The State of Higher Education in 2017

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The State of Higher Education in 2017 points the way to decision-making that will sustain your institution, positioning it to thrive for the long term.

This is a time of great potential for higher education leadership to engage a diverse constituency, collaborate with other institutions and private industry, and effect substantial operational change. Innovative thinking will be vital to successfully moving into the future.

In this, our sixth annual State of Higher Education report, we offer you our experience-based viewpoints, approaches and solutions that point the way to decision-making that will sustain institutions, positioning them to thrive for the long term. As a leader in the higher education sector, we believe it is our responsibility to give back to this community we serve by providing these valuable insights about the trends and issues we expect to emerge in 2017.

Read The State of Higher Education in 2017 Browse the report articles: Time-Traveling to Higher Education 2050
Look ahead to higher education in 2050, with a view based on current trends and indicators. We can make the reasonable assumptions that courses will be delivered differently, students will have new demands and parents will still be paying the major cost of college. But many aspects of college life will be very different.

Transforming Business Models in Response to Market Shifts
Cultural, demographic, technological and economic change throughout the world is driving a rethinking of how colleges and universities “do business” — fulfilling the same mission in a different way. Institutions are updating their business models to demonstrate increased relevance, address competitive threats, and enhance outcomes and sustainability.

Moving Beyond ERM Theory to Real-World Implementation
For as much as colleges and universities respect risk and a desire to implement leading-edge enterprise risk management programs, many still struggle with translating the theory they find in literature into a practical and effective program. Success comes from utilizing a comprehensive, structured methodology, informed by the experience of others, to identify, evaluate, report and mitigate key risks to your institution.

Foreseeing Legislative Changes Affecting Accessibility and Endowments
Congressional attention seems to be centered on prevailing views of limited accessibility for students at the largest institutions, rising tuition costs, despite little or no growth in inflation, and the seemingly low percentage of endowment spending to offset operating costs and provide financial aid. Learn more about changes to expect in the next few years, proactivity to consider and the value in communicating reality vs. perception.  

Building the Campus of Tomorrow
While considerable higher education attention has been given to how pedagogy and management are changing, little attention has been paid to how physical dimensions will transform. Innovations in physical space must be made to accommodate demands for accessibility, flexibility and affordability.

Taking Steps Toward an ERP System Change
The overarching technology challenge for higher education institutions is utilizing the right data to gain meaningful insights that will guide decision-making. Enhanced enterprise resource planning capabilities are particularly vital now to enrich the student experience and engagement, and improve outcomes through delivery of more complete information to drive better-informed decision-making.

Implementing Cost/Revenue Modeling for Meaningful Decision-Making
The institutions most likely to succeed will be ones that can effectively assess how their use of resources — facilities, class size, academic workloads, etc. — contribute to the financial sustainability of the mission, and right-size those resources accordingly. It is possible to gain more informed understanding of your business operations — the relationship among costs, revenues, activities, courses, programs, etc. — through an activity-based model.

Attracting, Retaining and Gaining the Most from Millennials
To win the hearts and minds of millennials, and gain an advantage over competing organizations, it is critical to pay attention to this generation’s defining characteristics. If millennials are engaged properly, your institution can not only attract them to work for you, but also capitalize on the skills and passions that make millennials well-qualified to help your institution succeed.

Learning from Closures: 8 Lessons for Your Institution’s Future
The closings of colleges and universities, as well as many close calls, are sending a message to other institutions that their future is not necessarily secure. As responsible stewards of their institutions’ mission, trustees and senior administrators can reflect on the lessons that these unfortunate events might teach — following key principals and steps in order to thrive in achieving your mission.

Planning Ahead for Deferred Campus Maintenance
The concept of saving for deferred maintenance is not new, but in recent years, attention to this matter has waned in light of more pressing issues. However, we are seeing progressively minded leadership now starting to take up this cause at leading colleges and universities.

Aligning Education to Health Care Change and Innovation
Developments in health care mean exciting opportunities in education. Key trends will gain momentum in 2017 — connected health/telehealth, wearable devices/mhealth, interactive audio-visual/telemedicine, changes in care delivery models and educational offerings, legislative and policy change, funding and physician shortages, and industry consolidations for collaboration and financial stability.