$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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Financial need an aid priority for most states

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States are growing their need-based aid at a much faster rate than other types of aid.

Report: 11 States Spend More on Corrections Than Higher Ed

In the five years following 2008, state appropriation support for the median public research university declined by more than 26 percent, according a report released Wednesday by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The report found that states spend twice as much on Medicaid as they do on higher education, and that in 11 states spending on corrections surpassed higher education spending.

"Public research universities play a critical role in the American economy, and in the lives of millions of Americans," said Kay Bailey Hutchison, former United States senator from Texas and member of the AAAS Lincoln Project, which authored the report. "Yet in state budgets, higher education competes for resources in areas that are either difficult or impossible to cut."

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Hopkins Unveils New Plan to Help Baltimore

Johns Hopkins University is today announcing a plan to hire more people from low-income Baltimore areas, The Baltimore Sun reported. The university plans to hire an additional 60 people from areas with high rates of unemployment or poverty for positions such as clerical staff and food service. The pledge aims to increase the share of those hired for such positions from these areas from 26 percent to 50 percent. The university also plans to spend more of its construction budget with companies that have female or minority owners.

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