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ERIC Number: EJ903463
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0893-0384
Dangerous Opportunities: Strategic Implications of the Global Financial Crisis
Hansen, Robert J.; McClure, William S.; Parkes, Sandra
Continuing Higher Education Review, v73 p184-193 Fall 2009
Without question, the current economic downturn is at the forefront of conversations in continuing higher education. Yet as recently as March 2008, this was not the case for continuing education (CE) professionals, according to surveys conducted by University Continuing Education Association (UCEA). In 2007-2008, each of UCEA's four commissions (Futures and Markets; Leadership and Management; Learning, Instruction, and Technology; and International Affairs) was asked to identify the top 10 trends over the past four years. Those lists were compiled and presented during an interactive session at the 2008 annual conference in New Orleans, and the top five trends were: (1) increased demands for new and innovative programs; (2) ongoing budgetary issues; (3) increasingly frequent reorganizations that change the role of CE within the university; (4) need to better serve students electronically; and (5) keeping up with changing expectations/standards for accreditation/assessment. By autumn, the American and world financial markets were massively destabilized as a result of the credit crisis. Arguing that the financial crisis could not be ignored, the chairs of the four commissions decided to survey their commissioners in advance of meetings in January 2009 and to discuss results and their implications in a plenary panel discussion. The rich and lively discussion that ensued prompted slight revisions and a plan for broader distribution of the survey. This article discusses the current economic crisis and its implications for continuing higher education. The authors surveyed 420 UCEA institutional representatives about the effects of the economy on their financial relationship with their parent institution. Predictably, the results were that budgets were closely scrutinized and expenses cut, but four overarching themes in the survey results were identified: (1) greater investments in online education; (2) forging new partnerships with business and other institutions; (3) across-the-board vs. targeted cuts in operating budgets; and (4) a shift from print to web-based marketing or "e-frugality." (Contains 6 charts.)
University Professional & Continuing Education Association. 1 Dupont Circle NW Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-659-3130; Fax: 202-785-0374; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A