Category Archives: Uncategorized


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…


$50-Million Gift to Establish Bioscience Center at U. of Southern California

A rendering of the planned USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience (foreground), with the existing Irani Hall behind it. (Image courtesy of USC)

A rendering of the planned USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience (foreground), with the existing Irani Hall behind it. (Image courtesy of USC)

A retired orthopedic spinal surgeon plans to announce on Monday a $50-million gift for an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Southern California that he hopes will generate a wave of inventions in the biosciences.

The donation, by Gary K. Michelson, will establish the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, where resea…


Federal Research Cuts Have a Multiplier Effect on U.S. Economy

In releasing his administration’s budget for the 2014 fiscal year on Wednesday, President Obama said the proposal would replace “the foolish across-the-board spending cuts that are already hurting our economy,” a reference to the effects of the federal sequester that began last month.

John Nelson, managing director of the health-care and higher-education rating teams at Moody’s Investors Service, the credit-rating agency, observed in a recent interview that few politicians at any level of govern…


Federal Budget Cuts Will Have ‘Limited Impact’ on Universities, Moody’s Says

As universities raise alarms about the potentially devastating effects of more than $1-billion in looming cuts in federal research spending, a leading credit-rating agency issued a report on Thursday that seemed to say: “Calm down. This will sting for just a moment.”

The vast majority of American universities and nonprofit organizations will “face only minimal effects” from the budget cuts in the 2013 fiscal year, according to the report by Moody’s Investors Service. Just 1 percent of institutio…


School District Covets Land Owned by Christian College

A school district in the Chicago suburbs is eyeing a 15-acre parcel that belongs to Wheaton College, in Wheaton, Ill., for a new junior high school and has suggested that if the college won’t agree to sell, the district’s Board of Education might try to seize the property.

The Glen Ellyn District 41 newsletter, dated March 13, said that the board would decide at its April 8 meeting whether to make a formal offer on the parcel. “If unable to reach an agreement with the property owner, Wheaton Col…


Land-Grant Group Sends a Valentine to Public Universities

On the same day that President Obama released his College Scorecard to help students and their families compare institutions, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities unveiled a data-packed scorecard of its own to show how favorably public higher education stacks up against its private nonprofit and for-profit counterparts.

The 12-page report compares the average list prices of public universities ($8,655), for-profit institutions ($15,172), and private universities ($29,056), and d…


Chief Academic Officers Get an Association of Their Own

For all of the organizations and associations in higher education, none is for chief academic officers. Until now.

Next month at the American Council on Education’s annual meeting, some 100 provosts and CAOs from all sectors will convene for the first time to hear about the new Association of Chief Academic Officers.

Wendy Wilkins, a former provost at New Mexico State University, says the group will be a forum for chief academic leaders—many of whom oversee faculty, student-affairs, research, …


Americans Prefer to Cut Spending on Defense Over Education, Poll Finds

If negotiations in Washington to avoid a “fiscal cliff” come down to a choice between cutting spending on defense or education, a majority of Americans would spare the education programs, according to the results of a poll released on Friday.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents to the poll said cuts should come from defense spending, compared with 43 percent who supported cutting education programs.

Among federal education programs, a majority of respondents said it was “very important” for Congr…


Florida’s Public Universities Seek a Bargain on Tuition Increases

After years of political wrangling, Florida’s 11 public universities got the authority in 2009 to raise tuition up to 15 percent annually without the State Legislature’s approval.

But now they’re telling lawmakers they would be glad to freeze tuition next year if they got a $118-million increase in state appropriations. At a news briefing on Tuesday, the universities’ presidents joined student-government leaders to highlight higher education’s estimated economic impact on Florida and the nearly …


Colleges Worry That Tax Incentives for Donations Are Again on the Chopping Block

Higher-education advocates are closely watching how the current fiscal negotiations in Washington will affect federal support of colleges and universities.

But many are also concerned that a change in tax policy would affect an important private source of revenue to the industry: philanthropic giving, which topped $30-billion at American colleges and universities in 2011, according to the Council for Aid to Education.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have said that limiting tax ded…