University Presidents – Lead for Your Now, and Don’t Forget Your Future

The corona virus pandemic poses a genuinely existential threat to many colleges and universities.  Even those institutions not already stressed by declining numbers of applicants and out-of-control discount rates may struggle to keep their footing in a world where prospective students cannot visit campus and where family financial aid needs may spike beyond all reasonable projections.  And who knows what the long-term effects of a temporarily closed academy may be? Will COVID-19 catalyze the idea…

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Managing Campus Finances During The Corona Virus Pandemic

A crisis of this magnitude and its expected length calls for colleges and universities to put in place both Structure and Process to address and plan for the immediate, short term, and long-term financial impacts on the institution. Structure should include a high level multi disciplinary Task Force that meets regularly throughout the epidemic.  A senior member of the cabinet should lead this group.  Process should include charging a Financial Working group to bring together subject matter experts to…

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Plan O

The coronavirus crisis has hit higher education like a tsunami. Leaders at growing numbers of colleges and universities have made the prudent call to shut down face-to-face classes and move to online. The good news is that online delivery offers a safe and effective alternative for most courses. The not-so-good news is that there is a great disparity in the level of readiness for online options among educational institutions. While a small number are prepared, for many…

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When Plans Go Awry During Yield Season

Just days prior to my daughter’s Accepted Student Day at her first-choice college, the news reported a student-on-student murder there in an off-campus apartment. I wondered if the college would pretend that the murder didn’t happen, try to gloss it over, make a big deal about it, or something in between. In short, the college president stood before the audience of rising first-year students and their loved ones and took the issue head-on. It happened,…

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