Category Archives: Finance

The money that makes academe tick.


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…


South Carolina State Will Not Lose Accreditation Over Financial Problems

South Carolina State University will not lose its accreditation as it tries to find solid financial footing, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges announced on Thursday. The State, a newspaper in Columbia, S.C., reports that the accreditor has opted to keep the historically black university on probation rather than revoke its accreditation.

In February a panel of state lawmakers recommended that the university be closed for two years, citing millions of dollars…


After Trustees Resign, Cooper Union President Says He Will Step Down

[Updated (6/10/2015, 7:06 p.m.) with news of Mr. Bharucha's departure.]

The embattled president of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Jamshed Bharucha, will step down at the end of this month, he announced on Wednesday.

The announcement was made on the day after five trustees resigned amid an investigation by the New York State attorney general into the college’s decision to start charging tuition. The resignations were reported by The Wall Street Journal.

“It has been an h…


Virginia Supreme Court Orders Judge to Reconsider Sweet Briar Lawsuit

[Updated (6/9/2015, 4:06 p.m.) with a statement from Sweet Briar.]

Virginia’s Supreme Court has sent a lawsuit seeking to stop the closure of Sweet Briar College back to a lower court for reconsideration. The News & Advance, a newspaper in Lynchburg, Va., reports the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a state judge, James W. Updike Jr., had relied on an erroneous interpretation — that the college cannot be both a trust and a corporation — to decline to keep it from closing.

The Amherst County a…


Georgetown U. Will Divest From Some Coal Companies

Georgetown University announced on Thursday that it would not directly invest its endowment funds in companies whose principal business is coal mining. The university’s Board of Directors approved a resolution noting that “an insubstantial portion” of its endowment is invested in such companies.

“The work of understanding and responding to the demands of climate change is urgent and complex,” said the university’s president, John J. DeGioia, in a news release. “It requires our most serious atten…


U. of Alabama at Birmingham Will Resurrect Football Team

[Updated (6/1/2015, 6:45 p.m.) with details from Monday's news conference, where the decision was made official.]

Six months after its president announced that its football program would be eliminated, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is bringing the team back. The president, Ray L. Watts, made the announcement at a Monday news conference where he revealed that donors had pledged to make up the $17.2-million deficit over five years to be incurred with the reintroduction of football.


As Degrees Are Cut, Critics Continue to Decry Dismantling of U. of North Carolina

The University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors last week voted to cut dozens of degree programs, The News & Observer reports. The board has voted to eliminate programs across the 16-campus system every other year for the past two decades, but this time around critics of the Republican-appointed board decried the vote as representative of its members’ quest to strip the vaunted system bare.

One board member’s remarks to The Daily Tar Heel, the system flagship’s campus newspaper, did…


U. of Hawaii Board Votes to Disinvest in Fossil-Fuel Companies

The University of Hawaii’s Board of Regents voted on Thursday to divest the system’s financial holdings in any companies involved in the production of fossil fuels, Pacific Business News reports.

The university, which plans to carry out the divestment by 2018, joins other higher-education institutions in choosing to rid itself of some or all of their investments in the fossil-fuel industry. They include the New School, Pitzer College, Stanford University, Syracuse University, the University of D…


College Chiefs in Illinois Enjoy ‘Fantasy World of Lavish Perks,’ Report Says

A report by members of the Illinois State Senate asserts that the state’s public-college presidents enjoy a “fantasy world of lavish perks,” many of which have been awarded without taxpayer input, the Chicago Tribune says.

The report stemmed from an investigation into presidential compensation that followed a controversy over a lucrative severance deal for Robert L. Breuder, president of the College of DuPage.

Many colleges have asserted that the kinds of perks criticized in the report are neces…