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

The Emerging Program Pool: What You Need to Know Before Jumping In

Posted by Bob Atkins on Feb 24, 2020 1:27:54 PM

The Emerging Program Pool: What You Need to Know Before Jumping In

Back view of businesswoman looking at diagram illustration

If you saw our recent webinar, 5 Emerging Programs for 2020, you know we have been thinking a lot about emerging programs. As a strategy consulting firm that focuses entirely on higher education, it is our duty to help our clients see what is coming. And we promise to share this crucial information here. We want you to have the latest information on the markets and margins for academic programs, so you can make the best program decisions for your school and mission.

Topics: Inquiry Volumes, Undertanding Student demand, Programs, Emerging Programs

Changing the Conversation

Posted by William F. Massy on Feb 13, 2020 2:01:46 PM

I’ve been writing a lot here about how modern analytics can help a college or university make better academic program portfolio decisions. For example, which programs, if any, should be expanded, downsized, or eliminated. These are mission-critical because it is through degree and other formally organized programs that institutions present their teaching prowess to the marketplace. Faculty usually focus on individual courses, but students look at programs when they decide which school to attend and what they say about it to their parents and peers. Thinking about program portfolios holistically helps schools compete in the marketplace, serve students better, and manage course availabilities and staffing more effectively. These matters fall squarely into the wheelhouse of both academic and financial officers.

Topics: Programs and Cities, Undertanding Student demand, Programs, College Courses, Curricular Efficiency

Blog 3:  Balancing Mission and Margin in University Resource Management

Posted by William F. Massy on Jan 7, 2020 2:44:07 PM

WFM Head Shot 2019It should come as no surprise that margin, the difference between cost and revenue, emerged in blogs 1 and 2 as a key variable in the economics of teaching.  What may be less obvious is that faculty and academic administrators need to take margin seriously.  Conventional wisdom says that academics should focus on mission and its associated teaching and scholarly priorities while leaving the management of margin—and by extension the use of models that measure margin—to the institution's accounting and financial people.  This blog describes why the conventional wisdom is wrong:  why effective academic resource management requires mission and margin to be considered together, and why this is best done by the academic side of the house.

Topics: Undertanding Student demand, Programs, College Courses

Blog 2: Why Course-Based Economic Models are Game Changers!

Posted by William F. Massy on Dec 2, 2019 12:29:50 PM


WFM Head Shot 2019

My first blog (October 2019) described how academic resourcing models allow institutional leaders and faculty to reshape their institutions through better resource management.  This one takes a deeper dive into the new breed of inter

Topics: Undertanding Student demand, Programs, College Courses

Blog 1: Reshaping Universities through Better Resource Management

Posted by William F. Massy on Nov 1, 2019 12:04:58 PM


Topics: Undertanding Student demand, Programs, College Courses

International Data: Where to find it and how to make it work for your institution.

Posted by Ned Caron on Sep 30, 2019 2:20:31 PM

Our guest, Thijs van Vugt, Director Analytics and Consulting Team for Studyportals, reviews International Student Interest's Insights.  Studyportal's tracks 640,000 international student enrollments, 200,000+ courses in 120+ countries with the help of 3,500+ participating institutions.  Here he discuss global data, where to find it, and how to make it work for your institution.

Topics: Undertanding Student demand, Programs, International Data

Philosophy:  A Program Review

Posted by Bob Atkins on Jul 8, 2019 10:54:41 AM

Philosophy programs are under attack from all sides, but is it justified?  In this month’s webcast, Gray took a deeper dive to determine if the negative perception was justified.  What we found was somewhat surprising, students are showing interest in the program and the cost is not prohibitive.  But will students be able to find jobs when they graduate?  Watch our analysis below.

Topics: Online Programs, Undertanding Student demand, Philosophy

GrayReports March Webcast Highlights

Posted by Ned Caron on Apr 4, 2019 3:55:40 PM

Gray has tracked inquiry demand for higher education programs since 2012. Here are some trend highlights presented during Gray Reports Monthly Webcast on March 21st.

Topics: Undertanding Student demand