The University of California at Santa Barbara is expected today to announce a $65 million gift to its Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, The New York Timesreported. The gift, from Charles T. Munger, an investor best known as Warren Buffett's business partner, will support a residence for the institute, which brings groups of physicists together for long periods of times to brainstorm.
Both Arizona State University and Starbucks are reporting a rush of new applicants after the coffee giant announced it would reimburse employees who took their junior and senior years through the institution's online arm. The university has already accepted 1,800 Starbucks employees (whom it referred to as "partners" in a press release), among whom about 1,000 have enrolled in the second fall session.
The university noted the applicants, who represent every state and every retail role at Starbucks, are scattered across its 40 degree programs, although psychology, lifestyle coaching, mass communication and media studies and English ranked as the most popular. About 70 percent of the students will enroll as juniors or seniors, meaning they will be covered by Starbucks' tuition reimbursement plan.
The university previously reported 4,000 Starbucks employees applied to the university. A spokeswoman for ASU also said Starbucks "received a significant increase in job applications" after the program was unveiled this summer.
The University of Nebraska at Lincoln is offering early retirement incentives to faculty members aged 62 and up to try to encourage more of them to move on and make way for a new generation of instructors. The offer, of a one-time lump-sum payment of 90 percent of a professor's annual salary, will go to about 250 professors with at least 10 years' experience at Nebraska, or about 30 percent of the university's tenured faculty members. Inside Higher Ed's recent survey of chief human resources officers found that HR directors – especially those at public colleges and universities -- are growing increasingly concerned about faculty members working well past traditional retirement age, leaving little flexibility for their institutions to hire a new generation of professors.
The University of Oregon is locked in a legal battle with one of its professors and a former employee over who owns the rights to a basic skills test used to gauge the literacy of students in thousands of schools, The Register-Guard of Eugene reported. The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills exam was developed by researchers at Oregon, and one of its professors and a former graduate student trademarked and copyrighted the test. But in the last year, the university has sought to cancel the scholars' trademark, and they have sued Oregon for alleged trademark and copyright infringement, the newspaper reported.
Harvard University's endowment -- the nation's largest -- was up 15.4 percent in fiscal 2014. Those gains raised the value of the endowment to $36.4 billion. The endowment has distributed $11.6 billion to the university in the last five years.