Category Archives: Finance

The money that makes academe tick.


Acknowledging ‘New Normal,’ Berkeley Announces Broad Plan to Shore Up Finances

Citing a “new normal” of diminished state funding, the University of California at Berkeley is launching a “strategic-planning process” aimed at shoring up its finances. In a message to the campus on Wednesday morning, the university’s chancellor, Nicholas B. Dirks, laid out several broad areas for change the university will consider.

Specifics about the “strategic-planning process” are scarce. What is clear, however, is the university’s harsh financial outlook. According to a financial summary …


Proposed Budget Would Be ‘Detrimental’ to Kentucky State U., President Says

Funding cuts in the Kentucky governor’s proposed 2016-18 biennial budget would be “detrimental” to Kentucky State University, the institution’s president, Raymond M. Burse, wrote on Monday in a letter to the campus.

Mr. Burse wrote that he feared serious consequences of the budget, which proposes significant cuts in higher education. “If the budget as proposed is enacted, our options would be to declare financial exigency and/or prepare a closure plan,” Mr. Burse wrote in the letter, obtained by…


Accreditor Threatens to Step In as Illinois Colleges Wait for State Funds

The Higher Learning Commission sent a letter to Illinois lawmakers on Thursday, saying it is “obligated to move swiftly to protect Illinois students” if the state’s budget impasse continues and public colleges are denied state funds. Capitol Fax, an Illinois politics blog, obtained a copy of the letter, which is addressed to the state’s governor and members of the legislature.

In the letter, Barbara Gellman-Danley, president of the commission, wrote that the accreditor had contacted the state’s …


Chicago State Declares Financial Exigency as Budget Standoff Continues

Chicago State University has declared financial exigency, signaling the possibility of sharp cuts as the state’s public colleges struggle to find a way forward after seven months without state funding. The Chicago Tribune reports that the university says it does not have enough money to pay its employees through March.

Declaring financial exigency typically makes it easier for an institution to take drastic measures to cut expenses, including the firing of tenured professors. The university’s Bo…


Judge Rejects Proposed Merger of U. of Baltimore and Morgan State U.

A proposal to merge the University of Baltimore and Morgan State University has been rejected by a federal judge who described it on Tuesday as “extreme,” The Baltimore Sun reports.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission and representatives of the state’s historically black colleges are engaged in mediation over claims that the state has underfunded the colleges and has allowed largely white colleges to duplicate their programs and thereby enroll students who might have attended the HBCUs inst…


College Endowments Report Lowest Return Rate in 3 Years

Colleges’ endowments returned an average of 2.4 percent in the 2015 fiscal year, the lowest annual rate reported by the annual Nacubo-Commonfund Study of Endowments since 2012, when endowments reported a -0.3-percent return. And it’s a significant drop from 2014, when the average rate of return was 15.5 percent:

Reporting the largest endowment values for 2015 were familiar heavy hitters. Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of Texas system took the top three spots.

The annual…


U. of Oregon Cancels Branding Contract, Will Spend Money on Academics

The University of Oregon announced on Wednesday that it had canceled a multimillion-dollar contract with a branding firm and planned to funnel the savings into academics, The Register-Guard reports. The university said it would save hundreds of thousands of dollars by canceling the contract with 160over90.

The move follows much soul-searching at the university about its academic standing, juxtaposed against its yearslong effort to brand the campus as an alluring destination for undergraduates.



Western Illinois U. Says It Needs to Eliminate 50 Faculty Jobs

Western Illinois University expects to eliminate some 50 faculty jobs in its next fiscal year as the campus struggles with a financial pinch that stems from years of declines in state appropriations and tuition revenue, according to reports by Northern Public Radio and the ABC affiliate WQAD.

“At this point I anticipate that it will be necessary to inform approximately 50 faculty of the elimination of their positions,” the interim provost, Kathleen Neumann, said during a meeting last week, w…


College in Missouri Will Lose 44 Faculty and Staff in Budget Cuts

[Correction (12/10/2015, 12:48 p.m.): A previous version of this post and its headline incorrectly stated that 44 positions were being cut. Forty-four faculty and staff members are being affected by the cuts.]

Evangel University, in Missouri, will shed 44 faculty and staff members as part of an effort to reduce spending by $4 million. The Springfield News-Leader reports that 32 employees — 17 faculty members and 15 staff members — have accepted buyouts, while 12 others were slated to find ou…


Small College in Michigan Will Close, Citing ‘Financial Disaster’

Robert B. Miller College, a 13-year-old institution in Michigan that enrolls a few hundred students, will close, citing a “financial disaster,” the Battle Creek Enquirer reports.

The newspaper says the college recently discovered several financial problems, including the improper distribution of hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial aid to students. The college is working on a plan to allow students close to graduation to complete their degrees at Western Michigan University, in nearby K…