Oregon Health and Science University on Monday announced an anonymous $100 million gift. The funds will support, among other things, the hiring 20 to 30 top scientists and their teams to improve methods to identify cancer at its earliest and most curable stages.
Public universities have increased the amount of institutional funds they spend on facilities by 50 percent per square foot since 2007, as they strive not to fall too far behind on needed repairs and renovations despite declining state capital support, a new report shows. The report, The State of Facilities in Higher Education, produced by the consulting firm Sightlines, shows that while one-time capital funding from state sources had dropped to $3.32 per square foot in 2013, from $3.88 in 2008, public institutions increased their capital spending to $1.35 per square foot, from $0.89 in 2008. Sightlines draws its data on facilities growth, spending and other topics from 450 institutions in 44 states.
A pair of Congressional lawmakers, one Democrat and one Republican, introduced legislation Monday that would compel colleges (including private institutions), conferences and the National Collegiate Athletic Association itself to provide broad financial data that the federal government would publish, USA Todayreported. U.S. Reps. David Price, a North Carolina Democrat, and Thomas Petri, a Wisconsin Republican, said their bill would require colleges to make public the detailed revenue and expenditure data they provide to the NCAA (which many private institutions now refuse to provide), and would require conferences and the new College Football Playoff to similarly make their own financial data available.
The usual concerns about higher ed still apply: because students and families worry about price and cost, colleges can’t much raise tuition to increase their revenue; state funding will increase, but not enough to keep up with the growth in expenses; competition for sponsored research will continue to be fierce; and demographic forces will exacerbate stress at weaker colleges, among other concerns.
Moody’s still finds reasons for hope. Among them: long-term demand for higher education remains strong, particularly interest in associate and master’s degrees; rebounds in the job and housing market augur well for the higher ed sector; and endowment returns continue to grow.
Spelman College on Wednesday announced that Beverly Daniel Tatum, president since 2002, will retire in June. The announcement came the same day the college announced that it has completed a 10-year fund-raising campaign that brought in $157.8 million. The campaign has tripled the available scholarships for Spelman students and supported significant enhancements to faculty research and facilities as well. Tatum is well-known as a scholar of race relations among young people, and she has continued to write about and speak about that issue during her presidency. Given Spelman's many roles, Tatum has also been an advocate for historically black colleges, women's colleges and liberal arts colleges. In 2012, Tatum announced that Spelman would eliminate intercollegiate athletics and instead focus on promoting wellness and fitness among its students.
Here is a Q&A interview with Tatum on the numerous racial incidents and tensions on campuses nationwide in fall 2013. And here is an essay she wrote on racial incidents after the 2008 election of President Obama.
Seven public urban universities have been selected to receive $225,000 grants each to support the development and testing of new models for the sector, dealing with issues such as improved student success and cost efficiencies. The institutions are: Florida International University, Fresno State University, Georgia State University, Portland State University, Temple University, University of Akron, and University of Illinois at Chicago. The grants are from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, in a program supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Faculty members at the Scripps Research Institute, a free-standing research institution in California and Florida, are organizing to oppose a possible merger with the University of Southern California, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The scholars are criticizing both the idea of a merger and what they say was a lack of input in developing the plans, which have not been finalized. Administrators at Scripps did not respond to requests for comment.
One Christian college's supporters are praying and fasting in a bid to raise money to overcome what officials say is a financial crisis caused by employees who withheld vital information about the institution's finances.