Business Portfolio

Educational raiders For several years, colleges and universities have been in fierce competition for students as the smaller ``baby bust'' population moved into its college years. Less publicized is the fight for corporate dollars and for the people who can raise those dollars.

``It's never been so competitive,'' says Mary Metz, president of Mills College, a small women's college in San Francisco. While Mills always vied with Stanford for donations, ``Berkeley is the new player on the block,'' she says. The ``gentleman's agreement'' that Berkeley would not go after private funding because it received state and federal funds is off, she says.

With state and federal funding cutbacks and higher costs to run an institution, universities need corporate largess more than ever. And they're getting it. In 1958-59, private colleges walked away with 77 percent of corporate donations to higher educational institutions, while public universities had to settle for 23 percent, according to the Council for Aid to Education. By 1978-79, the split was 59 percent private vs. 41 percent public; last year, it was 50-50.

``There's no doubt that from now forward, public institutions will report a larger and larger share of total corporate giving,'' says Hayden W. Smith, senior vice-president of the council.

The reason, he says, is that 80 percent of students go to public universities. ``To the extent that corporations are motivated by recruiting, they will have to go where the students are.''

And recruiting, while only one of the reasons for corporate giving, is not incidental: The baby-bust generation is just coming into the job market, and corporations want name recognition among this cohort when they look for jobs.

The private/public competition doesn't stop at students and money. Universities are raiding private colleges' fund-raising personnel, says Richard Edwards at the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Private colleges hire inexperienced people, train them to raise funds for a few years, and then watch them get lured away by higher salaries at universities, Mr. Edwards says.

Life styles of Harvard MBAs

When you think of a Harvard MBA, which image pops up: an investment banker dashing around the world, putting together mega-deals? Or an employee of a medium-size business who more than anything else would prefer to spend time with his or her family?

If the graduates of the nation's most prestigious business school are being accurate, the second description is the prevalent one. Harvard Business School asked the class of 1977 to fill out a questionnaire about their work, family lives, and values. Some 360 graduates, or 49 percent, responded, and the results were obtained by this newspaper.

Not surprisingly, this is a well-paid lot (see chart). After 10 years in the work force, 21 percent squirreled away a net worth exceeding $1 million.

More surprising is how many got their money by staking out on their own. Harvard's reputation for grooming executives of the Fortune 100 notwithstanding, one-fifth of the respondents said they are self-employed, and 54 percent consider themselves entrepreneurs. They also work for their money: Only 7 percent put in a 40-hour week; 61 percent work more than 50 hours a week (not including commuting). And, once a workaholic, always a workaholic: More than a fifth said they never want to retire.

If they work hard, it's not just for the money, according to the survey. Asked to list what they were looking for in a job, the graduates ranked the values in this order: intrinsic nature of the work, professional growth, fun, independence, and (perhaps suspiciously low) current income. (Future income wasn't far behind.) What they didn't like about work, more than anything else, was the time and energy it took.

When ranking their favorite pastimes, the most popular was ``activities with family'' - 82 percent are married - trailed by playing sports. Nearly half read four or more periodicals a week (not including newspapers), and 60 percent read six or more books in the last year. It's not the most outward-looking group, however: Politics and community affairs got zero votes as a chosen way to spend free time, and cultural events scored two points.

What does the future hold?

Recently some of the nation's top futurists made some projections about America's future and gave the results to the United Way of America. Among the projections:

High-income households will grow faster than low-income households. Those with incomes below $20,000 (1980 dollars) will drop from 49 percent to 40 percent of the population by 1995, versus those earning more than $50,000, which will increase from 8 to 18 percent of the nation.

White-collar crime, which has quadrupled in the last decade, will continue to increase as the financial and service sectors grow. The childbearing of baby-boomers will end in 1991, ushering in a new baby bust.

Above-average economic growth in California and the East Coast will entrench a bi-coastal economy, long term.

There will be a revival of confidence in institutions and business as baby-boomers reach middle-age.

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