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Business Officer Magazine

Business Briefs

Short news articles based on research surveys and peers’ business experiences that can benefit institutions


New Trends in Graduate School Enrollments and Degrees

Jobs for New College Grads, 2010


The average starting salary for bachelor's degree recipients in the class of 2010.


The change in the average starting salary for graduates from the class of 2009 to the class of 2010.


The estimated change in the number of job offers to new college grads from 2009 to 2010.


The average starting salary for accounting majors.


Sources: Summer 2010 Salary Survey; Job Outlook 2010 Spring Update (National Association of Colleges and Employers).

Enrollment of new students at U.S. graduate schools grew 5.5 percent from 2008 to 2009, compared with 4.5 percent the previous year, according to the Council of Graduate Schools' most recent Graduate Enrollment and Degrees report. In addition, total enrollment grew 4.7 percent in 2009 after rising 3 percent in 2008, and the number of applications for admission to graduate schools increased 8.3 percent. These enrollment and application gains may reflect the effects of the sluggish U.S. economy, as prior research has suggested that graduate enrollment grows during periods of high unemployment as more workers seek to upgrade skills in order to gain new opportunities.

Graduate and Enrollment Degrees: 1999 to 2009 is based on an annual survey of U.S. master's, doctoral, and postbaccalaureate certificate programs, cosponsored by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Board. It is the only annual national survey that covers enrollment in all fields of graduate study and is the only source of national data on graduate admissions applications. The report includes responses from almost 700 institutions, which collectively confer about 80 percent of the master's degrees and 90 percent of the doctorates awarded by U.S. colleges and universities each year.

The comprehensive annual survey reports trends in such areas as enrollment rates by gender and country of origin, advanced degrees, and growing fields of study.

Enrollment evolves. Growth in both first-time and total graduate enrollment in 2009 differed by gender and U.S. citizenship status. First-time enrollment of men increased 6.7 percent, compared to 4.7 percent for women. This reverses a long-term trend in increasing gains in graduate enrollment among women. Over the past 10 years, the first-time enrollment of women grew by an annual average of 5.2 percent, compared to 4.2 percent for men. However, first-time enrollment of international graduate students declined by nearly 2 percent in 2009, compared with a 6 percent growth for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. From 1999 to 2009, the average annual growth in first-time enrollment was 4.9 percent for U.S. citizens and 3.3 percent for noncitizens.

Graduate degrees favor business and education. In total, about 1.8 million students enrolled in graduate school programs in 2009. About three fourths of these were seeking master's degrees. Business school programs (primarily master of business administration) were among the most popular for graduate study. Students enrolled in business programs accounted for about 18 percent of the total graduate enrollment, or the second largest share after education, which accounted for 23.8 percent.

Master's degrees account for almost 90 percent of graduate degrees conferred in academic year 2008–09. MBAs and other business-related awards accounted for 24.1 percent of master's degrees, trailing only education (27.1 percent) and far ahead of health sciences (8.6 percent) and social and behavioral sciences (7.1 percent). However, business accounted for only 3 percent of all doctoral degrees. Education (14.6 percent), engineering (14 percent), and biological and agricultural sciences (13.6 percent) were the largest fields for doctoral production. For the first time ever, women earned the majority (50.4 percent) of doctorates.

Study fields in flux. Health sciences was one of the fastest-growing graduate fields of study. Applications for admission to health-related programs (such as nursing) jumped 14.6 percent from 2008 to 2009, followed by a 10.9 percent gain in public administration and services (such as social work), and an 8.1 percent increase in biological and agricultural sciences. Admissions applications to business programs grew 6.7 percent and applications to education programs increased 6.6 percent. Over the past 10 years, the average annual growth of students enrolled was nearly 6 percent, and the number of master's degrees conferred grew by about 4 percent annually.

RESOURCE LINK The Graduate Enrollment and Degrees: 1999 to 2009 report can be downloaded for free from the Council of Graduate School's Web site.

NACUBO CONTACT Kenneth Redd, director of research and policy analysis, 202.861.2527

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Drexel Uses New Green Monitoring System

With a number of new construction projects in the works and a desire to take a comprehensive approach to facility-related sustainability, in 2009 Drexel University, Philadelphia, became the first higher education institution to commit to using the Green Globes monitoring system. The university plans to apply the system, owned and operated by the Green Building Initiative (GBI), to all new capital projects as a way to help inform design decisions and measure the operations of completed projects.

Promoting Sustainable Practices

The mission of GBI, a nonprofit organization, is to accelerate adoption of practices that result in healthy, energy-efficient, environmentally-sustainable buildings. GBI's Green Globes certification and monitoring system offers a Web application to aid architects, engineers, construction professionals, and building operators in evaluating, quantifying, and improving the sustainability of new building projects and major renovations. The tool provides best-practice guidance, allows project teams to evaluate and rate the benefits of different design scenarios, and helps monitor key areas of operation, including energy, water, emissions, and indoor environment.

Highlights of Drexel's eight current Green Globes-registered projects include:

  • An 84,000-square-foot recreation center addition that collects storm water to reuse for flushing toilets and includes rooftop light scoops (windows that “scoop” daylight into the central core of the building) that eliminate the need for daytime electrical lighting for 87 percent of interior occupied space.
  • A 17-story, 110,000-square-foot student residence hall that incorporates a 3,000-square-foot green roof to reduce heat absorption and storm water runoff and help insulate the building.
  • A 130,000-square-foot multiuse integrated sciences facility that includes a multistory “bio wall” with plants to filter the air by removing carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds while naturally cooling the air during summer months and acting as a humidifier in the winter.

Barbara Clarke, project architect and sustainability coordinator for Drexel, took the lead in the university's recreation center addition. “I gathered together our full team of architects, engineers, and building managers, and we used the Green Globes dashboard to walk through each design decision. This process encouraged everyone to share ideas and concerns. With these different perspectives and areas of expertise, we were able to achieve a realistic self-assessment of the project design and construction,” says Clarke.

Multiple Benefits Accrue

One of the real benefits of the Green Globes system is the way it helps tighten the design process and broaden communication among all who are ultimately involved, she adds. In fact, Clarke believes that colleges and universities are ideally positioned to benefit from such a system since institutions have strong ownership of their building projects.

“We don't simply design buildings and go on to something else,” says Clark. “We operate and occupy these buildings, and we pay their maintenance and energy bills, so we all have a vested interest in how they perform.”

Something else Drexel leaders have learned from using the Green Globes system is the value of energy modeling as part of the up-front design process, says Clarke. “This allows for incorporating efficiency measures on the front end that would otherwise increase project costs if tacked on in later stages of development.” As a result, the university may consider adding energy modeling to its own set of design standards.

Four-Level Certification

There is a nominal fee to formally register a project for Green Globes certification and a fee for GBI's third-party independent assessment, conducted one year after occupancy of the completed project. In the interim, the institution performs its own online self-assessment. The final on-site assessment and documentation review culminates in a certification of between one and four “green globes” based on a project's achievements:

  • Four globes are reserved for buildings that serve as national or world leaders in reducing environmental impacts.
  • Three globes demonstrate leadership in energy- and environmentally-sensitive buildings and a commitment to continual improvement.
  • Two globes demonstrate excellent progress in reducing environmental impacts by applying best practices toward energy- and environmentally-efficient buildings.
  • One globe demonstrates movement beyond awareness and a commitment to good energy- and environmentally-efficient practices.

Embracing High Standards

While Drexel has committed to using Green Globes for all new construction initiatives, the university has for some time pursued and incorporated many Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles in spirit even without formally registering for certification. “A number of our design team members are LEED-accredited professionals, including me,” says Clarke. She notes that Drexel's integrated sciences building is formally registered and on track to achieve a LEED Gold rating—a priority goal from the outset of that project proposal.

That said, Clarke understands that the process of documentation required for LEED certification can be a drawback for many institutions. “More important to us is that we are consistently applying the highest standards possible to each project, and the Green Globes system is one good tool for ensuring that we do so.”

RESOURCE LINK Progress reports and results of all of Drexel's new Green Globes projects are posted online. Drexel is also working with GBI to incorporate its existing facilities within the Green Globes monitoring system.

SUBMITTED BY Karla Hignite, Universal City, Texas, a contributing editor for Business Officer

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Expand Your Environmental Due Diligence

The University of California-Berkeley (UC Berkeley) leases approximately 10,000 square feet of space to commercial tenants, both private and public, including booksellers, restaurants, vehicle-repair shops, private research labs, and a government analytical laboratory building. Because some of these tenants use chemicals and radioactive materials that generate hazardous wastes, the potential exists for these operations to create a liability through contamination of UC property.

Starting in 2009, Berkeley's Office of Environment, Health, and Safety (EH&S) developed a program to formally review tenant operations for potential risk to the environment. “In addition to inspecting our own activities,” says Mark Freiberg, EH&S director, “we realized it was important for us to review tenant operations to protect our property from potential environmental contamination.”

Colleges and universities that lease space to tenants with the potential to generate hazardous waste can benefit from UC Berkeley's experience in evaluating, documenting, and acting on such operational risks.

Check Your Leases

Because of the need for expertise in evaluating chemical and other hazards, the overall review process is best managed by the campus EH&S office. The first step is to obtain a tenant list from the campus real estate office. In reviewing the list, it should become evident which businesses may use chemicals or otherwise have the potential to contaminate the property. Businesses with equipment maintenance activities or those that conduct laboratory research are prime examples. 

Make sure each lease contains specific language regarding responsibility for (1) use and management of hazardous substances, (2) notification information in case of a release of contaminants, (3) requirements for regulatory permits, (4) a standard right-of-entry clause, and (5) a protocol for government agency inspections that informs and engages university representatives when appropriate. Also check that all leases indemnify the university in the event of any environmental problems caused by the tenant.

Paying a Visit

Once you determine businesses that may pose a risk, schedule visits by your EH&S staff, ensuring that your real estate office is involved. You will need to provide the required notice to your tenant, consistent with the lease's right-of-entry clause, prior to each inspection. Once on site, discuss the components of the inspection with the tenant. During the visit, evaluate the following areas:

  • Overall facility management and cleanliness.
  • Past and present chemical or radioactive material storage and use patterns.
  • Drain disposal practices.
  • Waste management.
  • Applicable permits and records.
  • Details of any spill history.
  • Legacy contamination, such as asbestos or PCBs (polychlorinated biphynels).

Follow Up

Although the site visit examines only a snapshot in time, it provides a reasonable basis for determining whether the tenant is operating in a manner that does not create a liability. Your real estate and EH&S offices can then determine if any follow-up actions are necessary. Where corrective changes are needed, document the requirements and recommendations in formal correspondence consistent with the lease agreement.

Among the issues identified during the recent inspections at Berkeley were a water leak into a room storing hazardous materials and a tenant's previously unknown use of radioactive materials. According to Freiberg, “Expanding our inspections to include tenant operations has allowed us to identify potential environmental risks and work with the tenants to quickly correct any problems.”

SUBMITTED BY Greg Haet, associate director of environmental protection, Office of Environment, Health, and Safety, University of California-Berkeley

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