All posts by Don Troop


Moody’s Issues Negative Outlook for Higher Education

On the heels of a similarly downcast assessment by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service has issued a negative outlook for the higher-education sector in the United States. The credit-rating agency also issued individual reports on median benchmarks for the finances of public and nonprofit private colleges, noting significant tuition-revenue declines at both types of institutions.

While American higher education faces limited growth prospects over the next 12 to 18 months, Moody’s says, p…


New Index Reports Uptick in Giving to Higher Education

Charitable giving to more than 500 colleges in the United States grew by 0.8 percent in the three months that ended in April, compared with the same period in 2013, according to the fund-raising-technology company Blackbaud Inc.

The increase is reported in a new higher-education specialty index that is based on the latest data provided by Blackbaud’s client institutions. The 558 colleges and universities represent more than 10 percent of all American higher-education institutions and account for…


Laureate’s Credit Rating Drops Because of Growing Debt

Moody’s Investors Service announced on Friday that it had downgraded the ratings outlook of Laureate Education Inc., to negative from stable. The credit-rating agency affirmed the for-profit education company’s B2 Corporate Family Rating but lowered its senior secured bank-credit facilities to B2 from B1.

Laureate has become increasingly leveraged because of debt-financed acquisitions, and Moody’s said it was concerned that returns on those investments would be insufficient to support a B2 ratin…


College Provides $750,000 to Fight Blight at Its Doorstep

Bottom Line

A three-story residence on Osborn Street, near Providence College, was among the properties that the Smith Hill Community Development Corporation renovated for use as affordable housing. The college has pledged $750,000 to the organization to support its work. (Smith Hill Community Development Corporation)

Plenty of urban colleges struggle with neighborhood blight, and Providence College is among them. Situated on 105 acres overlooking Providence, R.I., the college borders Smith Hill, where aban…


After NBA Bans Owner of LA Clippers, UCLA Rejects His $3-Million Gift

Donald Sterling, you can keep your millions.

A little more than an hour after the National Basketball Association issued a lifetime ban on Tuesday against the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers for making racially charged remarks, the University of California at Los Angeles said that it would reject his foundation’s $3-million pledge for kidney research.

“Mr. Sterling’s divisive and hurtful comments demonstrate that he does not share UCLA’s core values as a public university that fosters di…


Anonymous Donor Makes $100-Million Gift to Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College announced on Wednesday a gift of $100-million from an anonymous donor that will be used to hire faculty members, support interdisciplinary research, and expand the institution’s global impact.

It is the largest gift in Dartmouth’s history, and it includes a 2-to-1 matching challenge, which could double the total sum if other donors give an additional $100-million by the end of 2015.

Philip J. Hanlon, who became Dartmouth’s president last year, termed the gift “an exceptional …


Many Colleges ‘Hoard’ Endowments During Rough Economic Times

When the economy is doing well, many colleges increase their endowment spending on new programs, new buildings, new positions, and breaks in tuition. But when times are tough—at precisely the moment that campuses could most use the money—colleges’ endowment managers are less likely to spend it.

“That’s a really strange thing to do if the purpose of the endowment is at least in part to help the university overcome economic shock,” says Jeffrey R. Brown, a professor of finance at the Univers…


Fund Raisers Predict 5.2% Growth in Gifts to Education This Year

Donations to colleges, universities, and private elementary and secondary schools rose an estimated 5.1 percent in the 2013 fiscal year, and fund-raising professionals expect to see that rate increase to 5.2 percent in 2014, according to a new survey by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

The CASE Fundraising Index, which is compiled twice a year, is based on a survey of 1,800 CASE-member institutions in the United States. The January survey had a response rate of 10.1 percent.


Report Notes Sharp Rise in Giving to Education in 2013

Charitable gifts to colleges and other educational institutions rebounded in 2013 thanks to a recovering economy, a booming stock market, and the cultivation of major donors, says a new report by Blackbaud, a company that makes fund-raising technology.

Overall gifts to education rose 6.5 percent in 2013, and online giving to education was up 14.4 percent, says the “Charitable Giving Report.” Giving to charities of all kinds grew an average of 4.9 percent, while online giving grew 13.5 percent, t…


Columbia U. Completes $6.1-Billion Campaign

Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University, announced in a letter to alumni on Thursday that the institution had collected $6.1-billion in a seven-year capital campaign that concluded on December 31.

It was the biggest sum raised by an Ivy League institution and the second largest in higher education, behind Stanford University’s $6.2-billion in a campaign that ended in 2011. Harvard University announced a $6.5-billion campaign last fall.

Donations to the Columbia campaign included a $40…