Weekly Market Update
YOUNG VOTERS TURNED OUT FOR MIDTERMS; NEW CONGRESS' EFFECT ON HIGHER EDUCATION
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Tuesday's midterm elections resulted in Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives and losing three Senate seats, expanding Republicans' Senate majority. While this may not have been the predicted "blue wave," a divided Congress will likely increase oversight of the executive branch, including the Education Department led by Betsy DeVos and its attempts to rollback several Obama-era regulations. Additionally, these midterms drove student voter turn-out. According to Harvard researchers, approximately 40% of young Americans had said they would "definitely vote" in Tuesday's elections. This is a significant increase from the 19.9% turnout among 18–29 year-olds in the 2014 midterms.
In Other News
- Students have expressed concerns about University of Wisconsin–Madison's recently signed partnership with Foxconn, a Taiwanese tech giant, which plans to invest $100 million in the school and help establish new research facilities. Much of the agreement was written in secret, and students are worried about risks to intellectual property ownership.
- President Trump asked U.S. attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to resign on Wednesday. Sessions has been an outspoken critic of higher education and the culture of "political correctness" on campuses.
- Yale is preparing to pay the 1.4% excise tax that was enacted in the 2018 federal budget bill on the return on its endowment in its last fiscal year. The tax targets higher education institutions with assets greater than $500,000 per full-time student; Yale's assets equate to $2 million per enrolled student.
- The Sage Colleges, made up of the Sage College of Albany, Russell Sage College, and Sage Graduate School, announced a strategic plan to unify the three colleges into a single college and coed graduate college with campuses in Troy and Albany. While this will end Russell Sage College's role as a women's college, the combined colleges intend to continue offering women's residential and curricular options.
- Virginia Tech recently allocated $105.5 million to build the Creativity and Innovation District Living-Learning Center. The new building will be located on the site of the recently demolished University Club clubhouse, which had been campus fixture since 1929.