Money Problems? Look to Your Academic Portfolios.

Posted by William F. Massy on Jun 17, 2020 12:53:20 PM

 

 

shutterstock_1746085787

 

What college or university doesn’t have money problems these days?  We’ve seen such problems before but this time they’re deeper and more acute.  In the “good old days,” such as the stagflation of the 1970s and the economic recessions of the 80s, 90s, and 2008, the solutions involved a grab-bag of common-sense actions based on relatively crude information. These include:  cutting fixed percentages of cost from administrative and support services, pressing upwards on class sizes and teaching loads, substituting adjunct for regular faculty wherever possible, and hacking away at small classes.  In today’s environment, however, the sufficiency of these actions seems doubtful because of the depth of the money problems and because the low-hanging fruit already has been depleted by years of belt-tightening.

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


Cutting Academic Cost: If You Must, Here's How

Posted by Robert Gray Atkins on Apr 14, 2020 11:32:01 AM

Cutting Academic Costs and Improving Curricular Efficiency
If You Must, Here’s How

COVID-19 will require deep cost cuts at many colleges, or they simply won’t survive. It is unpleasant, even disturbing work. But like all work, it can be done well or badly, quickly or slowly. Bad cuts unnecessarily damage the mission and people. Bad cuts drag on and undermine Screen Shot 2020-04-14 at 11.19.29 AMmorale and confidence in leadership. They are usually the result of short-sighted thinking, incomplete or erroneous information and data, bad information, and lack of courage. Good cuts use sound data and robust, fast processes to create a leaner, financially sustainable, mission-centered institution. Here’s how.

Topics: Program Margin, Curricular Efficiency, Course Costs


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