ERIC Number: EJ1043414
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun-24
Laying down a Higher Education Innovation Challenge
Harney, John O.
New England Journal of Higher Education, Jun 2014
This article presents a sampler of notable developments in the world of higher education. Among them are: (1) At the University of Southern Maine, faculty leaders and President Theo Kalikow are working together to address the challenges that stand in the way of economic sustainability. In the spring, after announcing a plan to fire a dozen tenured and tenure-track professors, dismiss 35 staff members and eliminate four academic programs to help cover part of a $14 million budget hole, Kalikow said if faculty could identify $1.26 million in savings by the end of May, she would spare the faculty jobs. They tried to. Ultimately, the faculty and Kalikow agreed on a balanced FY15 budget, including cuts of $1.56 million from 16 faculty retirements and one staff layoff, as well as cuts in spending on energy, equipment, research and external consultants. It's a rare example of the collaboration, though not perfect, that could save some higher education institutions (HEIs) from extinction. The value of this alliance will be tested further next year by a shortfall projected to top $12 million. (2) Southern New Hampshire University--a star of the higher ed new models arena with its traditional brick-and-mortar campus, robust online programs, as well as competency-based College for America--signed a memo with the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) exploring a merger. "Mergers" usually occur between a weak partner and a strong one. But as the NHIA acting president wrote to his colleagues: "It is important that you know a merger would not involve the institute being subsumed by SNHU, but instead living comfortably under the SNHU umbrella." (3) A Starbucks's program launched in June would help thousands of its employees get a free online degree from Arizona State University. (4) Andrew Rossi's critically acclaimed film "Ivory Tower" contrasts the struggle for quality, affordable education with colleges spending millions on football stadiums and big administrator salaries. (5) Higher education sustainability is not only about the bottom line. It's also about learner-centered quality pegged (sometimes excessively) to income success. At institutions like Clark University, that means blending of traditional liberal arts education with practical real-world projects.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Educational Innovation, Colleges, Educational Finance, Budgets, Films, College Athletics, Administrators, Salaries, Educational Quality, Corporate Support
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.nebhe.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A