Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - 6 month subscription of Pandora One at 46% off. ×

Comment Re:Endowments (Score 2) 274

The reply that you replied to was trying to point out that the article doesn't even understand how endowments work.

Yes, they go towards salaries. The person who donated $10M said they were donating specifically for that purpose. The university cannot touch that money for any other reason. They money does not, usually, go towards new buildings. There is a specific division tasked with raising funds for capital projects. They also go towards scholarships - which does go directly towards tuition. The university has to either pay a fee or hire fund managers directly. They get a great return on investment, so their fund managers usually know what they're doing. Endowments are not a bank account. They are an investment put in place so that the funding of something occurs from the capital gains. A $1B endowment can maybe get $200M on a good year and that goes and pays a lot of professors (directly resulting in lower tuition costs) and scholarships (directly resulting in lower tuition costs). Some of the capital gains are put back into the fund to repair losses from other years. The ratio is way over 50% directly benefitting the students.

Comment Re:Colleges need to stop building new buildings. (Score 1) 274

General alumni donations do not go into capital projects, like new buildings. When your university is asking you, as a regular person, to donate it is to raise their alumni participation numbers. That affects their national ranking. It's a marker to show that you valued your time there. You do get to specify how you want the money spent.

Capital projects are funded by major gifts - the guys who get their names on the side of the building. This would not be you.

Comment Somewhat misleading (Score 2) 274

When money is donated to the university, it is categorized into buckets like facilities, capital projects, scholarships, salaries, etc. Some of these things get spent right away or put into a fund that is spent over a short period of time. But certain categories, like scholarships, faculty positions, and some staff positions, can be endowed so that they live on in perpetuity. These endowments need to be large because they fund these based on the capital gains of the investment. The university I work at has almost 200 endowed faculty positions and a TON of endowed scholarships. You need a large investment to have enough returns for to function given market fluctuations. Our board of directors is tight with the endowment because it is a well oiled machine does directly impact the students - and yes it does affect tuition in the form of financial aid grants. It's long term investment and anybody who invests knows that you don't fiddle with your investments for short term gains.

The main cost of tuition is keeping the university running. Most faculty and staff positions are not covered by endowments. Our endowed faculty is under 10% of our total faculty and staff count. Students want less students per class. They want better access to professors and not to be taught by assistants. They want every electronic service imaginable. Both students and parents want electronic front ends to everything. The IT staff to support all of these is not cheap. Universities are not the universities from 50 years ago.

Those edge case high salaries are a pain, yes. It irks me when I see our president's salary publicised. But, it irks me from more of an honor sake. When our university says it is trying to adjust our operating expenses to give the lowest tuition possible and those insane salaries remain untouched, it is somewhat hypocritical in my eyes. In reality though, I don't see it making much change in tuition for the students. Say there are 10 employees making $1M a year. If we cut that in half, that is $5M a year that can go towards a tuition cut. That's huge if you have a school of 500 but nothing if you have a school of 20k. But, from a PR point of view, it affects perception. Coaches have a different job and can get whatever salary they earn because they are a money generating entity all in themselves.

Comment Re:I believe it because.. (Score 1) 291

I know you're trolling, but in case other people read this...

Kids are perfectly capable of traveling. I've flown three times with my son at ages 6 mos, 18 mos, and 4 yrs. He was fine. At 4, he was absolutely a joy to fly with.
We were avid world travelers before, filling our passports and getting extension pages sewed in. We have two concerns now. One, our second son is still in diapers. I know they have diapers in other countries but I don't want to have to lug around all that changing gear my wife thinks we need. Plus, there aren't many places to change diapers where we like to go. We're going to wait until he's potty trained. The second concern is shots. Getting all the correct immunizations in place for a particular region is expensive and you can't just go to your local pediatrician and get those.

Our goal is to get the kids out and see as much of the world as possible. You can't really understand the world until you're there enjoying a meal with local people. We're currently living in Texas, which I think has a toxic world view, so it is important for the boys to see things away from here.

Comment Re:Maybe you should read what the issue is (Score 1) 293

Yeah, my PC is stuck. I've tried every trick on every page I find and nothing works. I've probably spent 30 hours on it so far. I had no problems upgrading to 8.1. I'm now to the point where I'm uninstalling software to see if it works. If tonight's series of tests do not work, I have to flash the OS... and I'm not putting 8 on it again.

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous