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NACUBO Notes

February 2017


Webcasts Cover Endowments, EPA Regulations

NACUBO’s two recent webcasts addressed the results of the association’s latest endowment study and the Environmental Protection Agency’s new hazardous waste rule.

Results of the 2016 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments (NCSE). This webcast, which was broadcast live in early February from the Endowment and Debt Management Forum in New York City, provided an overview of the results of the annual survey. It included a review of the challenges that endowment managers faced in FY16 and the tactics that institutions used to confront volatile market conditions throughout the year.

Participants learned about the asset allocation strategies that produced the highest returns and gained insight about the emerging investment opportunities for the upcoming year. Speakers also highlighted the challenges that investment professionals and chief business officers will encounter in FY17 and beyond.

Implications of the New EPA Hazardous Waste Rule. The Environmental Protection Agency finalized updates to the hazardous waste generator regulations on Nov. 28, 2016. With nearly all higher education institutions conducting activities that produce hazardous waste—from laboratories, art studios, and physical plant operations—it is likely that this rule has the potential to impact a vast majority of colleges and universities.

The webcast, Compliance Challenges for the New EPA Hazardous Waste Rule, was held in conjunction with a meeting of the Campus Safety Health and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA). Speakers addressed what institutions need to know regarding the new EPA rule on hazardous waste, which will go into effect, for some states, on May 30, 2017. Participants learned about the actions that their institutions need to take with regard to reporting, training, labeling, and other determinations, in order to stay in compliance and avoid costly fines.

Both webcasts will be available on demand for one year from the original air dates. To learn more about other webcasts offerings, visit the “Distance Learning” page.


Economic Models Project Update

Three years ago, NACUBO launched an initiative that aims to help its member institutions navigate the changing dynamics affecting current higher education economic models and business operations.

Known as the Economic Models Project (EMP), the overarching goal of the research and work is to illustrate the current state of economic models of higher education; set a vision for what future models might look like; and ultimately produce an extensive discussion guide designed to be used by governing boards, presidents, leadership teams, and stakeholders.

More-detailed goals of the project include: (1) equipping NACUBO members with a comprehensive tool that provides the foundation for institutions to engage in complex conversations about higher education economic models that are financially sustainable, efficient, and effective; and meet the needs of students, employers, and society; (2) influencing the national debate on higher education economic models on behalf of NACUBO member institutions, with objective quantitative and qualitative information; and (3) developing a communication strategy that allows NACUBO leaders and member chief business officers a prominent voice in the discussion on changes to the higher education economic model.

Since its inception, the project has produced two white papers to help members, and others, understand and communicate the economic sustainability challenges facing higher education. The first white paper, What Is the Current State of Economic Sustainability of Higher Education in the United States, and How Did We Get Here?, recounts the history leading to today’s economic model; the second paper, Possible Futures for Higher Education’s Economic Model, provides examples of efforts that colleges and universities are making to engender change on their campuses.

For more information on the project, visit the “Economic Models Project,” on the NACUBO website. Also read “An Array of Advances,” which focuses on findings reported in the second white paper related to creative approaches institutions are implementing to ensure institutional effectiveness, viability, and student success.


Professional Development

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