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President Freeman Hrabowski, who marched in Martin Luther King's civil rights protests of the 1960s, drives the University of Maryland, Baltimore County students to diversify the STEM world.  In the mean time, he has transformed the institution familiarly known as UMBC from a commuter school into a renowned research university.

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.

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

Nearly two-thirds of higher ed readers surveyed expected a major renovation project to be launched or completed in 2016.

Picture it: Faculty no longer get their own offices and libraries have vanished. Dorm rooms come standard with private bathrooms and maid service, and terrazzo tile has replaced carpeting as the new standard flooring across college campuses. Sound ludicrous? Maybe not.

Most colleges and universities will continue to face financial hurdles, and although there is much crossover, certain issues will be more or less of a concern based on the size of the university and its student population. One thing is true across the board: Student expectations are changing.

Most campus leaders surveyed by UB expect tech spending to increase or stay the same.

Today’s rapidly evolving technology has higher education on the move, literally and figuratively. Mobile devices are powering a shift to more learning on the go while other tech advancements enable big changes in how colleges deliver academic programs and grant credentials.

A majority of campus leaders surveyed by UB expected graduation and retention rates to increase.

Higher ed leaders continue to seek ways to prove their institution’s value to a shrinking pool of college candidates. In addition, a huge financial aid cloud hangs over everyone’s heads: the one with that odd moniker of “prior-prior.”

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.

Effective student success initiatives begin long before that first day of classes and often continue beyond graduation. The colleges and universities highlighted in the third round of UB’s national Models of Excellence awards program demonstrate a commitment to that holistic experience.

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