Sunday, November 19, 2006

Community Colleges - Are they Fiscally Responsible?

When it comes to State Community Colleges how does yours stack up when it comes to fiscal responsibility?

In Michigan a recent audit report was published in October with little or no press coverage. I guess it doesn’t matter that overstatement after overstatement is consistently mentioned with millions of dollars at risk.

Perhaps it was because of the recent elections or maybe you don’t care unless you have a student attending one of the Community Colleges.

Audit Objective:
To assess whether community colleges reported ACS (Activities Classification Data) data to DLEG (Department of Labor & Economic Growth) in accordance with the provisions of the annual appropriations act for community colleges (Act 154, P.A. 2005), the ACS Manual 2003 for Michigan Community Colleges (ACS Manual), the Manual for Uniform Financial Reporting of Michigan Public Community Colleges (MUFR), and DLEG's annual instructions.
Audit Conclusion:
We concluded that the selected community colleges generally did not report ACS data to DLEG in accordance with the provisions of the annual appropriations act for community colleges (Act 154, P.A. 2005), the ACS Manual, MUFR, and DLEG's annual instructions.
Material Conditions:
Eight colleges did not accurately report occupational contact hour data on their ACS 6 reports, including four colleges that materially overstated their reported occupational contact hours (Finding 1). Two colleges did not maintain documentation to support the accuracy of course enrollment data reported on their ACS 6 reports in accordance with Act 154, P.A. 2005, and DLEG's annual instructions (Finding 2). Seven colleges did not accurately report ACS 3 expenditure data in accordance with the ACS Manual and DLEG's annual instructions (Finding 3). One college did not report student headcount and contact hour data on its ACS 6 reports in accordance with the ACS Manual and DLEG's annual instructions (Finding 4). Five colleges reported data for ineligible courses to DLEG on their ACS 6 reports (Finding 5).

For a complete review of the report go to Select # 6450006 “Performance Audit – Selected Community Colleges’ Reporting of Activities

This is another reason why we need to transform our education system into K – 16.

qualityg says … There should be no tuition or tax hikes unless these type of infractions are fixed and the dollars accounted for.

Oh yeah, this is just one type of audit.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Quality of Life - Three Generations


Three Generations of Family, Education & Work

When I went for a long walk yesterday with my dogs (Angie and Maggie).
I started to compare the family, education and work structures from my father’s time to mine and now my kids all post high school.

Father’s Family, Education and Work Time Period – 1940 – 1970
My Family, Education and Work Time Period – 1970 – 2000
Children’s Family, Education and Work Time Period – 2000 – Current

Interestingly this range covers about 66 years of change. The following is based on my perspective:

Father (1940 – 1970)
- WWII plays important part in shape of things to come
- Stay at home Moms (Family Unity) and strong work ethic from Fathers
- Four Children was the average and one car in the garage
- High School Graduate was considered very good
- Children going to college was special (somewhat affordable)
- On the Job Training Available
- Week long vacation Up-North and money bought staples and necessities
- Union (Teamsters) versus Management at its peak with long strikes
- Neighbors were our closest friends
- Co-Workers & Customer were friends and fun was part of the job
- Stayed in job until retirement

Me (1970 – 2000)
- Vietnam plays important part in shape of things to come
- Women and many Moms enter work force and join Fathers in strong work ethic
- Two Children were the average and two cars in the garage
- High School Graduate is a given
- Plans for college begin to be a must (4 year degree is special but expensive)
- Job experience is a plus to competing for a job
- Vacation getaway to Disney World and money to buy cars & toys & vacation homes
- Union (CWA) versus Management – Management begins to rule the roost
- Wave to neighbors as you drive down the street
- Co-workers & customers still your friends until mid 1980s until
- Yearly cuts and downsizing began to take over friendships and work was no longer fun
- Job loyalty begins to suffer with cuts and relocation is necessary to keep job

Children (2000 – Present - 2006)
- Terrorism and Middle East Conflicts play important part in shape of things to come
- More than 60% of women (Including Moms) are in the work force
- One head of household rises and there as many cars as drivers in the garage as it takes to job earners to pay for everything
- High School Diploma is an entry ticket to the job lottery
- Bachelor Degree is required with 3 –5 years job experience (College costs more than some homes)
- Advanced Degree must be done for future personal growth (In debt for years)
- Union? It’s now every worker versus Management
- Privacy Fences all around & look straight ahead when driving
- Co-workers are your competition & customers get in the way
- Jobs are temporary and its get promoted or leave
- Job Loyalty? Are you kidding!

As I look over the lists so much has changed in our way of life and thinking. Family structure and job loyalty are gone. The working relationship between unions, workers and management is in chaos. Companies treat employees like a pair of cheap shoes and toss them out instead of investing in a good pair and taking care of them for life long use and satisfaction.

Children must relocate from their home states because jobs are no longer available. College costs are out of sight as Universities concentrate on grants and research as opposed to teaching.

Ratings, Rankings, Labels and Grades continue to be the causes of the Demise of American Management

People live in fear but it’s not good to offend anyone.

Global Economy and competition is the norm and the world is our backyard.

Perhaps one of my kids will add to this list in 24 years in 2030.