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Thunderbird calls off plan to work with Laureate and seeks another partner

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Thunderbird drops controversial plan to create joint venture with Laureate, but says it needs to find another entity for an alliance. Alumni remain skeptical.

Pitzer will sell holdings in fossil fuel companies

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Pitzer will sell holdings -- a rare move for a college with an endowment of its size.

$100 Million Gift for Dartmouth

Dartmouth College today announced a $100 million gift, the largest in the college's history. Half of the gift will match other gifts. The donor is anonymous. A major use for the funds will be Dartmouth's cluster hiring initiative, in which groups of faculty members will be hired with various interdisciplinary research agendas.

 

Harvard Signs Responsible Investment Pact

Harvard University plans to sign the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment framework. The move does not force the university to take a specific action, like avoiding certain stocks or divesting from fossil fuel producers, which the university has declined to do, but obliges it to consider environmental, social and governance records to the extent they affect investments. A Harvard spokesman said the university will integrate “energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and resource scarcity, and social issues such as health and safety and employee productivity into investment analysis.” Harvard President Drew Faust also announced Monday the university will do more to confront climate change by supporting climate change research and continuing to cut greenhouse gas emissions caused by the campus.

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Applications Drop 20% at Cooper Union

Applications were down about 20 percent at Cooper Union this year, as the institution prepared to start charging tuition to undergraduates under a controversial shift in its financial strategy. A statement from the university said that the drop was expected. Cooper Union admitted more students this year than in the past, assuming that its yield (the percentage of accepted applicants who enroll) will drop from 50 to 45 percent. Officials said that they believed the quality of the class was comparable to the quality in previous years.

 

Pearson Could Earn $186M From U. of Florida Deal

Pearson Embanet could earn up to $186 million over 11 years from its deal to manage the new University of Florida online college, The Gainesville Sun reported. The article details efforts by the university to keep many details (including how Pearson Embanet's performance will be judged) private, saying that they are trade secrets.

 

Rethinking California's Master Plan

California's storied Master Plan has led to a structure and financing of public higher education that is out of sync with the needs of students and the state, according to a new report from the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy (IHELP) at California State University at Sacramento. The report calls for heightened planning and collaboration at the regional level. It also makes the case for more cost-effective specialization at individual institutions as well as the broader use of technology, such as online education.

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Duncan Says Coaches’ Pay Should Be Tied To Academics

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Sunday that college coaches and athletics directors should be paid based on how well their players are performing in the classroom.

In an interview on NBC's “Meet the Press,” Duncan said he was concerned that too many athletes make money for their university but don’t end up earning degrees.

"The incentive structures for coaches, the incentive structures for ADs, have to be changed so much more of their compensation is based not upon wins or losses but around academic performance and graduation,” Duncan said. "University presidents and boards have been very complacent and soft on this issue, and you have to really look at the leadership of universities here."

Penalties for athletes performing poorly should not only hit the universities, but should apply to and follow coaches as well, he added.

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To Settle Suit, TIAA-CREF Agrees to Pay $19.5 Million

TIAA-CREF has agreed to pay more than $19.5 million after allegations that it illegally skimmed money from account holders.

Several college instructors accused TIAA-CREF of keeping money their accounts earned between the time the instructors tried to transfer or withdrawal money and the time TIAA-CREF completed the transaction. TIAA-CREF, the lawsuit alleges, kept roughly $40 million in such gains it should have turned over to its customers. The settlement money will be divided up pro rata by nearly 59,000 educators. The value of the proposed settlement is about half what plaintiff’s attorneys accused TIAA-CREF of keeping. TIAA-CREF is also agreeing to pay $3.3 million in legal fees.

TIAA-CRAF did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement, which has received preliminary but not yet final approval from a federal district court judge in Vermont.

"We are pleased to have reached a settlement, which is pending court approval,” a spokesman for TIAA-CREF said in an email. “We continue to deny any wrongdoing and have resolved this litigation to avoid the distraction and expense of litigation. As always, our clients remain a top priority for us.”

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Pitzer College says it saves its endowment by temporarily ending spending

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One approach to preserving an endowment? Simple: Stop spending it. 

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