Feature

Subcategory of CFO News

Delivering cellular services on campus

With a 342-acre campus that has more than 11,000 students and more than 430 buildings; making mobile phones work everywhere is a tall order for Yale University.

College-age students have grown up with mobile phones, and they’re used to having them work when and where they want. With a 342-acre campus that has more than 11,000 students and more than 430 buildings; making mobile phones work everywhere is a tall order for Yale University.

Why colleges should care about student loan debt

Examining the institutional case for getting national student debt numbers under control

Student loan debt is topping $1 trillion, and borrowers aren’t the only ones with reason to be concerned. While higher education leaders aren’t responsible for the loans, they also have a stake in getting rising debt and default levels under control.

Megan McClean, director of policy and federal relations for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, says the first reason for concern about debt is simply that administrators care about students and want them to succeed.

The default-dropout connection

When the Debt Reduction Task Force at The University of Texas System was gathering data for a report released last December, one of the most surprising findings for chairman Scott Kelley was the strong correlation between students who default and those who don’t complete their degrees.

Food that makes the meal

While location is key when it comes to campus dining, students also appreciate delicious, unique food options. Here are some schools that have added meal options that have become a hit with students:  

Colleges connect once-decentralized functions to improve efficiencies

Institutions may share services with other institutions, but the idea can be implemented within a single institution as well, either through a single shared services center or through multiple offices on campus.

The team that first explored bringing a shared services model to the University of Michigan couldn’t help but notice some vast inefficiencies when it broke down the $325 million being spent on IT. Excluding the university’s massive health system, the analysis revealed multiple networks, data centers, and server closets, with 35 different email systems and more than 150 organizations maintaining computers for faculty and staff.

Shared presidents and more at the State University of New York

As part of an effort to try to reduce administrative costs and funnel the savings toward academics and student services, the system’s administration has been working to adopt a shared service model across its 64 campuses.

The State University of New York (SUNY) may have the most talked about shared services program in the nation. As part of an effort to try to reduce administrative costs and funnel the savings toward academics and student services, the system’s administration has been working to adopt a shared service model across its 64 campuses. That model has even included shared presidents.

Colleges narrowing retirement plan options

Regulations now make tax-exempt 403(b) retirement plans more like 401(k) plans

The prospect of employees with more money to invest, easier-to-understand investment options, more personalized customer service, and lower fees has colleges and universities rethinking their retirement plans and moving toward a single retirement services vendor.

Best practices for 403(b) plans in higher education

Fidelity suggests the following actions for higher education plan sponsors:
1. Target employee and employer contributions totaling 10 percent to 15 percent of an employee’s annual salary to increase retirement readiness.
2. Administer a combined benefits plan of contribution and employer match to increase total contributions, employee engagement, and potentially lower costs.
3. Use employer match to increase voluntary participation rates and employee contributions.

8 ways colleges can design technology-rich spaces

Points for planning technology-rich academic buildings

You have space on campus for a new building, and visions of a cutting-edge learning center dance in your head. The technology-infused building will be so magnetic that admission applications will pour in, professors will clamour for classroom assignments, and local businesses will plead for partnerships.

Of course, funding won’t be an issue because the new technology center will be so innovative and visionary that bonds and grants will stream across your desk like ducks in a pond.

Ready to begin?

Remodel or new construction?

Many colleges and universities are tempted to revamp buildings because there isn’t enough space to construct new, technology-rich facilities. But sometimes, the amount of renovation required can drive costs so high that it may be less expensive to build something new.

That was the situation at Gulf Coast State College (Fla). College president James Kerley explains that an early candidate for a new technology center was a building from the 1960s that was being used as a tech hub.

Pages