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Articles: Asset & Investments

At RIT, barcodes adorn all tech equipment, so when the internal auditing group conducts an asset audit, additional equipment beyond what is already tracked is rarely discovered by the team.

Tracking IT assets across a higher ed institution is tricky business. Depending on the college or university, it may be done by an internal audit group or IT, or a combination of both.

IT asset audits are important from a risk management perspective because they help schools track compliance with software licensing agreements, as well as state and federal requirements, and help them be more efficient.

In the life of an institution, the chief financial officer helps drive the big narrative, but also digs down into the day-to-day. A CFO is strategist and analyst, decision-maker and inspirer, and protector and possibility-seeker all in one.

Education is an industry undergoing exciting and dramatic transformation. Some recent trends and developments in the space include: Common Core Standards, MOOCs (massive open online course), game-based learning, blended learning, marketing, recruitment, and a host of ancillary specialized services. These industry changes, along with advances in technology, have stimulated the growth of educational companies and have spurred the interest of private equity investors.

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.

When a group of venerable, high-profile universities that includes Georgetown and Villanova announced late last year that they were leaving the Big East, it may have seemed like just the latest reshuffling of collegiate athletic conferences in what has come to feel like an endless game of musical chairs. All of this recent turmoil in collegiate athletics is just a symptom, however. The larger problem is money—or, to be more specific—a lack of money.

Student groups at more than 60 college and universities hosted events to raise awareness and push for fossil fuel divestment as part of’s #FossilFreedom Day of Action.

Disputes over intellectual property (IP) rights have been around as long as faculty members have been producing ideas. Whether it’s a cure for a disease, a textbook, or even a syllabus, ownership and IP rights are dictated by a policy at every college and university in the United States.

There are seven areas of oversight that trustees of higher education institutions should consider as fiduciaries. Mistakes in any of these areas can negatively impact the expected growth and risk profile of the portfolio, and in turn, the institution’s financial well-being.

Mistake #1: Not Tracking Total Investment Portfolio Performance

The pace of change in the business offices of universities has never been faster. All eyes are on how institutions will manage the challenges of cost containment pressures, lower federal and state support, and the changing marketplace for higher education. With more demands on your resources—including personnel, capital and time—you have to ensure you are getting the most out of your business partnerships.

The Rutgers (N.J.) spying case and the Penn State abuse scandal, among others, highlight the liability risks of all types facing colleges and universities. From the other end of the risk spectrum, Tulane University’s (La.) long struggle to rebuild and recoup losses stemming from Hurricane Katrina illustrates the complexity of property damage risk management.

California Gov. Jerry Brown, with students and teachers behind him, gestures during a news conference after voting Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Oakland, Calif. The governor talked about his support for Proposition 30 that will increase funding for schools and public safety. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

While voters across the nation were glued to their screens last night counting electoral votes, the higher education community was holding its breath awaiting the answers on a number of important ballot initiatives, proving this year’s election was truly about more than blue and red for higher ed.

Finding funding for new technology investments in higher education can often seem overwhelming and stressful given the current economic environment. However, there are strategies available to support new technological initiatives. Administrators just need to do their homework and remain persistent to secure the funding needed to deploy these essential advancements.

The Future of Video in Education Summit

Video is changing the way we teach, learn, and do business on campus. How can you harness the power of online video—from lecture capture to campus events to student-generated content—to create new value? That was the focus of the Future of Video in Education Summit preceding UBTech 2012. Sponsored by Sonic Foundry, the summit examined those questions in a series of presentations and panel discussions.

A third of all colleges and universities in the United States are in a weaker financial state today than before 2005, according to a new study.
Colleges have more liabilities, higher debt service, and increasing expenses without the revenue or cash reserves to back them up, as well as limited ability to pass costs onto families, according to Boston-based Bain & Co.

Proving that few higher ed institutions are immune from the effects of the economy, schools such as Yale and MIT are included on Bain’s list.

  • Cuts in state funding have forced University of Alabama trustees to consider tuition increases for the fifth straight year. Tuition hikes ranging from 7 percent to 8.6 percent are expected for all three campuses. If approved, tuition for in-state undergraduate students will rise 7 percent from $4,300 per semester at the main Tuscaloosa campus to $4,600. Tuition for out-of-state students would rise nearly 5 percent from $10,950 per semester to $11,475.