Number of for-profit colleges declines as enrollments wither

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Almost 100 fewer for-profit colleges operated in 2014-15 than in 2012-13, according to federal data.

Boston Colleges Don't Make Payments City Seeks

Many nonprofit hospitals comply with the city of Boston's request for twice-yearly payments from nonprofit organizations with more than $15 million in tax-exempt property in the city. But an analysis by The Boston Globe finds that many private colleges don't come close to the totals the city requests to cover their share of costs, such as snow removal and police and fire department protection. Of the 19 colleges that the city asked for funds, 13 gave less than requested in 2015. A Globe analysis of the eight colleges with the highest-value tax-exempt holdings in the city gave these figures for the share of the funds that the city asks that they actually gave:

  • Northeastern University and Emmanuel College: 13 percent
  • Emerson College: 19 percent
  • Boston College: 23 percent
  • Harvard University: 44 percent
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology: 50 percent
  • Suffolk University: 50 percent
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U of Wisconsin Colleges to Cut and Consolidate Administrative Jobs

The University of Wisconsin Colleges, a system of 13 two-year college campuses, on Tuesday announced it would consolidate the leadership jobs for those campuses into four regions, with a single executive officer for each region. Those four leaders will replace the current 13 top posts at the campuses.

The system said it was eliminating the equivalent of 83 full-time administrative positions to cope with its $5 million share of the $125 million state budget cut to the University of Wisconsin System. Another $125 million cut is slated for next year. The UW Colleges, which enroll 14,000 students, will not eliminate any faculty positions, the system said in a news release.

Cathy Sandeen, chancellor of the UW Colleges and UW-Extension, said the budget cuts are the largest in the system's history.

“In making these changes, we are staying true to our key priorities and our mission: to ensure access, to provide the highest level of instruction and services to our students, and to uphold our commitment to the communities that invest in us,” Sandeen said in a written statement. “I have been strongly committed throughout our budget reduction processes to protecting our academic program, which is our core mission.”

As institutions outsource they should keep their mission -- and the vendor -- close

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What factors should institutions weigh as they consider outsourcing services?

Moody's Revises Higher Ed Outlook to 'Stable'

For the first time since it began providing a single outlook for all of higher education in 2013, Moody's Investors Service has given the enterprise a "stable" rather than "negative" assessment, the ratings agency announced Tuesday. The outlook, which projects the business conditions over the next 12-18 months for the 500-plus colleges and universities that the agency rates, projects that there will be no "material worsening or improving of business conditions" over that period, Edith Behr, one of the authors of the report, said in an interview. "We don't expect another shoe to drop."

The "stable" level at which economic conditions for higher education seem to be settling isn't a great one; operating revenue growth will sit just above the rate of inflation, at about 3 percent, Moody's says. But colleges and universities over all have done a good enough job containing costs, which along with solid investment returns, slightly growing spending by states and stabilizing net tuition revenue should be enough to help most colleges get through the period reasonably well.

Moody's is clear, though, that about 20 percent of the institutions it rates will struggle more than others, as it said in another report last week. And because Moody's only examines the institutions it rates, many of the most vulnerable small independent colleges are not fully captured in its analyses.

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Health care and higher education face similar challenges and transformations

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The two industries differ in key ways but face several similar and pressing challenges.

Paul Smith's College wants to change name for $20 million

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Paul Smith's College proposes to become Joan Weill-Paul Smith’s College in return for a substantial gift. Many students and alumni object.

Salem State, Montserrat College of Art Rule Out Merger

After months of discussions of a possible merger, Salem State University and Montserrat College of Art announced Tuesday that they will remain independent. “Montserrat College of Art is an exceptional, small art college with an outstanding faculty and programs that Salem State would have been pleased to add to its curriculum, but the numbers just didn’t work at this time,” said a statement from Salem State's president, Patricia Maguire Meservey.

S&P: Negative Outlooks Outnumber Positive Ones

Standard & Poor's Rating Services released its annual reports on median ratios for public and nonprofit private institutions this week. The rating agency found that of the 163 public institutions it rates, the number with negative outlooks (10 percent) is more than the number of institutions with positive outlooks (7 percent), a trend continuing from last year. Meanwhile, 81 percent of all rated public institutions have stable outlooks.

Among the 263 private institutions the agency rates, the number of institutions with negative outlooks (11 percent) is more than double the number of institutions with positive outlooks (5 percent).

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U of Akron Will Eliminate 215 Jobs and Baseball Team

The University of Akron on Friday announced a three-year plan to save $60 million. The plan includes the elimination of 215 jobs (none of them faculty positions). In addition, the baseball team will be cut. Northeast Ohio Media Group reported that many students are outraged by the cuts, and that campaigns have been launched to reverse some of the cuts, especially of the baseball team.

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