McDonald Hopkins in the news: Shawn Riley featured in Cleveland Plain Dealer on colleges' financial woes


Shawn Riley, recently voiced his expertise regarding higher education institutions and current financial issues in Cleveland Plain Dealer's article 'CSU is spending $9 million on faculty and staff buyouts.'

Shawn is the Chair of McDonald Hopkins’ Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He has counseled boards of directors on meeting their fiduciary duties in a variety of circumstances and in a number of industries, including higher education institutions in refinancing, restructurings, and mergers. 

An excerpt from the article is below.

Schools, whether large or small, public or private, are facing a few common challenges, said Shawn Riley, a member of the McDonald Hopkins law firm who works with distressed nonprofits and higher education institutions.

He’s also the chairman of Kent State Universities Board of Trustees and on the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Board of Trustees. One issue is demographics, which he said was a problem officials saw coming.

Inflation, particularly on wages, is also a huge issue because 70% to 75% of most schools’ budget are labor costs, Riley said.

Ohio’s public schools are restricted in several ways from raising tuition, Riley said. Meanwhile, he said, the state has not meaningfully increased its funding for these public universities.

People have also blamed inflated administrations. But Riley said this is not a widespread issue. He said both the federal and state governments keep creating requirements for schools to follow. Doing that work requires hiring, Riley said.

Among private schools in Greater Cleveland, Baldwin Wallace has said it has been dealing with budget problems, and Notre Dame College recently announced it is closing.

To read the full story, just click here.

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