Harvard’s dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, Michael Smith, said he will not commit to long-term projects for the time being as a result of the impending endowment tax, writes The Harvard Crimson. Smith confirmed the estimated over $40m tax will affect the budget of the faculty of arts and sciences, which receives almost half its income from the endowment.
The Ivy League school has also named Lawrence Bacow as its next president, The New York Times reported. The former president of Tufts University was chosen for his diplomatic and leadership skills at a time when higher education is under fire.
In an editorial responding to the Detroit Free Press’s accusations of self-dealing and rising tuition against the University of Michigan, the school’s president, Mark Schlissel, said the paper’s report “invented conclusions and peddled innuendos not supported by facts”. He noted that without donor and endowment support, annual tuition in Ann Arbor would be nearly $6,000 higher per student.
U.S. universities and colleges saw an increase in donations this past financial year, according to The World University Rankings. Higher education institutions raised $43.6bn in philanthropic income in the fiscal year ending June 2017, up 6.3% from the previous year and 3.7% after adjusting for inflation.
A new venture aims to use blockchain technology to modernize the management and investments of Islamic charitable endowments, called waqf, that would tap into a vast but underutilized pool of assets across the Muslim world. Singapore-based Finterra hopes it can provide a more efficient way to raise money, manage and transfer ownership of waqf, which receives donations from Muslims to operate social projects. Reuters has the story.