Steve Probst

Steve leads the development of Gray’s education industry databases, analytical processes, as well as several client relationships. He has pioneered new approaches to educational program strategy, city selection, location selection, and pricing. More broadly, Steve is a marketing, finance, analysis, and operations professional with over 20 years experience advising educators, automakers, retailers, financial service companies, and transportation companies. After 10 years at a major strategy consulting firm (now Oliver Wyman), Steve co-founded and helped grow a consulting firm (CFGW/Carlisle & Company) into the dominant player in its primary market. After that, as follow-on to a consulting engagement, Steve ran and revitalized a client organization while implementing a major process and systems redesign (which yielded $8 million NPV). Earlier in his career, Steve also created and taught a graduate Marketing course at Northwestern University. Recently, Steve has led projects for education clients in the auto and healthcare segments building predictive models, analyzing the validity of Ability to Benefit testing, and developing a program portfolio strategy across 30 campuses and 25 programs. Steve has a Masters in Management, with Distinction, from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and a BS from M.I.T.

Recent Posts

Curricular Efficiency:  Improving the Recurring Decisions that Drive Average Class Size

Posted by Steve Probst on Sep 6, 2021 3:15:00 PM

Businessman standing in front of opened doors and making decision

Average class size is one of the primary factors driving cost per Student Credit Hour (SCH).  But average class size is a bit of an over-simplification:  in my home office, my dog and I together have an average of three legs, but that doesn’t really represent either of us very well.

Topics: Curricular Efficiency, Academic Program Economics, class size

What Drives Curricular Efficiency?

Posted by Steve Probst on Aug 4, 2021 1:22:36 PM

Digital composite of Highlighted bones of man about to race

Academic leaders routinely make decisions about course offerings, course scheduling, staffing, releases, and other topics that drive curricular efficiency.  However, Deans and Chairs often lack convenient access to accurate data about instructional costs.  As a result, many have limited, and sometimes incorrect, intuition about instructional economics.  Asking them to make good decisions without access to sufficient relevant information is bound to lead to less-than-ideal results.

Topics: Curricular Efficiency, program planning

Achieving Curricular Efficiency

Posted by Steve Probst on Apr 8, 2020 2:43:39 PM

What if reducing overhead costs and cutting too-small programs were not the only practical ways to control college costs?

If a department offers five electives to serve 75 students, then the average class size for these electives would be 15 students. If the department adds another elective, all six electives would be likely to have enough students to justify offering these classes under typical policies. shutterstock_648204952However, the department would have just added to teaching load – and costs and potentially staffing – without increasing the actual amount of teaching and learning being done.

Topics: Higher Education, Curricular Efficiency, Programs Economics