Education in the New Economy
Higher ed leaders met with the Obama administration last month to discuss the challenges of improving college graduation rates and curbing the cost of earning a degree. Excelsior College (N.Y.) President John F. Ebersole and co-author William Patrick have published Courageous Learning: Finding a New Path Through Higher Education (Hudson Whitman, 2011), which looks at many of the education summit’s issues. It examines the financial and academic viability of traditional education and the need for a comprehensive look at alternative approaches, such as online education. Courageous Learning is aimed at policymakers as well as administrators seeking ways to adjust to new economic realities. Visit www.hudsonwhitman.com.
Socially Responsible Investing
Hampshire College (Mass.) has released a draft of a “Policy on Environmental, Social and Governance Investing” that is expected to be one of the most comprehensive and forward-looking in the country.
Noted as an institution that holds social responsibility and sustainability as core values, Hampshire seeks to adopt guidelines at the forefront of socially responsible investing.
The draft policy focuses on screening individual companies, and provides guidance to the investment managers and consultants who invest college funds.
Under the draft policy, Hampshire will favor investments in businesses that emphasize providing beneficial goods and services, pursue research and development programs that hold promise for new products of social benefit and for increased employment prospects, maintain fair labor practices, and have a record of sustained support for higher education.
Hampshire will not favor investments in businesses that make nuclear, biological, or conventional weapons; have significant operations in countries with serious human rights violations; engage in unfair labor practices; discriminate by race, gender, ethnic origin, sexual preference, or disability. Nor will Hampshire invest in companies that market products abroad that are banned in the United States because of their impact on health or the environment or manufacture or market products that are unsafe in normal use.
Financial Services Briefs
Sallie Mae has partnered with Cardtronics to enable student checking account customers to withdraw cash surcharge-free at ATMs with a Sallie Mae Debit MasterCard. … Nelnet Business Solutions has teamed up with peerTransfer to enhance international payment options on college campuses. International students and families will save money with a more favorable currency exchange rate and easier transactions, compared with traditional banking wire options. … Higher One has awarded a $2,000 prize to a Harrisburg Area Community College (Pa.) student in its “Money on My Mind” video contest, where students share their knowledge with peers about how to tackle tough financial problems. ... The U.S. Dept. of Justice has given its approval to a proposal by Datatel to acquire SunGard Higher Education in a deal that is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012. Datatel will pay nearly $1.8 billion for the acquisition.