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Author Topic: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020  (Read 2725 times)

forgetful

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #50 on: October 06, 2020, 10:31:02 PM »
Interesting.  Can you elaborate more on these tactics Forgetful?

Some institutions turned their focus to more local students, and expanded their range for these students in terms of test scores.

By doing so they were able to capitalize on local students, who were close test scores wise, that would prefer to stay near home given the situation in COVID. Students that may have not thought they could be admitted otherwise.

In some cases, that simultaneously allowed Universities to expand diversity.

dgies9156

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #51 on: October 06, 2020, 10:34:45 PM »
A couple of observations worthy of consideration:

1) Different things are expected out of an education today then the years when I was at MU. At the time, Marquette was proud of turning our well-educated persons who were liberally educated. Today, it's about finding a job. Period. Engineering, Law, Business, Health Sciences do well. Liberal Arts less so. Schools with demonstrated  placement records do well. Those that don't suffer. Marquette is in the middle on this one.

2) With the exception of perhaps two dozen or so institutions, you go to college where you want to work and live someday. If you go to Marquette, your best chance of being noticed will be in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Northern Indiana and maybe Iowa. If you want to live in these states for a good part of your life, Marquette is a great place and its graduates are distinguished. But in case you haven't noticed, the country is growing but the Great Lakes states are not. That's a problem for Marquette when it comes placing grads -- and people know it. The hot growth cities in the eastern United States are Charlotte, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham and Orlando. Maybe Washington, DC. In these cities, Marquette is about as well known as University of Minnesota-Duluth. Or Grinnell College.

3) Basketball helps. To the extent that the University of Notre Dame is a national university, it's because of its football program. In the 1970s, Marquette was well-known nationally because of our outstanding basketball program. When we fell off the radar in basketball, so we also did in attracting interest nationally. We reverted somewhat to being a Wisconsin/Illinois college. If we want a large freshman class, it requires visibility and interest. I question whether we have this right now. This is why Wojo is so important to our school.

4) MU's costs are out of line with value. OK, I get why someone would pay $70,000-plus annually to go to Harvard, all-in. I don't want to sound elitist, but one probably will recoup the cost over time due to the name value of a Harvard degree. Same for Yale, Stanford, Columbia etc. Marquette isn't in that league and yet our costs are approaching it. Imagine if you wanted to live in Nashville. Would you be better off paying for Marquette or the University of Tennessee? Years ago, when I was evaluating colleges, the answer was NOT orange and white, even though UT was a hell of a lot cheaper than MU. I think Marquette is a better school for many people, but if you can get in-state rates at UT, the equation evens out. Same for Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa or Indiana.

5) Costs Rose. OK, I get that the cost of educating today is different than years ago. And expectations are higher. But it's time to take a hard look at enrollment, what students want and what they're willing to pay for. Don't know enough to know about Marquette's curriculum today, but I'm guess there's a lot of fat. Time for a hard look -- a zero based budgeting approach.

6) Bad Press. Marquette has received some very bad press in the last decade or so. From basketball players whose foibles ended up on Page 1 of the Chicago Tribune, to a Dean Candidate who was at odds with Catholic teaching to reverence for certain revolutionaries with a very checkered past, Marquette has done an occasionally nice job of alienating the folks most likely to give to increase the endowment. You're always going to have malcontents who won't give for a perceived slight, but some of the high-profile incidents have proven hard for some to swallow.

Long before Covid-19 hit, a Marquette development officer talked about demographic changes and how the university will have to deal with bigger enrollment fights. It's a lot like what happened after the Baby Boom finished passing through the University in the mid-1980s. The Millennials will be through in the next few years and it's my view Marquette has two options -- up its game on the enrollment and image side -- or cut the heck out of costs, programs and administration.

Disco Hippie

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #52 on: October 06, 2020, 11:37:45 PM »
A couple of observations worthy of consideration:

2) With the exception of perhaps two dozen or so institutions, you go to college where you want to work and live someday. If you go to Marquette, your best chance of being noticed will be in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Northern Indiana and maybe Iowa. If you want to live in these states for a good part of your life, Marquette is a great place and its graduates are distinguished. But in case you haven't noticed, the country is growing but the Great Lakes states are not. That's a problem for Marquette when it comes placing grads -- and people know it. The hot growth cities in the eastern United States are Charlotte, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham and Orlando. Maybe Washington, DC. In these cities, Marquette is about as well known as University of Minnesota-Duluth. Or Grinnell College.

3) Basketball helps. To the extent that the University of Notre Dame is a national university, it's because of its football program. In the 1970s, Marquette was well-known nationally because of our outstanding basketball program. When we fell off the radar in basketball, so we also did in attracting interest nationally. We reverted somewhat to being a Wisconsin/Illinois college. If we want a large freshman class, it requires visibility and interest. I question whether we have this right now. This is why Wojo is so important to our school.


Great points Dgies9156! 

I agree with pretty much everything you said except point 2, although my geography might be skewing my POV on that because I live in the bubble that is the NYC suburbs.   In any case, students here travel all over the country to go to college.  While inevitably some students choose to pursue a career near their alma-mater following graduation, a far greater number return to the NYC Metro area following graduation. 

Again I get that it may not be fair to compare NYC to the rest of the country, especially given so may young grads from elsewhere aspire to move to NYC post graduation, (at least before Covid), but students from this area travel all over the country for college.  In fact the Northeastern flagships are considerably less popular than most Big 10 and SEC schools these days.   The Marquette brand is still well known enough in the areas you mentioned where grads can compete.  Of course it won't be as well known as the local schools but that's true for pretty much every non-local school except for the two dozen or so obvious institutions you referenced.

As for point 3, I couldn't agree more and it's a shame.  Basketball definitely helps but I think MU is too dependent on it.  They also believed that launching a competitive D1 LAX program would help recruiting in NE and Mid-Atlantic states.  I too, thought it would but unfortunately the matriculations from out here have barely budged in the last 10 years except for the LAX rosters.

MU needs to up it's game on the image and enrollment side big time because Hoops and LAX clearly aren't going to do that for them.   I've been saying this for years but because upping their image game is anathema to "THE MISSION" they won't, which is infuriating.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 11:42:17 PM by Disco Hippie »

Fluffy Blue Monster

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #53 on: October 07, 2020, 07:46:17 AM »
I don’t doubt that the declining enrollment at Marquette is more than just Covid. That said, it would be interesting to see the two-year decreases at comparable universities, to gauge the magnitude of the problem.


It isn't.  A 20%+ decrease in enrollment is hardly something that is common.
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Fluffy Blue Monster

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #54 on: October 07, 2020, 07:48:35 AM »
Some institutions turned their focus to more local students, and expanded their range for these students in terms of test scores.

By doing so they were able to capitalize on local students, who were close test scores wise, that would prefer to stay near home given the situation in COVID. Students that may have not thought they could be admitted otherwise.

In some cases, that simultaneously allowed Universities to expand diversity.


Also the local angle has brought in more transfers who want to be closer to home.  We were getting transfers from local students who just didn't want to go "away" up until the week before classes started. 
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Fluffy Blue Monster

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #55 on: October 07, 2020, 07:53:35 AM »
A couple of observations worthy of consideration:

1) Different things are expected out of an education today then the years when I was at MU. At the time, Marquette was proud of turning our well-educated persons who were liberally educated. Today, it's about finding a job. Period. Engineering, Law, Business, Health Sciences do well. Liberal Arts less so. Schools with demonstrated  placement records do well. Those that don't suffer. Marquette is in the middle on this one.

2) With the exception of perhaps two dozen or so institutions, you go to college where you want to work and live someday. If you go to Marquette, your best chance of being noticed will be in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Northern Indiana and maybe Iowa. If you want to live in these states for a good part of your life, Marquette is a great place and its graduates are distinguished. But in case you haven't noticed, the country is growing but the Great Lakes states are not. That's a problem for Marquette when it comes placing grads -- and people know it. The hot growth cities in the eastern United States are Charlotte, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham and Orlando. Maybe Washington, DC. In these cities, Marquette is about as well known as University of Minnesota-Duluth. Or Grinnell College.

3) Basketball helps. To the extent that the University of Notre Dame is a national university, it's because of its football program. In the 1970s, Marquette was well-known nationally because of our outstanding basketball program. When we fell off the radar in basketball, so we also did in attracting interest nationally. We reverted somewhat to being a Wisconsin/Illinois college. If we want a large freshman class, it requires visibility and interest. I question whether we have this right now. This is why Wojo is so important to our school.

4) MU's costs are out of line with value. OK, I get why someone would pay $70,000-plus annually to go to Harvard, all-in. I don't want to sound elitist, but one probably will recoup the cost over time due to the name value of a Harvard degree. Same for Yale, Stanford, Columbia etc. Marquette isn't in that league and yet our costs are approaching it. Imagine if you wanted to live in Nashville. Would you be better off paying for Marquette or the University of Tennessee? Years ago, when I was evaluating colleges, the answer was NOT orange and white, even though UT was a hell of a lot cheaper than MU. I think Marquette is a better school for many people, but if you can get in-state rates at UT, the equation evens out. Same for Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa or Indiana.

5) Costs Rose. OK, I get that the cost of educating today is different than years ago. And expectations are higher. But it's time to take a hard look at enrollment, what students want and what they're willing to pay for. Don't know enough to know about Marquette's curriculum today, but I'm guess there's a lot of fat. Time for a hard look -- a zero based budgeting approach.

6) Bad Press. Marquette has received some very bad press in the last decade or so. From basketball players whose foibles ended up on Page 1 of the Chicago Tribune, to a Dean Candidate who was at odds with Catholic teaching to reverence for certain revolutionaries with a very checkered past, Marquette has done an occasionally nice job of alienating the folks most likely to give to increase the endowment. You're always going to have malcontents who won't give for a perceived slight, but some of the high-profile incidents have proven hard for some to swallow.

Long before Covid-19 hit, a Marquette development officer talked about demographic changes and how the university will have to deal with bigger enrollment fights. It's a lot like what happened after the Baby Boom finished passing through the University in the mid-1980s. The Millennials will be through in the next few years and it's my view Marquette has two options -- up its game on the enrollment and image side -- or cut the heck out of costs, programs and administration.

Good points except...

Regarding #4, the average person isn't paying nearly $70,000.  I think it was mentioned that Marquette's net tuition was $23,000.  Add another $14,000 for room, board and fees, and the average student is paying $37,000.  That is about $10,000 more a year than a Wisconsin resident pays to go to UW-Madison.

#6 both happened around a decade ago.  Not even a factor.
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GOO

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #56 on: October 07, 2020, 10:42:33 AM »
I've said it before and people jump on me, but Marquette should have and still should be planning to get smaller.  Instead people would tell me they need to grow.  Makes no sense to me given where tech, college, etc is headed.  I think dgies9156 points are well thought out.

Also, the build, build, build, has to change to fund scholarships, fund scholarships. That will be the key to attracting students.  Yes, being wowed is great, but in the end the game will be more and more about cost except for the elite schools.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2020, 05:06:07 PM by GOO »

4everwarriors

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #57 on: October 08, 2020, 07:31:21 AM »
MU needs to embrace and promote its spot in the pecking order of universities and not try to be something they are not. There is a market for a middle-of-road, Midwestern, jesuit, non-research based, urban university. All catholic schools can't be Notre Dame, Georgetown, or BC, hey?
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Fluffy Blue Monster

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #58 on: October 08, 2020, 07:48:24 AM »
MU needs to embrace and promote its spot in the pecking order of universities and not try to be something they are not. There is a market for a middle-of-road, Midwestern, jesuit, non-research based, urban university. All catholic schools can't be Notre Dame, Georgetown, or BC, hey?


I don't think Marquette is aspiring to be those schools.
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TAMU Eagle

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #59 on: October 08, 2020, 08:57:53 AM »
I think MU aspires to be like Villanova. I don't think they aspire to be like one of the big 3
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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #60 on: October 08, 2020, 09:32:54 AM »
I think MU aspires to be like Villanova. I don't think they aspire to be like one of the big 3

Yeah nova/Fordham are probably our ceiling. Floor is the lower end of the 100s as our PT school will always keep us up in terms of rankings.

forgetful

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #61 on: October 08, 2020, 10:09:32 AM »

I don't think Marquette is aspiring to be those schools.

There is a list of schools that MU tries to aspire towards. They are publicly available.

https://www.marquette.edu/strategic-planning/referents.php

Billy Hoyle

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #62 on: October 08, 2020, 11:42:34 AM »
Good points except...

Regarding #4, the average person isn't paying nearly $70,000.  I think it was mentioned that Marquette's net tuition was $23,000.  Add another $14,000 for room, board and fees, and the average student is paying $37,000.  That is about $10,000 more a year than a Wisconsin resident pays to go to UW-Madison.

#6 both happened around a decade ago.  Not even a factor.

#6 had no effect. Neither story lasted more than a few days. The basketball incident didn't make it past Chicago media and was quickly out of public consciousness. If anything though, the debacle with the Dean and MU jettisoning her so quickly was more of a negative than hiring her.

For your numbers, does that net tuition include federal loans for which students qualify? 
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Galway Eagle

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #63 on: October 08, 2020, 11:45:13 AM »
#6 had no effect. Neither story lasted more than a few days. The basketball incident didn't make it past Chicago media and was quickly out of public consciousness. If anything though, the debacle with the Dean and MU jettisoning her so quickly was more of a negative than hiring her.

For your numbers, does that net tuition include federal loans for which students qualify?

Umm the basketball incident was on espn's main web page. And that was a BFD back then.

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #64 on: October 08, 2020, 11:47:19 AM »
#6 had no effect. Neither story lasted more than a few days. The basketball incident didn't make it past Chicago media and was quickly out of public consciousness. If anything though, the debacle with the Dean and MU jettisoning her so quickly was more of a negative than hiring her.

For your numbers, does that net tuition include federal loans for which students qualify? 


Net tuition is gross tuition minus any *institutional* aid (financial and academic) given to the student.  It's a measure that determines the revenue that each student generates.  Federal aid, including loans, is still revenue to the University.

Scholarship donations, and distributions from endowed scholarship funds, can be used to make up for the aid, but are not included in the equation.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 11:49:13 AM by Fluffy Blue Monster »
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MU82

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #65 on: October 16, 2020, 08:18:07 AM »
Freshman enrollment has dropped more than 16 percent from last year at American colleges and universities — and by nearly a quarter at community colleges — as the threat of the coronavirus has disrupted the nation’s higher education system, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reported Thursday.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/15/world/freshman-enrollment-drops-significantly-at-us-universities-and-community-colleges.html
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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #66 on: October 16, 2020, 08:58:29 AM »
Freshman enrollment has dropped more than 16 percent from last year at American colleges and universities — and by nearly a quarter at community colleges — as the threat of the coronavirus has disrupted the nation’s higher education system, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reported Thursday.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/15/world/freshman-enrollment-drops-significantly-at-us-universities-and-community-colleges.html


Which again begs my question: Is MU really significantly worse off than most comparable schools?

Someone quoted a 20%+ decrease in freshman enrollment over 2 years. This study says that, on average, COVID caused a 16% reduction this year alone. That means over the past couple years MU has about a 5% or so loss unrelated to the virus. Is that really wildly out of the norm?

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #67 on: October 16, 2020, 09:07:40 AM »
I think Marquette's problem is that they had been planning for an enrollment increase, and had set their budget up to handle that.  So while they may not be worse off compared to others, they are worse off compared to what they planned for.
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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #68 on: October 16, 2020, 09:39:47 AM »
Thanks, very interesting, but I will use it to mean that experience shows that a 25% unused capacity leads to serious financial problems, like bankruptcy.  As in, unallocated overhead.

BTW, love The George Washington University, great school.  I did 21 hours of graduate school there, no degree, but very worthwhile and highly respected education/institution.

Maybe we should call it the middle finger rule and make everyone happy.

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #69 on: October 16, 2020, 11:18:12 AM »
There is a list of schools that MU tries to aspire towards. They are publicly available.

https://www.marquette.edu/strategic-planning/referents.php

And Nova isn’t even on it.

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #70 on: October 16, 2020, 12:43:32 PM »
This fall, my high school Senior has been getting deluged with the mailers from a variety of schools east of the Mississippi.   

I don't recall my current in-college daughter seeing the same quantity in the fall of her Senior year.  The volume always came throughout Junior year in the fall in spring which both daughters did see. 
My wife and I concluded that schools are desperate and anything to get a kid to take a second look and maybe take interest in a school they may have missed in their initial review of programs and colleges.   

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #71 on: October 16, 2020, 01:54:07 PM »
I think Marquette's problem is that they had been planning for an enrollment increase, and had set their budget up to handle that.  So while they may not be worse off compared to others, they are worse off compared to what they planned for.


Thanks. That makes a lot of sense.

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Re: MU: $15 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2020
« Reply #72 on: October 17, 2020, 01:49:57 PM »
And Nova isn’t even on it.

This list was made in 2015. At the time, Nova was categorized as a regional university by the USNWR. Being a national university was one of the criteria for being on this list. My guess is that you will see Villanova on the next one whenever the next strategic plan comes out.
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