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Quick Takes: Healthy Endowment Returns, Sudden Change at Apollo Group, Florida St. to Return Prof's $11 Million, Jeb Bush Proposes Millions for Minority Students, Settlement in Term Paper Case

January 12, 2006
  • A study being released today by Commonfund finds that college endowments experienced endowment returns of 9.7 percent last year, USA Today  reported. As is typically the case, colleges with larger endowments saw better returns. The Commonfund survey does not release information on the endowments size of of institutions, by name. The annual study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, which does release data on individual institutions, is due out later this month.
  • The Apollo Group -- which as the corporate parent of the University of Phoenix is a huge force in for-profit higher education -- announced Wednesday that Todd Nelson has suddenly resigned as president and was being replaced by Brian Mueller, who has served in a variety roles in the company, most recently as CEO of the University of Phoenix Online. The Arizona Republic reported today that the announcement was a surprise to Wall Street analysts, setting off speculation about possible divisions at the company. Nelson told the newspaper that his departure was "amicable," but declined to answer questions about whether his resignation had been sought.
  • Florida State University announced Wednesday that it would return $11 million in gifts to a chemistry professor and his foundation. Robert A. Holton, the donor, gave the money for a new chemistry building and for other purposes, but Holton and the university have been fighting over how the funds would be used.
  • Gov. Jeb Bush, a Florida Republican, is proposing $53 million in new spending to reverse a decline in minority enrollments at the state's university system, The Tallahassee Democrat reported. Bush, who pushed to eliminate affirmative action in the system, wants to increase student aid spending generally and also to create new scholarships for students who are first in their families to go to college.
  • A Duke University graduate student has reached a settlement with the operator of Web sites that she said posted her term paper online without her permission, the Associated Press reported. No details of the settlement were released.
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