This Week in College News: Steel Exec Pledges Millions of Dollars to Pittsburgh Schools

By Megan Kenslea Staff

Money is on everyone’s mind this week. A steel executive promised nearly $400 million to the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon, and Harvard’s endowment grew to over $32 billion. And, while Brooklyn College is going out of its way to cater to even its smallest residents, Cincinnati State teachers went on strike this morning after negotiations with the state and university officials failed.

Steel Exec Pledges Millions of Dollars to Pittsburgh Schools

pitt small1After pledging $265 million to Carnegie Mellon University several weeks ago, a former steel executive has pledged another $125 million to the University of Pittsburgh. 73-year-old William Dietrich II, a Pitt alum and trustee of both universities, said he was moved by the approach to education at both schools. “As a graduate who personally benefited from my own studies at Pitt, I want to ensure that the university can continue to provide educational opportunities of the highest quality to its undergraduate and graduate students.”

Cincinnati State Teachers Go on Strike

Nearly 200 teachers at Cincinnati State & Technical & Community College went on strike early today, During school President O’dell Owens’ formal innauguration. Until late Thursday night, teachers were engaged in negotiations over Ohio Senate Bill 5, which would strip teachers of collective bargaining rights. While the school argued it needed financial flexibility, teachers countered that the right to negotiate working conditions was essential. With teachers picketing, students are conflicted. Abigail Asher said that while she has paid for two of her classes, she is concerned about her teachers. “I’m trying to support my full-time faculty, who are more qualified than whomever may be their substitutes,” she said.

Harvard’s Endowment Reaches $32 Billion

Even in a slumping economy, Harvard University‘s endowment continues to grow, earning $4.4 billion in the 2011 fiscal year. This is the second year in a row of high growth, despite an $11 billion loss in 2009. In 2010, the endowment grew from $26 billion to $27.6 billion. While the university’s endowment has seen an average annual return of 12.9 percent over the last 20 years, school officials said they remained concerned over the effect the markets may have on fiscal growth. “We are increasingly conscious of the importance of results, liquidity, and risk management, given the university’s high level of dependence on the endowment and also the significant downturn in the markets since our fiscal-year close,” said Harvard University treasurer James Rothenberg.

Brooklyn College Spends $5,000 on housing — For Parakeets

As CUNY Brooklyn College begins construction on a new athletic field, it has made pains to accommodate everyone affected by the construction – including a flock of exotic monk parakeets that reside atop the light posts in the current field. The school, which recently embarked on a $3.3 million dollar construction project, earmarked $5,000 of the project to provide nesting platforms for the parakeets, native to Argentina. While the state of New Jersey has classified the parakeets as “potentially dangerous,” students and faculty find the project endearing. “I think we should respect the last shred of nature in the city,” said Karli Klopp, a 20-year-old student at the College.

Photo: Wikipedia

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