All posts by Lee Gardner


UCLA Sets $4.2-Billion Campaign Goal, Largest by a Public University

The University of California at Los Angeles announced on Friday a $4.2-billion campaign, the largest goal sought to date by a public university in the United States.

The Centennial Campaign is scheduled to conclude in 2019, the 100th anniversary of the university’s establishment. The bulk of the campaign’s total—$1.65-billion—is earmarked to build up the university’s research, while $1.5-billion would go toward student aid and faculty support, including endowed professorships. Some $800-million …


Facebook Rules and Instagram Rises in Institutional Social-Media Survey

In many ways, the results of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s annual social-media survey offer no surprises. But just because there aren’t major shifts in how colleges use social media to keep in touch with alumni or solicit gifts doesn’t mean that major changes in social media aren’t afoot.

The results of the fifth annual survey, released on Wednesday at CASE’s social-media conference, in Los Angeles, indicate that 98 percent of the nearly 2,000 respondents use social medi…


Abilene Christian U. Opens Campaign With $55-Million in Gifts

Architect’s rendering of the Onstead Center for Science and Humanities (Courtesy of Abilene Christian U.)

Fund-raising campaigns frequently open with one big gift. Abilene Christian University has begun the public phase of its “Vision in Action” campaign with three sizable donations.

The Texas institution, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, announced on Friday that it had received gifts totaling $55-million. The money provides a foundation for its campaign to raise $75-million to con…


California Policy Group Calls for a New State Higher-Ed Coordinating Agency

Just a day after the heads of California’s three state higher-education systems met to pledge increased cooperation, a policy group released a report saying that California needs a new higher-education coordinating body.

The report, released on Thursday by California Competes, argues that the state’s complex educational needs, and its three huge and very different public systems, call for “an entity with responsibility for articulating a broad public agenda for higher education.”

The authors of …


Declines in Colleges’ Net-Tuition Revenue Deepen, Survey Finds

The nation’s feeble economic recovery is contributing to an increasingly bleak economic forecast for its colleges, according to a new report.

The results of an annual tuition survey released on Friday by Moody’s Investors Service, a bond-rating company, offered grim news. Of the 114 respondents among four-year public universities, 28 percent said they expected declines in net tuition for the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years, and 44 percent reported that their net-tuition revenue increases would not …


In College Fund Raising, ‘Billion’ Is Becoming More Commonplace

Southern Methodist University recently joined the growing ranks of institutions engaged in billion-dollar fund-raising campaigns. After raising $780-million during its Second Century campaign, trouncing its initial goal of $750-million with two years left to go, SMU’s Board of Trustees voted last month to raise the official goal of the campaign to $1-billion by its end, in 2015.

A billion dollars is a staggering sum in almost any context. Yet it is becoming more and more common in higher-educati…


Harvard U. Announces a $6.5-Billion Campaign

Harvard University announced on Saturday that it had begun a new campaign to raise $6.5-billion by 2018.

Money gathered by the Harvard Campaign will go to support a broad spectrum of activities at the university, with about 45 percent of the money earmarked for teaching and research, about 25 percent for financial aid and other student-oriented expenditures, and about 20 percent for construction projects, including an expansion of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and work on Harvar…


College Fund Raisers Are Bullish on Giving

Even as the economy continues a plodding recovery, college fund raisers have higher expectations for their hauls this year and next, according to the results of a new survey released on Wednesday.

case_givingFund raisers responding to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s Fundraising Index estimated they would see 7.1-percent growth in giving for the 2013 fiscal year, beating the 5.9-percent growth predicted in the same survey last year and surpassing the 20-year average growth rate of 5.8…


College Foundations Aim Higher, but Performance Stays Almost Flat

Another day, another set of data sketching the continuing financial doldrums of higher education, this time regarding the performance of college foundations.

In its annual survey of 88 institutionally related foundations, released on Tuesday, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education found that 63.6 percent of respondents had experienced a drop in the value of their endowments in the 2012 fiscal year. The median decrease in value was 1.6 percent. Among the 31.8 percent of institutions…


Jump in Student-Loan Interest Rates Will Cost Colleges, Too

In addition to the increased costs for borrowers and the possible political costs for Congress, the doubling of interest rates on federally subsidized student loans could cost colleges, too, according to a report released on Monday.

By letting the rate on the student loans rise from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, effective on Monday, Congress created a “credit negative” for American colleges, according to the report from Moody’s Investors Service, which rates debt securities. In its weekly report t…