Category Archives: Finance

The money that makes academe tick.


Standard & Poor’s Issues Negative Outlook for Nonprofit Higher Education

Standard & Poor’s Rating Services has issued a negative outlook for nonprofit higher education for 2015, citing, among other things, tension between rising costs to colleges and a focus on student affordability. In a report released on Thursday, the agency says the ensuing competition among colleges to attract top students will weigh heaviest on “those whose credit characteristics are already on the cusp of a lower rating.”

The report, “Upping The Ante: Costs of Luring Top Students Keeps the Out…


Agency to Offer ‘Scorecard’ on College-Affiliated Debit Cards for Students

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released on Wednesday the draft of a “Safe Student Account Scorecard” that it says will help colleges in their negotiations with financial institutions regarding college-affiliated debit cards and other financial services. The scorecard will enable colleges to avoid partnerships with institutions that offer accounts “with tricks and traps,” the bureau said in a news release.

“Because of the influence schools may have on the financial products s…


Buyout at U. of Missouri Flagship Attracts 110 Faculty Members

A buyout offer by the University of Missouri at Columbia has been accepted by 110 faculty members, who will retire between December 31 and August 31, the Columbia Missourian reports.

The payouts would cost about $17.7-million but would save a similar amount in budgeted salaries and benefits, Christian Basi, a university spokesman, told the newspaper.

The departing professors represent about 42 percent of those who were eligible for the offer, which was made in September.

The buyout offer—a one…


Arizona State U. Will Take Over Thunderbird Business School

Arizona State University has reached a deal to take over the Thunderbird School of Global Management, ending the business school’s quest to shore up its finances by attracting a buyer, The Wall Street Journal reports. Arizona State will pay off roughly $22-million of Thunderbird’s debts, and the business school will keep most of its faculty and staff.

Thunderbird reached a deal last year to be taken over by the for-profit company Laureate Education Inc., but alumni protested and the school’s acc…


Enrollment at Law Schools Continues Downward Slide

Enrollment at American law schools declined this fall by 6.9 percent, down nearly 20 percent from its peak in 2010, the American Bar Association announced on Tuesday. This fall’s enrollment, which totaled 119,775 full-time and part-time students, is at its lowest point since 1982, when there were 35 fewer association-approved law schools being measured.

The results of the association’s annual survey of its member institutions are just the latest confirmation of enrollment trends being observed …


U. of California Student Workers’ Union Calls for Divestment From Israel

A union that represents more than 13,000 teaching assistants and other student workers on nine campuses of the University of California system is calling on the university to divest from companies and institutions that “profit from Israeli apartheid and occupation of Palestinians.”

According to a news release from the union, United Auto Workers Local 2865, more than 65 percent of the 2,100 members who participated in a vote approved the divestment resolution.

More than half of the voters also en…


U. of Maine Panel Advances Plan to Divest From Coal Companies

The University of Maine system’s investment committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to no longer make direct investments in coal companies, the Portland Press Herald reported.

If approved next month by the full Board of Trustees, the new divestment policy would affect about $500,000 of the university’s roughly $9.8-million of investments in fossil fuels.

Institutions such as Unity and Pitzer Colleges have taken the broader step of divesting from fossil fuels, but the Maine system’s …


AAUP Will Investigate Drastic Cuts at U. of Southern Maine

The American Association of University Professors has opened an investigation into drastic budget cuts at the University of Southern Maine, the Portland Press Herald reports.

The university has announced it will cut dozens of faculty positions and several academic programs to help close a $16-million budget deficit. Those measures “have raised significant issues of academic freedom, tenure, and due process that are of basic concern to the academic community,” the association said in a letter to …


U. of California Committee Approves Tuition Increases Amid Protests

A committee of the University of California Board of Regents on Wednesday approved a plan that could raise tuition by as much as 5 percent in each of the next five years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The meeting, at the university’s San Francisco campus, saw fireworks inside and out. Hundreds of student protesters gathered beforehand, attempted to keep the regents from entering, and jostled with campus police officers when they intervened. Karl Pister, an 89-year-old former chancellor of the s…


Professor Loses in Lawsuit Against Columbia U.’s School of Journalism

A professor’s lawsuit accusing the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism of misusing funds for her endowed chair has been dismissed by a New York State appeals court, The New York Times reports.

The professor, Sylvia Nasar, a former economics reporter for the Times and author of A Beautiful Mind, a biography of the mathematician John F. Nash Jr., has taught at the school since 2000. She said she had discovered that the school had spent $4.5-million from the fund on expenses unrelated…