Category Archives: Finance

The money that makes academe tick.


Fight Over Cooper Union’s Decision to Charge Tuition Nears an End

A major battle over the future of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art appears to be coming to an end, according to statements released on Tuesday by the prestigious Manhattan college’s Board of Trustees and a coalition of professors, alumni, and students who sued in 2014 to block the board’s plan to start charging undergraduate tuition.

Those groups and the office of the attorney general of New York State, which began investigating the board’s handling of the institution’…


U. of Akron Reverses Controversial Layoffs at University Press

The University of Akron will not proceed with a plan to lay off two employees of its university press, according to a statement from the institution. The planned layoffs, coupled with the college’s assertion that the press would continue to operate, had been the subject of protests.

According to the statement, the university is “re-engaging the services” of the two staff members, who “will help ensure operations” of the press while it is folded into the University Libraries. The contract of the …


Vanderbilt Releases More Information on Elusive Red-Tape Study

Vanderbilt University has released more information about its noted red-tape study, which for months has been trumpeted by some observers as evidence of smothering government regulation in higher education. The Chronicle has repeatedly requested access to the study, which asserts the university spent roughly $150 million to comply with regulations in 2013-14.

The information, released on Friday, takes the form of a fact sheet, a PowerPoint presentation, and a summary that reiterate key points re…


Bergen Community College Cuts 64 Lecturer Positions to Save Money

Bergen Community College has cut 64 full-time lecturer positions in an effort to save money, The Record, a New Jersey newspaper, reports. The college says the move will save $934,000.

The college is asking the 64 lecturers to reapply for their jobs as adjuncts, who are paid $2,100 per course and don’t get benefits. Lecturers at the college, who teach roughly five courses per semester, are each paid a salary of $38,600 plus benefits.

The move follows the college’s decision this month to cut or re…


Moody’s Upgrades Higher Ed’s Outlook From ‘Negative’ to ‘Stable’

Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded its outlook for the higher-education sector from “negative” to “stable,” citing expected increases in state funding and federal research funding. Higher education had been assigned a “negative” outlook since January 2013.

“Our outlook revision to stable reflects our view that aggregate operating revenue growth for four-year colleges and universities will stabilize at a post-recession level of just above 3 percent over the next 12-18 months, providing some p…


Davenport U. Will Cut Campuses Amid Lagging Enrollment

Davenport University, a private college in Michigan, will close some of its campuses as enrollment has lagged in recent years, Michigan Live reports. Some of those campuses will merge with nearby community colleges, the university said.

The university’s president, Richard J. Pappas, told the publication the changes had not been driven solely by financial concerns. “This truly represents a win-win-win situation for the institutions involved and for students,” he said of the changes. “Efficient op…


U. of Akron Will Cut 215 Jobs and Baseball Program to Plug $60-Million Shortfall

The University of Akron will cut more than 200 positions and its baseball program to make up for a $60-million budget shortfall over the next three years, The Plain Dealer reports. The public university’s president, Scott L. Scarborough, announced the measures in a news release on Friday.

“The University of Akron’s future is bright, but first we need to fix its finances,” Mr. Scarborough said in the release.

No faculty positions are among the 215 jobs being cut. The Ohio university will also out…


Colleges’ Balance Sheets Are Looking Better

Colleges both public and private got some moderately good news on Monday, with the release of two reports from Moody’s Investors Service. The annual reports, which focus on the financial health of public and private colleges, respectively, gauge changes between the 2013 ad 2014 fiscal years.

For public colleges:

  • Aggregate state funding increased for the first time in more than 10 years.
  • The average proportion of a college’s operating budget that consists of state funds increased slightly from t…

Deal Is Reached to Keep Sweet Briar College Open Next Year

[Updated (6/21/2015, 9 p.m.) with additional reaction.]

Virginia’s attorney general announced on Saturday that an agreement had been reached to keep Sweet Briar College, which abruptly announced in March that it planned to close this summer, open next year after all.

The announcement of the women’s college’s closure sparked an outcry on and off the campus, as well as a flurry of legal challenges, and raised questions for other small institutions. The agreement announced by the attorney general, …


Preparing for Layoffs, South Carolina State Declares Financial Exigency

South Carolina State University, the historically black institution whose financial woes prompted lawmakers to fire its Board of Trustees, declared financial exigency on Wednesday. WLTX, a television station in Columbia, S.C., reports the university’s interim Board of Trustees voted to make the declaration so it could more easily lay off employees.

“This is just one step we have to take,” said the board’s chairman, Charles Way. “It’s incumbent on us, the board and the school, to terminate, to re…