institutionalfinance

Extreme Storm Damage at Ursuline

A tornado-like "significant wind event" hit Ursuline College, in Ohio, Saturday morning. The college announced that there were no injuries, but that several buildings sustained significant damage. The college was closed over the weekend to allow officials to assess the situation.

Ohio Lawmakers Propose Postgraduate Payment Plan

Ohio Representatives Robert F. Hagan and Mike Foley announced Tuesday that they would propose legislation, similar to a plan recently adopted in Oregon, that could eventually result in students paying no tuition while in college but agreeing to pay a percentage of their wages once employed after graduation. Like the Oregon law, the Ohio legislation does not create any immediate policy changes but would task the state's executive agency with developing a pilot program that would go before lawmakers for approval in two years.

Proponents of such legislation say it will help remove the cost barrier that might keep students from pursuing a college education and might make it easier for students to repay, since payments will be linked to income. “This is a unique opportunity for the state to actively address a real problem that has haunted so many young people for far too long,” Foley said in a news release. “The inaction on student loan debt is very real, and I think too many young people are wondering why their government has failed them in this regard.” Opponents have challenged the feasibility of such plans, as well as whether they put too much of the burden for paying for college on students, rather than governments and parents.

Board Votes to Create New College Within SUNY

The State University of New York Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to spin off the nanotechnology college at the system's Albany to create a freestanding institution, despite some members' concerns about the move, the Albany Times-Union reported. Supporters of the move, including SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and a panel she had appointed, said that allowing Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering to become an independent, degree-granting institution would better allow the nanotechnology program to achieve its goals. Three trustees opposed the move for a range of reasons, which comes as SUNY has sought (with mixed success) to streamline administrative costs by combining leadership of some campuses.

Judge Awards Kent State $1.2 Million for Coach's Breach of Contract

Kent State University's former men's basketball coach breached his contract when he left the institution for a job at Bradley University in 2011, an Ohio judge ruled Tuesday in awarding Kent State $1.2 million, The Akron Beacon-Journal reported. The $1.2 million award would cover the four years (at a salary of $300,000) that were remaining on Geno Ford's contract when he left a year after his deal had been renegotiated. Ohio's attorney general, Mike DeWine, said in a news release that “Ohio’s public colleges and universities have a duty to students and taxpayers to be wise stewards of tuition and taxpayer moneys.”

Kent State is also suing Bradley for its role in Ford's hiring.

Even healthy universities make big changes to free up funds for priorities

Smart Title: 

CFOs at large (and generally healthy) universities nonetheless feel pressure to change their ways and cut costs, to support strategic priorities.

Students End Occupation of Cooper Union President's Office

Students have ended a long-term occupation of the president's office at Cooper Union, reaching an agreement with the administration. The occupation was designed to protest the decision to start charging tuition at what for many years had been a free institution. Cooper Union officials have said that they have no financial alternative. A joint statement of the administration and the protesting students did not indicate that tuition would be abandoned. However it said that "a  working group will be established promptly to undertake a good faith effort to seek an alternative to tuition that will sustain the institution’s long-term financial viability and strengthen its academic excellence." Further, the administration pledged to add student representation to the board, to create a community space for students and to grant amnesty for violating Cooper Union policies during the occupation. In the future, "occupiers and all present at this meeting commit to complying with, and cooperating with the enforcement of, all laws and Cooper Union policies," said the agreement that ended the occupation.

 

Business officer survey predicts major turnover in CFOs

Smart Title: 

Survey finds that many campus business officers are likely to retire in the next few years, which could usher in a new generation of more diverse higher education financial leadership.

Outsourcing and new revenue are dominant themes at annual business officers' meeting

Smart Title: 

A dominant theme at this year’s annual meeting of college business officers is finding creative sources of capital or revenue that institutions can use to invest -- often by outsourcing existing functions.

Town-Gown Dispute and New Law in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has signed legislation that could require Bryant University to reimburse the town of Smithfield for police and fire department service, The Providence Journal reported. The legislation requires that university and town officials try to negotiate an agreement. If they fail to reach a deal, the town can start charging the university on March 1. Bryant, like many private colleges, said it does not object to discussing ways to compensate the town, but that it is inappropriate for a state government to force a private, nonprofit college to pay its locality. The university, which urged Governor Chafee to veto the legislation, said it will negotiate with the town but may also consider litigation against the law.

 

Research officers warn of long-term effects of sequestration

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Research officers warn of the long-term effects of federal budget cuts earlier this year.

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