect food. In realty, the $3,394 room and board pricing shown only gets you a 224sqft dorm space you have to share with a roommate, effectively 112sq ft of living space. You can get better accommodations at ENMU, but they will cost up to $7,644, and if you want to eat there as well, their minimum meal plan will cost another $1,782.

None of that is represented by Appendix N. Rather, the LFC claims room and board at Eastern costs just $3,394 while comparable accommodations at Western cost $9,690. - Flat out bogus. And instead of validating their figures and/or making any attempt to normalize their data for the sake of reaching a fair comparison, the LFC covers their tracks with the caveat, "Each institution publishes its own estimated CoA," separating themselves from their errors, bias, sloppiness, or whatever else underlies their shabby research work. And these errors of ENMU's costs are in addition to whatever errors you said you found.

I have no doubt if one took the time to dig into the other numbers the LFC is relying on even further inaccuracies would surface. When a study's basic data like this are flawed, any claims or conclusions based on that data are no better than useless, bringing us to this claim and conclusion.

"For a person on the Lottery Scholarship Western is by far the most expensive university for tuition and fees." - Al Milligan

Just using your numbers Al:

UNM $16,808 (tuition and fees) - 3,704 (lottery scholarship) = $13,104
WNMU $16,744 (tuition and fees) - $4,486 (lottery scholarship) = $12,258

Where I come from, $12,258 is LESS THAN $13,104, and therefore not only is Western NOT "by far the most expensive university for tuition and fees" for a person on the Lottery Scholarship, it's an easy $846 less than UNM.

So what are you doing Al? Are you thinking a long page of numbers, charts and matrices are going to be so confusing for most people they'll just accept whatever you claim without question, like some Donald Trump tactic? Just keep dishing out what you want them to believe then discredit anyone who challenges you, ignore the truth and deny the facts.

I really did not want to get drawn into this conversation with you Al. It was your lecture to Thelynno22 about "fact checking" and your answer to my question about it on the <They both do it...> thread that threw me over the edge. But at this point I'm done. If you want to get the last word in with another of your slams on Shepard and WNMU go for it, and if you want to keep on using the LFC to advance your campaign of malice there's nothing anybody's going to say to convince you otherwise. I just hope that anyone in the future who bumps into this conversation in pursuit of information they can use to make an informed scholastic decision, looks elsewhere.

 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:51 am 
Kevin B:

Your research on the amount of Lottery Scholarship is incorrect; for a research university (UNM, NMSU, NMIMT) the amount is $1,721 per semester or $3,442 per year, for a comprehensive university (ENMU, NMHU, NNMC, WNMU) it's $1,169 a semester or $2,338 a year. I confirmed these numbers with the Dept of Higher Ed this morning.

So recalculating your calculations with the appropriate numbers:

UNM: $16,808 (tuition, fees, room, meals) - $3,442 (lottery scholarship) = $13,366
WNMU: $16,744 (tuition, fees, room, meals) - $2,338 (lottery scholarship) =$14,406

Conclusion: WNMU is more expensive

Side note: On WNMU's web page they give the lottery scholarship as $3,286.22 per year or $1,643.11 a semester.

 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:45 pm 
After I informed the VP of Business Affairs at Western that the amount of Lottery Scholarship shown on Western's web site ($3,287.22) was incorrect, it has been changed to the correct value $2,338.10 per year.

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