NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED532914
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec-5
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 37
Independent Colleges and Universities in a Time of Transition
Ehrenberg, Ronald G.
Cornell Higher Education Research Institute
Being a president of a member institution of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is fraught with challenges. To name but a few: (1) The nation's financial meltdown in 2008 and the accompanying great recession has dramatically increased families' financial need and led to increased pressure on financial aid budgets; (2) Reductions in endowments and annual giving have put even more pressure on tuition, at a time when both potential students and the parents and public policymakers are exhorting institutions to hold down college costs; and (3) High unemployment rates for college graduates, coupled with increasing debt levels for college graduate have shifted students' and policymakers' focus from getting a college degree to getting a degree in a field that "promises" higher earnings. This puts pressure on CIC institutions to defend the value of a liberal arts education. In this paper, the author discusses the stresses that the American higher education system is now under, the changes that are seen in American higher education over the last three decades--many which predate the great recession--and how CIC members have responded, and might respond in the future, to these changes. A message that he hopes they will take away is that he believes they have a unique advantage relative to their public sector counterparts because of the difference in the governance structures and financial models under which they operate. The author concludes by speculating a bit about what the future will hold for all of them. (Contains 19 footnotes.)
Cornell Higher Education Research Institute. ILR-Cornell University 273 Ives Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. Tel: 607-255-4424; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cornell Higher Education Research Institute (CHERI)
Identifiers - Location: New York