Category Archives: Finance

The money that makes academe tick.


U. of Wisconsin Flagship Will Cut 400 Positions in Response to Budget Cuts

The University of Wisconsin at Madison will cut 400 positions, merge or close academic programs, and reduce support programs in response to anticipated state budget cuts, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The announcement, from the flagship’s chancellor, Rebecca M. Blank, is the latest development in a battle over funds between the university system and the state government.

“I want to emphasize that these changes, as difficult as they are, cannot and will not stop with this year’s budget,”…


Wealth Gap Between Richest Colleges and Others Is Expected to Grow

The nation’s 40 wealthiest universities are getting richer, and their endowments are growing at a faster rate than those of other institutions, The Wall Street Journal says, citing a report to be published on Thursday by Moody’s Investors Service.

The 10 richest institutions held nearly one-third of total cash and investments at four-year colleges in the 2014 fiscal year, while the top 40 institutions accounted for two-thirds of the wealth, the report says. Moody’s officials add that the gap bet…


Judge Declines to Stop the Closure of Sweet Briar College

A state judge in Virginia on Wednesday declined to stop the closure of Sweet Briar College, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. Considering a suit brought by the Amherst County attorney, Judge James W. Updike Jr. of Bedford Circuit Court imposed a 60-day injunction prohibiting the college from using charitable contributions on the closure. But it may continue shutting down.

At issue in Wednesday’s arguments was the question of whether the college had violated Virginia’s charitable-solicitation…


With Cuts Looming, Wisconsin Regents OK Tuition Increases at 9 Campuses

The University of Wisconsin system will raise tuition for out-of-state undergraduates and some professional students at nine campuses, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The extra revenue is meant to prepare the system for the prospect of a $300-million cut proposed by Gov. Scott Walker, and to make it possible to freeze resident tuition for two more years.

The proposed increases — including a nearly 12 percent jump for nonresident undergraduates at the flagship campus — drew criticism …


Cooper Union’s Board Offers Not to Renew President’s Contract

The Board of Trustees of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art has offered not to renew the contract of the institution’s president in the hope that such a move would help end litigation and an investigation by the New York State attorney general’s office, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The president, Jamshed Bharucha, took office in 2011 when concerns were already growing about the prestigious arts and engineering school’s finances. It was running deficits despite owning …


South Carolina State U. Board Chairman Steps Down

The chairman of South Carolina State University’s Board of Trustees has stepped down as the state legislature considers firing the entire board, the Associated Press reports. William Small Jr. is leaving his leadership post, citing health problems and strained relations with lawmakers, but will remain on the board.

The historically black college has been in turmoil ever since a legislative panel recommended in February that it be closed for two years because of financial problems. Trustees fired…


Higher-Ed Wonks Are Going Ballistic Over an Op-Ed in ‘The New York Times’

Administrative bloat, not dwindling state funds, is the principal cause of skyrocketing tuition at public colleges across America.

That’s the gist of an op-ed published Saturday in The New York Times by Paul F. Campos, a law professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who briskly dismisses the common refrain that state legislatures’ protracted disinvestment in public university systems is at least a major component of rising costs. Here’s Mr. Campos’s conclusion:

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Sandy Baum, a senior fe…


Education Dept. Updates List of Colleges It Has Subjected to Extra Financial Scrutiny

The U.S. Education Department on Friday released an updated list of colleges that are subject to heightened cash monitoring, an extra level of financial scrutiny. The department identified about two dozen institutions that had been redacted from an earlier version of the list, which the department released on Tuesday. The updated list includes institutions that face heightened cash monitoring as of March 1.

Here’s how the department broke down the revisions in a news release:

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Of those instituti…


Syracuse U. to Divest Fossil-Fuel Stocks From Its Endowment

Syracuse University announced on Tuesday that it was prohibiting the direct investment of its endowment funds in coal mining and other fossil-fuel companies. Student-led groups have been lobbying the university to make such a commitment for the past two years.

A number of other colleges have recently pledged to divest some or all fossil-fuel holdings from their endowments. Those institutions include the New School, Pitzer College, Stanford University, and the University of Maine. According to Th…


Prosecutors Probe Claims of Financial Impropriety by Top Brass at College of DuPage

Prosecutors are investigating the College of DuPage’s finances following multiple reports of improper spending, the Chicago Tribune reports. The community college in Illinois has received two grand-jury subpoenas as part of the investigation, which is being conducted by the DuPage County state’s attorney, Robert Berlin.

Among the many recent controversies surrounding the college: