The Chronicle of Higher Education has released a report, “Reinventing the Academic Enterprise: College Leaders Consider the Challenges of the New Era”. The results are from a survey of college presidents and academic officers at both public and private academic institutions and explores attitudes towards future directions for higher education and also considers the value of higher education in the labor market (or indeed, whether there should be a value). Some of the results are discussed in a webinar, which also discusses technological issues relating to higher education.
Some of the key points discussed are that higher ed is currently on the defensive. There is declining confidence, amongst institutional leaders, in the value of higher education both in terms of value for money and value for the economy. Financial stability is expressed as a key concern.
At both public and private colleges, attracting and retaining qualified faculty and staff was a top concern of institutional leaders, and the only one to have grown significantly (screenshots of slides from The Chronicle of Higher Education webinar):
Increasing both undergrauate and graduate enrollment are in the top 3 plans of institutions for the future (screenshot of slide from The Chronicle of Higher Education webinar):
As part of the webinar discussion, the problem of attracting and retaining faculty was discussed in a very technology-heavy manner, and focused on faculty being “free agents”, able to communicate and work anywhere in the world and that it was hard to convince them to stay in the light of technological changes. There was no mention in the webinar of other possible concerns, such as tenure considerations.
Another part of the discussion addressed the problem of the “consumer mindset” of higher education, and the transactional nature of today’s higher education market.
You can watch the webinar, and download the slides, here.
You can download the report, “Reinventing the Academic Enterprise”, here.
The Chronicle has also just released its 2016 survey results of Great Colleges to Work For, here.