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From UB

Mark B. Rosenberg is president of Florida International University

Universities must blur the lines—between public and private, between not-for-profit and commercial, between the liberal arts and STEM—by working with industry and nonprofit organizations to create unique training, research opportunities and jobs. The world is boundary-less, and our teaching and learning must be as well.

Travis Seekins is associate vice president of student technology at Hardin-Simmons University in Texas.

Human-to human communications have been the bedrock of our lives. More recently, machine-to-machine streaming has become a dominant and often disruptive dance partner in the communication landscape. And now we are glimpsing a world where human-to-machine links culminate in one seamlessly orchestrated waltz.

“Parents need a thorough understanding of the costs related to college and the options for paying college expenses. The need for timely, understandable information is especially acute in households with no previous experience with the going-to-college process. Colleges often assume parents already have knowledge about budgeting for college, the cost of student loans and effective repayment strategies, so they often don’t address these issues when they provide parents with information.”

—George Covino, vice president of consulting, USA Funds

The business world is in constant flux, driven by geopolitical and societal demands, technological innovation and evolving trends. To meet the needs of employers in this dynamic environment, graduate business education – primarily the MBA – must also undergo significant transformation, capitalizing on innovative educational technology to serve a more diverse array of students who serve a more diverse group of organizations.

Helicopter parents celebrate commencement with pride and increasing expectations of their kids’ academic achievements and career preparedness. These lofty expectations are justified - given degree inflation, spiraling tuition and fees, and mounting family debt. Naturally, parents want to believe their children’s college and university experience will translate into gainful employment and career advancement.

When it comes to fundraising, most colleges and universities surveyed (59 percent) boost their effort through social media.

Also popular are social media-based days of giving and crowdfunding events. Of the 42 percent that held a day of giving, more than one-third raised over $50,000 that day. And of the 15 percent that crowdfunded, half earned more than $10,000 per year.

Mary Ellen Mazey is president of Bowling Green State University.

Much has been written about the future role of the traditional university. In the traditional higher education model, the need to adapt to the future pressures of competition and demographics will be necessary for survival of many small private colleges and numerous public institutions.

Arizona State President Michael Crow envisions an egalitarian institution committed to academic excellence, inclusiveness to a broad demographic, and maximum societal impact.

Arizona State President Michael Crow is out to reinvent the public research university. Using ASU as the prototype, Crow sees the promise of an egalitarian ‘New American University’ committed to academic excellence, inclusiveness to a broad demographic, and maximum societal impact.

Future E-shaped student apartment building and courtyard at the University of Indianapolis.

Apartment building at the University of Indianapolis

Up to 480 students will live in this $25 million, four-story apartment building. Located along the city’s increasingly vibrant Shelby Street corridor, the new structure will replace a 1950s-era, 60-unit apartment complex and an adjacent row of aging duplexes that now house 175 students.

Through short videos on Financial Aid TV, parents of prospective and returning students at Santa Fe College can learn more about their financial aid options, education tax credits and other money management topics.

Loan default rates and an expanding focus on student success have made strong student financial literacy efforts a higher ed norm. But as students and their parents continue to grapple with paying for school, money management lessons from colleges are becoming a family affair.

Faculty and students at Bridgewater College in Virginia complained increasingly in recent years about the unavailability of textbooks at the campus bookstore. To control inventory, the store stocked only a percentage of materials required if everyone purchased what was expected.

Campus business officers also noted a rapid decline in textbook revenue and related commissions, as students pursued lower-cost alternatives to purchasing books from the store.

Starbucks made headlines last spring as more than just a campus hot spot when it announced a free college tuition plan for its employees. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and health insurance company Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield have now followed suit, and Starbucks has expanded its program.

While each corporation is partnering with a specific higher ed institution, the plans and stipulations vary:

Carol Patton is a Las Vegas-based writer who specializes in human resources issues.

Heather DeBlanc says there’s been a lot of buzz lately at conferences among attorneys and insurance consultants about the Affordable Care Act.

Specifically, DeBlanc, an attorney at Liebert Cassidy Whitmore in Los Angeles, says there have been rumors the IRS is increasing the audits it performs at higher education institutions to ensure schools aren’t misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid giving them health care insurance.

Santa Monica College hosts a festival to celebrate students from more than 100 nations who attend classes on campus.

Lone Star College has the fourth highest number of international students among U.S. two-year institutions, but the Houston-area school does not recruit abroad aggressively. Like many community colleges, it relies on local immigrant communities to spread the word with friends and family in foreign countries.

Despite the economic and demographic factors that indicate challenging times ahead for higher ed, campuses across the country are busy building, according to a survey of college and university leaders by UB. With student enrollment growth being a big motivational factor for new buildings and renovations, it’s not surprising that academic buildings and residence halls are the top project types.