Colleges and Universities Raise $30.30 Billion in 2011  — from Council for Aid to Education (CAE)


Contributions to the Nation’s Colleges and Universities at $30.30 Billion
Charitable contributions to colleges and universities in the United States increased 8.2 percent in 2011, reaching $30.30 billion, according to results of the annual Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey. The findings were released today by the Council for Aid to Education (CAE). Adjusted for inflation, giving increased 4.8 percent. Giving for capital purposes, such as endowments and buildings, increased 13.6 percent (10.1 percent, adjusted for inflation).

Charitable Gifts Concentrated at the Top
As is true of the nonprofit sector overall, most of the charitable dollars go to a small number of institutions. Twenty-five percent of the responding institutions raised 86.3 percent of the dollars reported on the VSE survey. The next 25 percent account for under 10 percent, and the next two quartiles of institutions together account for less than 5 percent of the total.


From DSC:
My encouragement to Development Offices/Departments:

  • In addition to thinking about facilities/the physical plant, also:

Daniel S. Christian - Think Virtual -- April 2012

From DSC re: the item below — an example of the opposite of true leadership
To see an example of TRUE leadership, see my immediately previous posting re: Christensen and Eyring.)

Give colleges more credit — Op-Ed at the LA Times by Barry Glassner and Morton Schapiro
Doomsayers are wrong. America’s higher-education model isn’t broken.

Barry Glassner is president, and a professor of sociology,
of Lewis & Clark College in Oregon.
Morton Schapiro is president, and a professor of economics,
of Northwestern University in Illinois.


From DSC:
I was going to title this posting “‘America’s higher-education model isn’t broken.’ Easy for you to say Morton and Barry.”

An excerpt from their article (emphasis DSC):

While for-profit colleges enroll an increasing percentage of all undergraduates, the demand for education at selective private and public universities and colleges continues to grow, as evidenced by dramatic declines in the percentage of applicants they admit.

Nice. Let’s see how many people we can decline — that’s a great  way to serve our society! Then let’s pride ourselves on this shrinking  percentage of people who actually get into our university.  Woo hoo!  That will help with our ever-important ratings/prestige/branding even more! (Please note: The dripping sound that you are now hearing is the sound of drops of  sarcasm  hitting the floor.)

A few brief questions for you Barry and Morton…

  • When was the last time you lived from paycheck to paycheck?
  • Do you know what that’s like?
  • Have you ever been in that situation? If so, when was the last time?

You two are so far removed from the society — that you say that you are trying to help and serve — that you don’t even recognize the strength of the current that you’re swimming in.  You swim with — and serve — the 1% (not the 99%).

One other thing worries us. There is a surefire way to make today’s dire predictions come to pass — if educational leaders feel compelled to listen to scaremongers who are all too anxious to force us to adopt a new model that eliminates outstanding professors and their passion for teaching, research budgets and the pursuit of new knowledge, the residential college experience and the core commitment to excellence that have made American higher education the leader in the world. If that were to happen, we might end up with colleges and universities that aren’t worth saving.

For transparency’s sake, I attended Northwestern University — and did very well there. It’s a great school in many ways. But I wonder what the percentage of professors are at NU who are there to work on being the best professors/teachers that they can possibly be. I question how many have a true passion to teach.  Research? Yes.  Teach? Not so much.

In fact, from my experiences at NU, I remember several graduate students grading my work or teaching our classes. Speaking of those folks…I wonder…were those graduate students trained in teaching and learning?  Were they given a background in any sort of School of Education? Or pedagogical training?  BTW, those same questions can be asked of NU’s  full-time, tenured faculty members; and I’ll bet you that the answers are not pretty. Also, in many other of the courses I took at NU, I had hundreds of students in them so I seriously doubt that any of my professors even knew who I was.

BTW, what does a year at NU cost these days? From what I can tell from NU’s website, roughly $60,000+ for 3 quarters worth of tuition, room, board, and associated fees.

The system’s not broken you say…hmmm…seems to me I have to pay the price of a pretty darn nice house in order to get an undergraduate degree at your place.  But then they tell me that an UG degree isn’t worth much these days…that what you really need is graduate work to get a good job. Hhhmmmm…

Northwestern and other universities and colleges like it have strayed far off the noble path from which they began their journeys. Look out for #1 has not only been Northwestern University’s motto these last few decades (replacing the long held Quaecumque Sunt Vera motto) , it is the unofficial teaching/undercurrent that it delivers to its students year in and year out.


My hats off to Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring!  My respect level just went up yet another notch for these two people.

Seeing as Clayton is a Professor at ***Harvard‘s*** Business School and Henry is an ***Administrator*** at Brigham Young University, their stance and recent letter to college and university trustees nationwide is a wonderful example of true leadership.   They risked many things by taking a stand and urging institutions of higher education to change. Their purpose is noble. Their message should be heeded.

From the website of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni: (emphasis by DSC)

Clayton Christensen: higher ed trustees “crucial as never before”
Harvard Business School professor (and bestselling author of The Innovator’s Dilemma) Clayton M. Christensen and Henry J. Eyring of Brigham Young University recently sent a letter to college and university trustees nationwide, recognizing a critical turning point for the future of higher education. “If you’ve been serving for more than a few years, you’ve seen a big change in the nature of trustees meetings,” the authors wrote. “Before the downturn of 2008, the agenda tended to focus on growth and on ways to fund it…. At some point, the bubble was bound to burst—or at least start to sag. Now that it has, your role becomes crucial as never before.” The letter urges trustees to demand innovative solutions to expand student access and improve academic quality at their institutions: “The innovators can do more than merely avoid disruption. They can help usher in a new age of higher education, one of unprecedented access and quality, a combined industrial revolution and renaissance.”



Addendum on 7/16/12:

10 best colleges for game-based learning — from



If you were busy playing Call of Duty and you missed it, July 8 was Video Games Day. While most people’s experience with gaming involves mindless destruction or sports competition, educators have begun to see the value in the medium for helping students learn. While the research is still developing and some professors are still skeptical, these 10 colleges represent your best bets for learning while playing video and other games.

From DSC:
My cousin helps Fortune 500 companies innovate and deal with change management-related issues.  Something he once said is rather haunting to me now…

“Often when organizations start feeling the pain, it’s too late at that point.” (Think Blockbuster, Kodak, Borders, and many others.)

So that has been the question I’ve been pondering these last couple of years — are we already too late to the game?


Public universities see familiar fight at Virginia — from the NYT by Tamar Lewin on 6/25/12

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The tumult at the University of Virginia …reflects a low-grade panic now spreading through much of public higher education.

But the 10-point outline she offered — listing state and federal financing challenges, the changing role of technology, a rapidly changing health care environment, prioritization of scarce resources, faculty workload and the quality of the student experience, faculty compensation, research financing and the like — was almost generic, and would have applied to nearly every public university in the nation.

Rebuilding Mr. Jefferson’s University — from by Kevin Kiley

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In a statement before the vote, Dragas said the events of the past two weeks have actually unified the campus around a series of questions it needs to address. “Prior to these events, there seemed to be a roadblock between the board’s sense of urgency around our future in a number of critical areas, and the administration’s response to that urgency,” she said. “Also, many of our concerns about the direction of the university remained unknown to all but a few. This situation has now keenly focused the attention of the entire university community on the reality and urgency of the specific challenges facing the university  most of which, once again, are not unique to U.Va. – but whose structural and long-term nature do require a deliberate and strategic approach.”

University of Virginia: Only the Beginning — from The American Interest by Walter Russell Mead

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

What we see at UVA this month is just a foretaste of the storm that is coming — a few early raindrops and gusts of wind before the real storm hits. The country needs more education than the current system can affordably supply, and the pressure on the educational system will not abate until this problem is resolved.

Fixing college — from the NYT by Jeff Selingo, editorial director at The Chronicle of Higher Education, who is writing a book on the future of higher education


Other information industries, from journalism to music to book publishing, enjoyed similar periods of success right before epic change enveloped them, seemingly overnight.We now know how those industries have been transformed by technology, resulting in the decline of the middleman newspapers, record stores, bookstores and publishers.

Colleges and universities could be next, unless they act to mitigate the poor choices and inaction from the lost decade by looking for ways to lower costs, embrace technology and improve education.


Ousted Head of University Is Reinstated in Virginia — from the NYT by Richard Perz-Pena

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Facing a torrent of criticism, the University of Virginia trustees made a stunning turnabout on Tuesday, voting unanimously to reinstate the president they had forced to resign over concerns that the university was not adapting fast enough to financial and technological pressures.

10 colleges most creatively using mobile technology —


Seeing as how mobile devices and related technologies have completely overtaken a good chunk of society already, naturally the education sector has followed suit. Oddly enough, though, smartphones, social media, tablet computers, and other hallmarks of the mobile technology revolution still have yet to fully creep onto campus, with many schools somewhat puzzled over exactly what to do with the exciting new toys the kids are into these days. Others, however, saw innovation as opportunity, and went about drawing up innovative strategies for letting these digital developments enhance lessons, streamline college life, open up new possibilities, or some combination thereof. Get inspired by some of the seriously cool, creative ways the following schools have harnessed mobile media for current and future students.

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7 things colleges worry about – from by Lynn O’Shaughnessy

Excerpts from “What’s worrying college administrators?”

  1. After peaking in 2008, the number of high school students has been declining slowly.
  2. While high school grads in the West and South have remained mostly stable, the number of teenagers has declined significantly in the East and Midwest.
  3. Between 2000 and 2010, the real median income for families dropped nearly 11 percent.
  4. High unemployment remains persistent.
  5. Many families owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
  6. With flat and falling income and high unemployment, many American families are poorer now than they were five years ago.
  7. Looking further into the future, the financial reality for younger families (ages 25 to 34), who will eventually be sending their children to college, is grim.

Also see the below items from

From DSC:
Just looking at the title one of the above items — “When Market Conditions and Public Perception Collide: A Looming Crisis for Higher Education” (by Amy Foster) — those of us working within higher education don’t want to be in the “Have you driven a Ford lately?” mode. That is, once we lose the public’s confidence and trust in our products and/or services, it will be very hard to get those things back. Not impossible, but difficult.

Two additional thoughts here:

  • Reputation, like china, is easily cracked and hard to mend.
  • There is tremendous and lasting power in the ideas and perceptions that reside within people’s thoughts. Once an idea catches hold, it’s hard to stop.



New tool helps students predict their student loan debt — from by Liz Dwyer


As part of the recently launched Know Before You Owe project, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Education have developed a new interactive cost comparison tool to help students evaluate the costs and risks involved in paying for school. The tool, which is still in beta, lets students enter up to three schools they’re interested in and whether they’re going for an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree.

Connecting Two Worlds: Collaboration between Higher Education and Corporate Learning -- from Elliott Masie

Per today’s Learning TRENDS from Elliott Masie — #717 – Updates on Learning, Business & Technology:

College & Corporate Learning – Collaboration Article: I have written the cover story article for EDUCAUSE – on “Collaboration Between Higher Education and Corporate Learning”.  There are so many areas where corporations and colleges are facing similar challenges and opportunities – from pushing the Learning Management Systems, to changing faculty teaching modes to getting research on the efficiency and impact of various learning technologies.  Yet, there is very little structured collaboration between our two worlds.  EDUCAUSE represents the technology directors of several thousand colleges and universities and we will be working closely with them to bridge the gap.

Related item/example added on 3/30/12:




Resumes and cover letters for college students and grads — from Quentin Schultze
How to write a college student or graduate resume and cover letter that will get you a job

Inside Higher Ed's 2012 Survey of College & University Presidents

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