$118 Million Gift for MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday announced a $118 million gift from an alumnus, Samuel Tak Lee, to create a real estate entrepreneurship lab that will promote social responsibility among entrepreneurs and academics in the real estate profession worldwide, with a focus on China. The gift will fund fellowships to attract students; will support research on sustainable real estate development and global urbanization; and will make the lab’s curriculum available online to learners worldwide via the MOOC provider MITx.



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Michigan Reportedly Offering $8M a Year for Coach

The University of Michigan has reportedly offered Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League, a six-year $48 million contract to become head football coach at Michigan, Sports Illustrated reported. The article noted that there are several reports about the $48 million figure, and one report of a $49 million figure. Assuming the former would mean $8 million a year. That would be more than the $6.9 million a year paid to Nick Saban of the University of Alabama, currently the college football coach earning more than any other.


Audit Finds Dire Financial Challenges for Cheyney

The Pennsylvania state auditor is expected to release a report today finding that Cheyney University is in dire financial health, and that without dramatic changes, its “ability to continue to operate is questionable," The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Cheyney is a historically black college within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, a system that has faced appropriations cuts and enrollment declines in recent years, but Cheyney's problems appear worse than those of other system institutions. The university's 2014-15 budget projects a $5.5 million deficit, the audit found. Cheyney's enrollment fell 16 percent last year, and 36 percent over the period 2010-14. University officials have said that they are working on the problems identified in the report.



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College employees better prepared for retirement than general population

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Higher ed employees plan to retire later than other Americans, but a survey suggests they do more financial planning for that eventuality.

Brewton-Parker's accreditation restored; woes for Norfolk State and EDMC campuses

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Southern regional agency restores accreditation of Brewton-Parker College, while Norfolk State and four Education Management campuses draw scrutiny.

Does privatizing public higher education necessarily undermine the public good?

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New book acknowledges the drift by public colleges as state funding has flattened and in some cases fallen -- but argues that the trend does not mean the institutions must abandon their missions.

Plan for Cuts at U. of New Orleans

University of New Orleans officials on Thursday announced a series of cuts designed to save money in the wake of enrollment declines. The Times-Picayune reported that the plan includes:

  • Closing seven degree programs.
  • Eliminating the geography department.
  • Requiring department chairs to teach a minimum of two courses in the fall and spring semesters, with the goal of reducing reliance on adjuncts.
  • Reducing the budget for adjuncts by $1 million.
  • Eliminating 10 instructor positions and 4 library positions.



Report: State Disinvestment Fuels Student Debt

Student-loan borrowing at public institutions has increased the most in states where government support for higher education has declined, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress. In states with the largest per-student decline in funding, for example, median student borrowing increased by $1,781 between 2008 and 2012. The center called for federal investment, matched by money from states, to help curb increasing student debt levels.

Two-year colleges in Illinois and other states lean on local government for funding

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Illinois leads list of states where community colleges already get only a single-digit percentage of their budgets from the state, and more cuts may be on the way.

Report: Alabama-Birmingham to End Football Program

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is poised to shut down its football program this week, Sports Illustrated reported. The magazine, citing unidentifid sources, said the university plans to fire its athletics director and announce that it is discontinuing its football team, which qualified for a bowl game Saturday for the first time in a decade. The decision on football comes as UAB is developing a university-wide strategic plan.

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