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  • German A. Ramirez

Business as Usual?

In January of this year, under the title a "A Binary Higher Ed Sector", we commented on the somewhat dramatic landscape of the American higher ed sector, with many institutions being at risk.Those following the situation, particularly of small private colleges, will find extremely interesting the findings of the recently published "Inside Higher Education 2018 Survey of College and University Business Officers". The survey of college business officers at close to 200 public and 200 private nonprofit colleges, captures data, among others, on perceptions about the situation, levels of awareness among constituents, and on how it is being (or planned to be) addressed. These are some of the findings: Confidence about the financial outlook is up vs. the 2017 survey, with 63% of CBOs expressing confidence about their institution’s financial outlook over the next 5 years, and 50% of CBOs showing confidence over the next 10 years. CBOs indicate most (76%) of key campus constituencies are either very aware or somewhat aware of their institution’s financial health. The number of institutions reporting having serious merger talks increased to 17% from 12% a year ago, with 18% of CBOs believing their college should merge with another institution although only a few see it likely to occur mostly due to the predominance of the status quo and faculty opposition. Finally, there's a finding that touches close to home in our consultancy work: less than half of CBOs believe their institution has the data it needs to make informed decisions about key aspects of their institution’s operation. GRG Education will soon be announcing its partnership with IQ Analytics Inc., a Canadian firm specialized in strategic intelligence to offer state-of-the-art data analytics tools geared toward improving the overall academic and financial performance of higher ed institutions. Stay tuned.

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