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ERIC Number: EJ1064611
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep-3
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1938-5978
New England Colleges under Stress: Presidential Voices from the Region's Smaller Colleges
Halfond, Jay A.; Stokes, Peter
New England Journal of Higher Education, Sep 2013
Shifting demography, rising operating expenses, plummeting state and federal support, intensified competition, broken financial models… these are just a few of the complex challenges facing New England higher education institutions. Given these tensions, who would be surprised if college presidents in the region weren't occasionally plagued by sleepless nights, hounded by anxious trustees, or passing a few furtive moments hiding beneath their desks? The reality, though, seems to be moving in a different direction altogether--at least as reported by area presidents themselves. The authors report conducting an admittedly non-scientific "pulse" survey in the form of a 10-question "stress test" that gauged how apprehensive institutional leaders feel about the fate of their schools and New England's overall academic hegemony. They were surprised to find a high percentage of these presidents feel much more confident in the face of these challenges than some might reasonably expect. Respondents to the survey appear to agree that new models are needed to ensure the sustainability of smaller New England colleges. But they also possess confidence in the capacity, agility, and talent of their people to successfully create new models, with few worries that the needed changes will put them at odds with their institutions' missions or values. The article offers additional responses to questions regarding: pressures from trustees for a strategy for online education, whether they felt their faculty could demonstrate the flexibility and creativity for the institution to thrive in the future, whether ideas about alternative revenue streams might be at odds with their institution's mission and values, and whether the small New England college is fundamentally at risk.
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A