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Financially Strapped Colleges Angering Their Benefactors

New Unrest on Campus as Donors Rebel - WSJ.com

The Wall Street Journal (Hechinger, 04/23/2009) reports that “Financially strapped colleges are angering their benefactors by selling school radio stations, auctioning Georgia O'Keeffe paintings and dipping into endowments for purposes their donors may not have intended.”

The report cites examples of Trinity College (CN), Tulane University (LA), Brandeis University (MA), and St. Olaf College (MN) -- all private universities/colleges. About a year ago I wrote a post about the private-public gap in higher education, when private universities with big endowments were the envy of public universities suffering from state budget cuts. With the current economic downturn, even those private ones are not immune to budget crisis.

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Here's an even more extreme example of the financial challenges facing higher education institutions:

Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa, may be sold to an online, for-profit university in Alabama.

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Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs