Friday, March 13, 2015

The Unintended Consequences of Borrowing Business Tools to Run a University

The Chronicle of Higher Education
March 11th, 2015

As colleges and universities compete more vigorously than ever to attract applicants from a smaller population of high-school seniors and strive to provide a deeper, more compelling education, many of us in academic leadership have looked to business practices and concepts to manage our institutions. We have created marketing plans, sought advice from management consultants, and developed metrics and strategic plans.
Techniques borrowed from the business community can significantly improve an institution and what it provides. Focused on administrative functions like housing and dining, technology infrastructure, health services, and facilities management, those strategies can enhance the services we offer students while reducing operating costs. Ideally, the resulting improvements allow institutions to reach a crucial goal: greater affordability for more students and families. Business tools also provide important insights into many issues that face the academy, such as how to academically support students through graduation and improve their lives on the campus.

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