Layoffs and Program Closures at Rider University

Rider University, a private institution located in New Jersey, announced this week that it will close 14 academic programs and lay off 14 full-time faculty members. The university also will convert three academic majors to minors and will eliminate two clerical positions and five vacant faculty jobs.

The cuts are in response to financial challenges, the university said in a written statement, and will result in annual savings of about $2 million.

"The decision to move forward with these closures and changes was not made lightly. They have profound impacts on those who are directly affected by them," the university said. "But they are needed to put Rider on a more progressive path and position the university more strongly in an increasingly competitive environment."

Private Colleges Challenge Plan for U of Iowa Degree

Several private colleges near Dubuque, Iowa, are challenging the University of Iowa's plan to offer a master's degree in business administration in the city at the request of a major company there, The Gazette reported. An Iowa agency that considers new programs is scheduled today to consider the plan by Iowa's Tippie College of Business to offer a master's degree requested by officials at John Deere, the manufacturing company.

But the presidents of Clark University, Loras College and the University of Dubuque -- all of which offer business master's degrees -- questioned whether the area needs yet another, and one that is subsidized by state funds, the newspaper reported.

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Paul Smith's College Gift, Name Change Dropped

Paul Smith's College will not appeal a court ruling that refused to allow the college to change its name in honor of the donor of a potential $20 million gift.

The college wanted to change its name to Joan Weill-Paul Smith’s College in honor of philanthropists Joan and Sanford Weill. However, a judge earlier this month ruled against the college's proposed name change, ruling that it violated the original gift agreement that created the New York college in the 1940s.

The Weills have since pulled their $20 million conditional pledge from the college, according to a New York Times article.

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$100 Million Gift for Northwestern Law School

Northwestern University on Thursday announced a $100 million gift for its law school from an alumnus, J. B. Pritzker, and his wife, M. K. Pritzker. The law school will be renamed in their honor.

Northwestern said the gift is the largest ever to any law school. That claim depends in part on how one counts. A donor to the University of Arizona law school, the late James E. Rogers, pledged $115 million for the law school, which is now named for him. Rogers met his pledge, but did so in multiple gifts, which a Northwestern spokesman cited as the reason its gift was larger.

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Vanderbilt study again highlights what colleges view as burdensome federal regulations

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University follows its controversial study on regulatory burden on colleges with an expanded analysis, and estimates the costs to all of higher ed.

Agriculture Colleges Have $8.4B in Deferred Maintenance

Colleges of agriculture authorized to receive U.S. Department of Agriculture funding have serious deferred maintenance needs, a study by Sightlines and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities has found.

The roughly 100 agriculture colleges have $8.4 billion in deferred maintenance of their buildings and supporting facilities, which has contributed to a 29 percent erosion of their value. The deterioration comes in many forms -- roofs that leak, foundations that crack, doors and windows that don’t keep the heat in or cold out, and HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems that fail -- and negatively affects the functioning of key research areas, like labs and animal care facilities.

“These study results confirm the suspected magnitude of a problem that must be addressed if our institutions are going to continue to be able to conduct the high-quality research that is at the cutting edges of the science and education enterprises,” said Ian L. Maw, vice president of food, agriculture and natural resources at APLU.

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Apple Loses Patent Case to U of Wisconsin

A federal jury in Wisconsin on Tuesday found that Apple infringed on a patent held by the University of Wisconsin at Madison in creating the chips in many iPhones and iPads, Reuters reported. The damages stage of the trial is just starting but could involve an award of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Hope International and Nebraska Christian to Merge

Two Christian colleges -- Hope International University and Nebraska Christian College -- announced Thursday that they will merge. Hope International, in California, is the larger of the two institutions, with about 1,300 students. Nebraska Christian's enrollment is under 200.

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New York judge blocks Paul Smith's College from changing name for $20 million gift

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Judge says Paul Smith's College didn't present compelling evidence that a name change was necessary -- even in return for a large gift.

NYU Receives $100M Gift for Engineering School

New York University on Monday announced a $100 million gift, which will primarily support faculty hiring and academic programs at the university's engineering school. The school will be renamed to honor the donors, Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon.

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