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Subcategory of CFO News

Most U.S. colleges and universities have an LMS for academic activities, including posting syllabuses, grading and sending out announcements.

Online faculty at Castleton University don’t just dole out tests—they take them, too. Full- and part-time instructors who have no experience teaching online with Moodle’s learning management system work through a self-paced, six-module course created by associate academic dean Cathy Kozlik. 

Recent lawsuits have alleged that certain colleges breached the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which states employers that sponsor retirement plans have a fiduciary responsibility to prudently manage those plans on the behalf of their employees.

Eight prominent universities—including University of Pennsylvania, Duke, Emory, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt and others—were hit with separate lawsuits in August 2016 alleging the institutions mishandled their employee retirement plans.

MONTCLAIR, New Jersey—Montclair State had been a university for only a few years when Susan Cole took over as president in 1998. She wanted the job—her second presidency—because she saw vast, untapped potential on the campus of 12,000 students. She also felt certain that she could, pretty quickly, ensure the institution lived up to its new name.

After years of working with multiple food service vendors and local restaurants, Carnegie Mellon University brought fast-casual bakery chain Au Bon Pain to campus. The school’s first experience with a national restaurant franchise, it was a 12-month process from the brainstorming phase to opening the doors to hungry students.

When Teri McIntyre was a University of Wisconsin undergrad in the early ‘90s, she volunteered to call alumni to ask for college fund donations and—believe it or not—she liked making those calls. A university development officer noticed and offered McIntyre a job after graduation.

Betsy Mennell, Northern Arizona University’s development vice president, learned the hard way that “in fundraising, if you speak the language you can talk the talk, but you may not be able to walk the walk.”

After being burned a few times hiring the wrong people—“disorganized, not self-disciplined, afraid to ask for money”—she now requires candidates to tackle four tasks that every MGO must handle.

In an era in which every college or university expense must be scrutinized, tuition remission policy details may be worth analyzing. (Click to enlarge)

Almost 90 percent of colleges and universities offer tuition remission benefits to their employees and employees’ dependents. And with college tuition costs skyrocketing, that benefit has become increasingly sought-after—but expensive for the institution.

While many institutions that examine their tuition remission spending wind up reining in spending in this area, some schools are actually increasing the benefit to better recruit and retain top-notch talent.

Last year, leaders at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, increased the tuition benefit for employees’ spouses and children from 75 percent to full coverage. Employees themselves already received 100 percent remission.

Public-private partnerships are a growing trend that allow universities to fund the construction of new buildings and, if desired, turn over maintenance and operations to skilled partners. Structuring these decades-long partnerships for a successful outcome involves careful planning on the big decisions and the details.

Although Granville Towers, located across the street from UNC Chapel Hill’s campus, was built in 1964, it has been refurbished and updated multiple times by EdR, which manages the 1,327-bed residence hall. Student amenities include weekly housekeeping services for in-suite bathrooms, on-site dining hall and fitness center, a community kitchen, study lounges and a gift-wrapping station.

“What advice do you have for administrators about making long-term relationships with firms like yours beneficial for both parties?”

“Colleges and universities must clearly define their primary objectives and maintain a degree of flexibility with respect to their approach in ultimately determining the business relationship with their private sector partner. By their very nature, P3s are not ‘business as usual’ and therefore require clarity of purpose and flexibility in approach.”

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