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Meeting the Grand Challenges to Higher Ed: Financial Health

Of the four Grand Challenges to higher education, financial health is foremost among the minds of many traditional higher education institutions, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently published articles and books call attention to the warning signs and at-risk metrics for traditional institutions that are financially troubled. For example, I’ve written about Robert Zemsky’s College Stress Test, Scott Galloway’s Value-to-Cost ratio and Vulnerability Score, and the Hechinger Report’s Financial Fitness Tracker.

The Business Model of Higher Education Is Being Broken

Last Friday, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) announced that their fall classes would be held totally online. President Paul LeBlanc explained the decision in his blog that no one believes that a plan to open in the fall will restore life as normal to college campuses. He noted that until a vaccine is widely available, there are too many risks for spreading the coronavirus.

Are Elite Colleges Worth the High Price of Attendance?

In a recent opinion piece published in USA Today, Rick Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, questions the value of attending a selective college if you’re watching online lectures from your parents’ home. Dr. Hess writes that many elite colleges market the irreplaceable experiences of living on campus and if campuses are closed in the fall, those experiences and the reasons for attending go away.

The College Stress Test

My first review of one of Bob Zemsky’s books was in 2008 with Remaking of the American University: Market Smart and Mission Centered, that he co-authored with Greg Wegman and Bill Massy. While Zemsky has written more books post-2008, he’s continued to write about change in higher education and the higher education market.

Keeping Up With Technology, As Observed Through CPA Continuing Education

More than 40 years ago, I started working at Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC). Even though I was on the consulting track, I was encouraged to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and become a licensed CPA. Having this license, along with an MBA, boosted my career and I subsequently served as CFO at five different companies over the years.