The Journey:  Fostering a Data-Informed Culture

Posted by Andrew Dunn on Sep 27, 2021 11:22:08 AM

Back view image of businessman with arms crossed behind back

 

Higher Education faces increasing challenges. These challenges include expanding competition, changing demographics, altered perceptions of the value of a college degree, and a pandemic. Rapid, complex changes such as these require thoughtful, yet timely responses. All of us, from trade schools to Tier I research institutions, must look at how to best restructure people and process for greatest success, not only for economic feasibility and academic growth, but also to support institutional culture.

Concordia University’s leadership team recognizes these obstacles and has formulated a plan to address them. Our University’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) ensures a holistic, coordinated, interdependent approach, one that leads to greater coherence and better decision making. Each month, I will be sharing insight into our journey with a particular focus on program evaluation and management.

Topics: Program Economics, Academic Resourcing


Will Community Colleges Rally After COVID-19?

Posted by Bob Atkins on Feb 24, 2021 11:15:07 AM

Hand drawing results graph with white chalk on blackboard

We took a look at our data to find out which programs offer the most promise.

Following the 2008-9 recession, enrollment at public two-year colleges and for-profit institutions grew to 7.6 million, up from about 6.4 million in 2007.  Over the following ten years or so, the growth ebbed a bit, but when Covid-19 brought another economic recession, it was expected that community college enrollment would pick up again, especially in Certificate programs–displaced workers would seek short-term training for new jobs.  If you are reading this, you probably know that is not what happened.

Topics: Academic Programs, Program Economics, Coronavirus, Pandemic, Community Colleges


Escaping the Academic Equality Quagmire

Posted by William F. Massy on Nov 24, 2020 11:01:48 AM

Escaping the Program Equality Quagmire

Stuck in the mud

Academic programs, and the courses that deliver their content, are not of equal importance.  The implications of this came home to me recently when, in a webinar on academic resourcing, a participant objected that provosts and deans should not “put their thumbs on the scale” by considering program importance when deciding admission targets and departmental budgets.  “All programs and courses are of equal importance,” the participant asserted. “Providing their quality is good, all should have equal access to funding.”

Topics: Programs, College Courses, Program Economics, Curricular Efficiency


Revolution in AR

Posted by William F. Massy on Sep 22, 2020 1:17:53 PM

It’s Time for a Revolution in Academic Resourcing

The Best of Times...The Worst of Times — Carol McLeod Ministries | Find Joy  in Your Everyday Life

 

This new academic year is unlike any other.  Colleges and universities are coping with nasty deficits and cash flow problems, but the probable long-term disruptions are even more worrisome.  Never in my half-century of close involvement with academic resourcing have I seen such threats to the operating and financial sustainability of so many institutions.  As Charles Dickens said, it is the worst of times.

Topics: Programs, Academic Programs, Program Economics, Curricular Efficiency, Academic Resourcing


How to Boost Student Engagement—Even Online

Posted by William F. Massy on Jul 29, 2020 12:56:47 PM

 

 
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The recent New York Times op-ed about how to make online courses more engaging got me thinking about course redesign generally, especially as it applies in the current COVID-driven environment. Readers may recall my blogs on pruning unneeded courses and rebalancing program portfolios. When done well, these actions can allow the institution to cut costs and boost revenues while minimizing the adverse impacts on student learning and faculty workloads. As noted in the “rebalancing” blog, they fall into the set of four such actions shown at the right. Course redesign is element 3 of this action set.

Topics: Program Economics, Curricular Efficiency, Online Courses


We Are All Coronavirus Fighters Now

Posted by William F. Massy on Mar 24, 2020 10:48:09 AM

That “we are all coronavirus fighters now” hit me with a vengeance when I cut short my Mexican vacation and settled into a regimen of hand-washing and social distancing. This applies no less to colleges and universities in the United States and across the world. Schools are canceling face-to-face classes, and many are sending students home or telling them not to return fromAbstract molecules medical blue background spring break. I wondered how academic resourcing (AR) models—the subject on which I’ve worked during the past decade—will impact institutional efforts to combat the coronavirus and deal with its consequences. To put the matter bluntly, will the momentum toward data-informed decision-making that has been building over the last few years be blunted by the coronavirus emergency? I believe this outcome would be a real setback for higher education—and also that it is not supported, let alone dictated, by the facts of the situation.

Topics: Program Economics, Coronavirus, Modeling


Emerging Programs Blog Series: Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles

Posted by Bob Atkins on Mar 11, 2020 12:54:07 PM

Here we are in the middle of our series on Emerging Programs. Today I’ll share a program that’s truly on the cusp: unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs). We've heard about the possibility of unmanned, self-driving, and flying cars for years; now it’s becoming a reality. Why do higher-education institutions need to be watching this field? UAVs will both displace workers and create jobs that require new skills in designing, developing, manufacturing, maintaining, and managing fleets of UAVs.Unmanned

Full speed ahead: What’s happening in the world of UAVs

Uber recently announced its partnership with Hyundai to launch an unmanned aerial taxi service, using electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircrafts. The plan is to have UAV service rolled out in Los Angeles and Dallas by 2023. The self-driving cars that are already out there have a giant rack of sensors on the roof, so they haven't necessarily nailed down the aesthetics just yet. The technology is evolving every day. In the maritime industry, drones that are essentially mini-submarines are already in action conducting jobs that previously were done by divers. In the delivery space, 2020 is the year that drones are slated to become a major player.

Topics: Emerging Programs, Program Economics, New Programs, Unmanned Vehicles, Autonomous


Provenance of program economics models

Posted by William F. Massy on Mar 5, 2020 10:47:30 AM

Recently I revisited last summer’s joint statement by AIR, EDUCAUSE, and NACUBO entitled, “Analytics Can Save Higher Education. Really.”  It’s something all of us analytically-minded higher education people can and should get behind.  I’m thrilled that these three organizations have made analytics a priority, and that they are working to spread the information and knowhow that will spur adoption.

Handwritten Sketch

Reading the statement reminded me of the tools we had to rely on before the development of today’s academic resourcing models that I've been writing about in these blogs.  The improvements are relevant for achieving the benefits described in the joint statement referenced above as well as my own Reengineering the University and forthcoming Resource Management for Colleges and Universities.  I'd like to share some of my experience in the early days of higher education analytics to show just how big a change the current models portend, and why that change is so important.

Topics: Undertanding Student demand, Programs, Program Margin, Program Economics