Southern California Extends Massive Campaign

The University of Southern California announced Wednesday that it is about to meet the target of its $6 billion fund-raising campaign, 18 months ahead of schedule. The university is extending its campaign far beyond that and now says it will continue it until the end of 2021. While USC has not set a new target, it has been raising more than $900 million a year in the campaign.

USC could give Harvard University some competition for the largest fund-raising campaign. In September, Harvard announced that it had raised more than $7 billion in its record-setting fund-raising campaign. But that campaign will continue until its scheduled end in June 2018.

Ad keywords: 
Is this diversity newsletter?: 

Thomas Aquinas to Open in Massachusetts

Thomas Aquinas College is expanding its footprint from California into Massachusetts, venturing into the Northeast at a time when many colleges and universities worry about a projected drop in the number of students in the region.

The Catholic college with a great books curriculum, which is located in Santa Paula, Calif., said Tuesday that it plans to start a new branch campus on the donated former grounds of a secondary school in Northfield, Mass. Plans call for Thomas Aquinas to take over its new campus on May 2 of this year before officially opening it in the fall of 2018. (Note: This paragraph has been corrected to reflect that the college's branch campus is starting on the former grounds of a secondary school that remains in operation in another location.)

Thomas Aquinas plans to ramp up on the new campus slowly, starting with 36 freshmen accepted in each of its first four years and then slowly growing the student body to between 350 and 400 students. Its two campuses will start out as parts of the same institution, with one governing document, faculty, Board of Governors, curriculum and accreditation. Leaders are keeping open the option of making the two campuses independent at some point in the future, however.

The college will accept its new campus as a gift from the National Christian Foundation, a philanthropy organization that received the grounds from Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. Hobby Lobby purchased the property in 2009, four years after the Northfield Mount Hermon School decided to move off the campus in a consolidation.

The deeply religious family that owns Hobby Lobby purchased the campus for $100,000 and invested millions of dollars into it while planning to transfer it to a Christian institution. Possible candidates mentioned over the years included a new college named for C. S. Lewis, Grand Canyon University, the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board, Olivet University, Azusa Pacific University and Liberty University, according to reporting by and the Associated Press.

The Northfield campus that Thomas Aquinas is set to receive is about 90 miles northwest of Boston. It is listed at 217 acres with 500,000 square feet of dormitory and classroom space. It also has other buildings including a library, gymnasium, science hall and chapel.

Keeping the student body on Thomas Aquinas’s California campus at or below 400 has been a priority, said its president, Michael F. McLean, in a statement. Doing so keeps an intimate feel, he said. But the size limit led leaders to consider a second campus as the college turned away applicants.

“Given the tremendous challenges and costs involved, the question would have remained no more than academic -- but for this extraordinary opportunity that the National Christian Foundation has offered us,” McLean said in the statement. “Never did we imagine we could acquire a campus so fully developed and so beautiful.”

Plans call for Thomas Aquinas to share part of the campus with The Moody Center, which will operate a museum and archive related to evangelist Dwight L. Moody, who originally established the property in Northfield.

Ad keywords: 
Editorial Tags: 
Is this diversity newsletter?: 

Study suggests university incubators can hurt innovation, patent revenue

Smart Title: 

New study indicates business incubators can have adverse impacts on research and innovation.

200 Colleges to Appeal Gainful Employment Ratings

More than 200 colleges have given the U.S. Department of Education notice that they will appeal gainful employment ratings that found their programs to be failing or close to failing. The colleges filed a required notice of intent to appeal within 14 days of the release of ratings for 536 individual programs, according to data posted by the Office of Federal Student Aid Monday.

Institutions appearing on the list include Vatterott College, Kaplan University and Full Sail University.

Ratings released by the department last month showed that nearly a tenth of vocational programs evaluated -- mostly at for-profit institutions -- failed to meet new criteria measuring whether graduates were able to repay their student loan debt. That puts those programs at risk of being cut off from access to Title IV federal aid.

The gainful employment rule was heavily criticized by Republicans in Congress, and GOP leaders have listed it among a number of Obama administration regulations they plan to eliminate or scale back.

Is this diversity newsletter?: 

Maine Cuts Tuition for Graduate Students From Nearby States

The University of Maine is building on its highly visible tuition-matching program for undergraduates by starting a similar new program for graduate students.

The university's new regional graduate scholarship will be available to new fully admitted students from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont starting this fall. It will drop out-of-state tuition from $1,361 per credit hour to $650 per credit hour for 22 programs. That's the same price or lower than students would pay if they were attending a flagship campus in their own state, according to the university.

Editorial Tags: 
Is this diversity newsletter?: 

Cornell Receives $150M Gift for Business School

Cornell University on Saturday announced a $150 million gift for its business school, which was created last year as a somewhat controversial combination of the School of Hotel Administration, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. The gift is from H. Fisk Johnson and his business, SC Johnson, whose leaders have long ties to Cornell. The combined business school will be named the SC Johnson College of Business. Funds will be used for faculty recruitment, scholarships and other purposes.

Ad keywords: 
Is this diversity newsletter?: 

Western Michigan Slashes Quoted Out-of-State Tuition

Western Michigan University is sharply cutting its quoted nonresident undergraduate tuition rates, attempting to boost recruitment beyond the state’s borders and breaking with a well-documented trend of many public colleges and universities balancing budgets by charging out-of-state students significantly higher prices.

The university’s Board of Trustees voted this week to set tuition for future nonresident undergraduates at 1.25 times the rate for Michigan residents. The lower rate, which kicks in for new students this summer, is a steep reduction from current published rates that have nonresident undergraduates paying 2.3 times the rate Michigan students pay.

While 2017-18 tuition rates have not been announced, the reduction would mean a new nonresident freshman or sophomore would pay less than $15,000 in basic annual tuition and fees -- down from $26,851 -- if the tuition rates are similar to those for 2016-17.

But the cuts may not be as drastic in dollars as they appear on paper. Nonresidents were already receiving large financial aid packages, cutting their effective cost of attendance to near the newly enacted rates.

“The new basic rates that are set at 1.25 times resident rates will align incoming nonresident student costs with the net effective costs our current nonresidents are paying after financial aid packages are factored in,” said Jan Van Der Kley, Western Michigan’s vice president for business and finance, in a university news release. “We'll be able to recruit students with a more reasonable published nonresident cost that leaves a more favorable perception and keeps us in the mix when those students are making their college selection.”

The changes are intended to allow Western Michigan to better compete for out-of-state students, as the number of Michigan high school graduates is projected to fall precipitously over the next decade. Western Michigan’s fall 2016 enrollment dropped 1.3 percent to 23,252. Michigan residents made up 86 percent of the student body.

The changes only apply to new undergraduates. Currently enrolled students will continue to pay tuition and fees based on the current ratio. The changes do not affect graduate students.

Western Michigan noted that it follows a liberal residency policy, allowing many students to become Michigan residents and qualify for in-state rates. But that policy will change for newly enrolled students starting this summer. They will no longer have the option of changing their residency status at the university.

Ad keywords: 
Editorial Tags: 
Is this diversity newsletter?: 

Pennsylvania System Considering Closings, Mergers

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is engaging in a strategic review that will include weighing mergers and closings among its 14 universities, officials said Thursday.

Currently, the state system’s organizational structure, funding and operations are unsustainable, Chancellor Frank T. Brogan said, according to prepared remarks delivered in an annual State of the System address. He noted that many state higher education systems are confronting financial issues and enrollment challenges by looking at mergers or closures.

“Is that were we are headed? That’s a question I can’t answer today, nor can anyone else,” Brogan said. “But it is a question we must ask -- and answer -- this year.”

Pennsylvania is increasing its appropriation to its higher education system this year. But system Board of Governors Chair Cynthia D. Shapira noted in remarks that the system is receiving $60 million less from the state than it did before the recession.

The system has 105,000 students across its campuses but has experienced five consecutive years of enrollment declines. This is the first time the state system of higher education has considered options like mergers or closures in its 35-year history, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Is this diversity newsletter?: 

Arizona community colleges cope with state disinvestment and declining enrollments

Smart Title: 

Since losing all state funding two years ago, two large Arizona community colleges struggle with declining enrollments and budget cuts.

Harvard Shakes Up Endowment Management

Harvard University's investment branch plans to cut half of its 230 employees as it puts in place a new strategy and seeks to change following recent poor investment performance.

The Harvard Management Co. will move away from its unusual strategy of using a combination of in-house and external fund managers, according to the Harvard Gazette. The moves are an effort to cut costs and improve performance, The Boston Globe reported in a story first covered by The Wall Street Journal. Different investment teams will lose their jobs at various times in the upcoming year.

Harvard's direct real estate investing group will begin managing for Harvard as an outside firm. Timber and natural resources portfolios will continue to be managed internally.

The investment arm's compensation structure is also slated to change from one in which managers are compensated based on the performance of their own investments to one where they are compensated based on the endowment's overall performance.

Harvard owns the largest endowment in the country, with funds worth $35.7 billion. But it posted a 2 percent annual investment loss last year. Poor returns in recent years, combined with Harvard Management Co. bringing in former Columbia University Investment Management Co. CEO N. P. Narvekar as its new CEO in September, prompted speculation that major changes were in store.

Endowed funds provided more than a third of Harvard's $4.8 billion budget last year, contributing $1.7 billion.

Ad keywords: 
Editorial Tags: 
Is this diversity newsletter?: 


Subscribe to RSS - institutionalfinance
Back to Top