College of the Atlantic Sells Fossil Fuel Investments

The College of the Atlantic announced this week that its board voted to sell all fossil-fuel-related investments. The move follows a student push -- at that college and elsewhere -- to sell investments in companies whose businesses they believe are harmful to the environment. A spokeswoman for the college said that the total endowment is about $30 million and that the value of investments sold to comply with the policy was just under $1 million.


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Calvin College and others see increased debt burden as revenues falter

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Weak revenue streams, particularly investment returns, are putting pressure on debt service obligations at private colleges, meaning programs and other costs could be cut.

Penn State Releases Details on Cost of Investigation

Pennsylvania State University on Monday revealed details on the cost of the outside investigation it commissioned into the Jerry Sandusky scandal, including the cost ($8.1 million) paid to the law firm that produced what is known as the Freeh Report, The Centre Daily Times reported. Those expenses bring the total expenses to date for the scandal to $41 million.


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Towson Eliminates Two Men's Teams, Reinstates One

Towson University announced Friday that it would eliminate its men's soccer and baseball teams, while reinstating men's tennis. The shifts are designed to help the university reduce its athletic deficit and comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The Baltimore Business Journal reported that although 61 percent of Towson undergraduates are women, only about 52 percent of athletic slots go to women (some estimates of the women's share are higher, although still below the 61 percent figure). In 2012, the athletics department had a deficit of $1.36 million.

State Appropriations Per Student Fell Again in 2012, but Enrollment Peaked

The large college enrollment growth seen in the post-recession period leveled off between 2011 and 2012, but continued state budget cuts meant that public colleges and universities saw a 9 percent decline in per-student state appropriations between 2011 and 2012, according to a report released today by the State Higher Education Executive Officers. The report, a followup to one released in January, finds that while spending increased in three of every five states, those increases were small, and when coupled with large decreases in states like California, amounted to an overall decline.

Public colleges and universities have tried to make up the difference through tuition increases. Net tuition revenue as a share of general operating revenues (excluding grants for research and auxiliary functions) grew from 31.6 percent in 2008 to 42.5 percent in 2012. Since 2002, enrollment at public universities has increased 28 percent, according to the report.

“One year does not make a trend, but SHEEO’s annual studies document a long-term trend toward shifting more of the burden of financing higher education onto tuition and fees," said SHEEO President Paul Lingenfelter in a press release. "In light of these trends, policymakers should give more attention to the size and effectiveness of state and institutional student assistance programs in providing access and adequate support for full-time enrollment in postsecondary education.

As with similar studies, the overall trend masks deep differences between states. While some states, such as Iowa, have seen significant declines in per-student appropriations that tuition hikes have not been able to compensate for, other states, particularly North Dakota, have seen robust growth in enrollments, per-student spending and tuition prices that leave them in much better positions than in 2000.

Connecticut 2-Year College Drops Sports Program

Connecticut's Manchester Community College has decided to end its three remaining sports programs, citing a desire to use the program's $370,000 annual costs for other purposes given its limited resources, the Hartford Courant reported. Manchester's decision, which President Gena Glickman said she made reluctantly given that athletics is an important "access point" for students who tend to graduate at a high rate, will leave Gateway Community College as the only two-year institution in the state with a sports program, down from nine two decades ago, the Courant said.

Plan to increase faculty workload in Ohio resurfaces in budget bill

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Ohio Governor John Kasich will once again use this year's budget fight to increase faculty workload at public institutions.

Uncertain Economy Takes Toll on College Savings, Survey Finds

Despite headlines about the rising price of a college degree, fewer families are saving money for college and fewer have a plan to pay than in the past, according to a survey released today by Sallie Mae. The annual survey about families' saving habits found that only 50 percent of families with children younger than 18 were saving for college, a drop of 10 percentage points from 2010. On top of that, 16 percent of respondents said they were saving less than the previous year, citing unexpected expenses, higher cost of living, and lower income. When asked to describe their feelings about saving for college, parents were more likely to say that they felt overwhelmed, annoyed, frustrated, or that they don't like thinking about it than they were to say they were confident.

Survey finds pay for senior administrators is up

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Gains are larger at private institutions than at publics. Study by CUPA-HR also documents extent of special benefits for executives in higher ed.

13 Faculty Jobs Eliminated at Lincoln Memorial U.

Lincoln Memorial University last week told 13 faculty members, one of whom had taught at the university for 18 years, that their contracts would not be renewed after this academic year, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported. The job cuts are being made because of projected decreases in enrollment next year. The university's graduate education programs have enrolled many students from Georgia -- educators eligible for raises if they complete certain degrees. Georgia has changed its rules such that completing the programs at Lincoln Memorial will no longer make people eligible for raises. Lincoln Memorial does not have tenure, so faculty members work on year-to-year contracts.



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