Economic Crisis 2009-10

Moody's Probes Colleges on Cash

Smart Title: 

When investment returns were going gangbusters years ago, most colleges paid little attention to whether they’d have quick access to cash if a severe economic downturn occurred. The pitfalls of that oversight are now clearer than ever, and a major rating agency is asking colleges to produce ever-more detailed reports about their “liquidity” positions.

An Error With Consequences

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For months, top administrators at Birmingham-Southern College believed they had weathered the economic downturn reasonably well.

Then, this spring, an audit revealed the truth: years of financial mismanagement and accounting errors had allowed the small college to operate for years while spending millions of dollars more than it actually had in its budget.

Adding Classes While Others Cut

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This coming academic year, when nearly all of California’s 72 community college districts are either cutting classes or keeping their numbers level despite unprecedented demand, one district is bucking the trend and adding classes. But it is taking a significant risk in doing so with one-time money — without knowing whether it will be able to maintain the funding to make the additions permanent.

Over the Top

Smart Title: 
In better economic times, colleges often blew past capital campaign goals well before deadline. These days, just getting there can be a struggle.

Taking Success for Granted

Smart Title: 
Are community colleges already on their way to achieving student completion goals being overlooked by funders?

Solution for Slumping State Support

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Maine's community college system creates a statewide foundation to garner private donations; it has already raised more than $6 million.

False Ideal?

Smart Title: 
Virginia's "restructured" universities are billed as examples of autonomous public colleges, but some say state has broken pledges and raided their funds in budget crunch.

Digging Out of the Hole

Smart Title: 
Anecdotal reports show endowments rebounding, but getting back to pre-recession levels remains a challenge.

What Passes for a Raise Today

Smart Title: 
As budget anxieties persist, some universities address years of stagnant wages with one-time salary boosts instead of permanent raises.

(Somewhat) Sunnier Day in California

Smart Title: 
While criticized for relying on federal dollars and optimistic revenue projections, budget accord is first in years to please state higher ed leaders.


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