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What Happened to Higher Education Support in Illinois?

While the majority of states witnessed an increase in public higher education support last year, the state of Illinois experienced a significant drop. A report by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association revealed that educational appropriations for a full-time student in Illinois plunged 80 percent, from $10,986 to $2,196. In addition, public institution enrollment decreased by 11 percent. The decreases are being contributed to state lawmakers unable to agree on a budget and approving pared-down stopgap funding measures. More on the State Higher Education Executive Officers report is available on Inside Higher Ed.

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Full-Time College Faculty Members Get Pay Bump

The American Association of University Professors’ annual survey has revealed that full-time faculty members’ salaries increased 2.6 percent last academic year. According to the recent survey, the median salary for full-time faculty members at colleges and universities during the 2016-17 year rose to $80,095. In addition, full-time professors experienced the largest pay bump from last year, earning an average of $102,402. Other faculty receiving pay increases include associate professors and assistant professors, which earned $79,654 and $69,206 respectively in 2016-17. More on the American Association of University Professors survey is available on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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Duke Study Reveals Legislator-State Funding Relationship

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has uncovered a relationship between higher education state funding and legislators who attended public institutions in their states. According to the school’s study, every legislator that attended an in-state public university helps add $3.5 million in funding. In addition, the study discovered that the relationship has strengthened since the Great Recession, especially among legislators representing districts where their alma maters reside. More on Duke University’s study of legislator school ties and state funding is available on Inside Higher Ed.

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Coastal Carolina Investigating Possible Phishing Scam

An investigation is underway to help Coastal Carolina University (“CCU”) recover money stolen through a possible phishing scam. The university discovered that scam artists masqueraded as vendors under contract with Coastal Carolina to pocket more than $1 million over two incidents. During the first incident, an individual claiming to be a vendor representative emailed CCU financial services and asked to change the vendor’s bank account information, and had around $839,000 wired to their account. Per the investigation, the scam artists are highly skilled and could be located in the U.S. and internationally. Click here for more about Coastal Carolina University’s investigation.

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Modest Gains in Charitable Giving to Colleges

Colleges and universities experienced a modest rise in charitable donations last year. According to an annual report by the Council for Aid to Education, charitable giving to higher institutions in fiscal year 2016 increased from $40.3 billion to $41 billion (1.7 percent). Compared to the growth rate from 2014 to 2015 (7.6 percent), the increase was much less than expected. A significant drop in personal giving is being contributed to the flat growth rate. More on the Council for Aid to Education’s latest report is available at Inside Higher Ed.

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College Endowments Continue to Struggle

College endowments last year posted their worst returns since the 2008 financial crisis. A recent National Association of College and University Business survey revealed that endowments averaged -1.9 percent for the 2016 fiscal year. The drop marks another decline for colleges and universities, which had a return of only 2.4 percent during the 2015 fiscal year. More on the 2016 fiscal year college endowment numbers is available on Inside Higher Ed.

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