Big data teams November 10

Creating ‘Big Data’ Teams

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Ten years ago, I was a new director of admissions at the University of Michigan- Flint with an enormous goal: to grow enrollment at a school that had many competitors in the state. I was encouraged because we had strong leadership, a good product, great staff, and a strong infrastructure. We also had a customer relationship management system (CRM) with a bridge to our student information system (Banner). In admissions, we had a CRM manager, a business analyst, and a Banner specialist. This team was supported by a divisional ITS person who was very forward-thinking. In all, the team was small but mighty.


strategic plan change September 27

Inspiring Change with Your Strategic Plan

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Almost every institution of higher education has a strategic plan, but how many institutions actually make use of that plan? According to Wayne Smutz, dean of continuing education and extension for UCLA, not many. Yet an institution’s strategic plan can be a powerful tool for spurring it to action. At the recent University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) West 2015 Regional Conference, Smutz detailed a seven-point plan for constructing and using the institutional strategic plan for change.


accountability September 8

Accountability in its Many Forms

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Calls for accountability in higher education have been heard for a number of years, with some of the first salvos being concerned with student learning and continual faculty productivity, the latter of which led to many institutions approving new policies on post-tenure review. Today, questions continue, but they are now focused on retention, graduation rates, the cost of higher education, and the value of the degrees in some of our disciplines.


Online Program Planning May 24

How to Be More Strategic with Online Program Planning

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Although you might know a few faculty members who are adamantly opposed to online education, online programming—the development of individual courses and degree programs—continues to expand. My experience, both at my institution and in my conversations with online administrators across the country, reveals that colleges and universities are beginning to think more strategically about their online offerings. I especially see evidence related to developing strategic plans for online education. If you Google “online education strategic plan,” you will find dozens of examples that various institutions have developed.


How Much Does Instruction in Your Program Cost? April 19

How Much Does Instruction in Your Program Cost?

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To manage resources effectively, it’s important to know how much it costs to teach students in your programs. Instructional costs vary from program to program based on class size, faculty salaries, equipment, and technology. And not all programs will generate enough revenue to cover costs. That’s OK as long as those high-cost programs are balanced with “cash cows,” programs that generate more revenue than expenses. Instructional cost data can play an important role in strategic planning.



Inspiring Change with Your Strategic Plan March 16

Inspiring Change with Your Strategic Plan

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Almost every institution of higher education has a strategic plan, but how many institutions actually make use of that plan? According to Wayne Smutz, dean of continuing education and extension for UCLA, not many. Yet an institution’s strategic plan can be a powerful tool for spurring it to action. At the recent University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) West 2015 Regional Conference, Smutz detailed a seven-point plan for constructing and using the institutional strategic plan for change.