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Articles: Administration & Management

Thirty years ago, we knew that larger institutions would consume smaller, more fragile schools - pure mergers as they came to be known. Yet, during the early higher ed merger mania era, many found that consolidations of venerable institutions offered a creative and more equitable non-merger alternative – read as, Azusa Pacific University, Birmingham-Southern College, Carnegie Mellon University, Carson-Newman University, Case Western Reserve University, Clark Atlanta University, University of Detroit Mercy, and William and Hobart Smith Colleges.

James Scannell is president and Jennifer Wick is vice president of Scannell & Kurz, a higher education enrollment consulting division of Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

Student retention, persistence, success and graduation remain top-of-mind issues for higher ed leaders amidst the advent of the College Scorecard, the push toward 60 percent of high school graduates earning college degrees by 2020, and families’ familiar concerns about return on investment.

Janet Dudley-Eshbach is president of Salisbury University in Maryland.

On a cold evening in December 2014, over 400 students, faculty and staff gathered quietly on the central plaza of Salisbury University’s Maryland campus. Chalked on the pavers were the silhouettes of 24 bodies.

As victim names were read, students proceeded to lie down within the outlines and observe several minutes of silence, remembering black men shot by white police officers. Somber remarks were followed by a quiet march of remembrance.

The editors of UB magazine proudly present the 2016 Readers’ Choice Top Products, chosen from hundreds of nominations. This annual award programs alerts higher ed administrators and staff to the best products their peers use to achieve excellence at institutions throughout the country.

You—the nation’s higher ed leaders—submitted testimonials throughout 2015. Our editorial board carefully narrowed the list based on the quality and quantity of these testimonies.

Kinesiology students from Cal State, Fullerton traveled to Greece for a summer study trip focused on philosophy and the Olympics. Student Justin Carrido snapped this group selfie at the Acropolis.

White students accounted for three-quarters of the nearly 300,000 students who studied abroad last school year. But a group of minority-serving colleges and universities is striving to alter that statistic.

Carine Feyten, the chancellor and president of Texas Woman's University, says security will become a recruitment issue for students and their families.

Carine Feyten

Chancellor and president, Texas Woman's University

Topic: Safety and security

Michael R. Nelson, a professor of internet studies at Georgetown University and former White House staffer, will deliver at keynote speech at UBTech 2016 in Las Vegas.

Michael R. Nelson, a professor of internet studies at Georgetown University, says innovation is about much more than just a good idea. It requires finding new ways to combine existing ideas, products and services into something that people will want. At the heart of that process is collaboration.

Students can color, practice golf shots on a putting green, build with Legos and play video games at the Niagara University library’s “stress-busting station.”

It gets heavy use during finals week, but is set up year round to encourage students to gather with classmates for activities other than cramming for exams, says Debra Colley, the New York university’s executive vice president.

Student success is the top priority for 84 percent of the campus leaders who responded to a UB survey.

Across higher education, institutions are blending instruction and extracurricular lives. Living/learning communities, data-driven advising and academic pathways, among other progressive initiatives, should continue to produce results at enterprising two- and four-year institutions—and will therefore see more widespread adoption.

A sampling of responses to UB's Look Ahead surveys of campus leaders. (Click to enlarge infographic)

As we ring in 2016, higher education leaders have much to look forward to as well as, of course, much work to be done. Outlook 2016 is UB’s second annual special issue aimed at providing insight on the major trends expected to impact campus leaders in the year to come.

Kim E. Schatzel will leave the interim presidency at Eastern Michigan to take the top post at Townon University.

Kim E. Schatzel will begin her term as president of Towson University, one of the University System of Maryland’s 12 institutions, in late January.

Currently she serves as interim president, provost and executive vice president of academic and student affairs at Eastern Michigan University. There, she reorganized academic and student affairs to improve the student experience and developed a comprehensive degree completion and retention program.

For engineers, life has become increasingly complicated in the worlds of nanotechnology, lean manufacturing, and rapid product design and development. We learned from our research that engineering education can no longer deploy conventional, isolated solutions. Indeed, there is rarely an easy, one size fits all, cookie cutter answer in an environment that has uncountable moving parts and continuous technological change and innovation.

In the ongoing debate over the rising cost of higher education, collaboration frequently emerges as a proposed path forward. Despite the allure of savings and efficiencies, efforts to follow the strategy often fall victim to both conceptual and implementation flaws. Two institutions, a higher education association and private liberal arts college, have managed to navigate the tricky waters of collaboration to create a rewarding partnership. Our eight-year experience has taught us some key lessons that should be helpful to others.

Have you ever wondered why experts like Forbes and Bloomberg estimate that between 80-90 percent of entrepreneurial initiatives fail? American higher ed surely has, and universities are now investing in startups by connecting them to business incubators, product development accelerators, and other higher education-based launchpads. As small business entrepreneurs, we observed early on that many of our cohorts from college retreated to their campus caves (i.e. dorms) to go it alone – typically a bad decision.

Jay Lemons is president of Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa.

The college presidency is a high-risk occupation. The old challenges—fundraising, strategic planning, managing enrollment, protecting students—are still there, along with newer trials involving demographic shifts, flatlining family incomes, access, and compliance to growing governmental regulation.

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