Feature

Tech funds target academics and networks

Nearly half of higher ed leaders surveyed expect overall tech spending to increase at their schools

Many institutions expect to make significant investments in academic technology, Wi-Fi connections and network security in 2015.

Of the higher ed leaders who responded to a UB survey, nearly half expect overall tech spending to increase at their schools, while another 40 percent said it will stay the same. Perhaps surprisingly, a full 11 percent expect tech spending to decrease.

Outlook on finance: Accountability and transparency

Campus leaders preparing to meet the challenges of increased scrutiny around financial issues

Multiple forces are pushing institutions to change from the financial status quo. Institutions are feeling more pressure to advocate for state higher ed funding, prove their value to students and support the simplification of debt repayment. Yet some campus leaders might just be fine with the opportunities that scrutiny can bring, and in many cases, administrators are meeting those challenges.

Outlook on enrollment: Perfect storm of challenges ahead

Higher ed leaders in 2015 will have to step up efforts to retain students, do a better job of marketing their sticker prices and prove their institutions’ value

From declining numbers of traditional-age high school graduates and changing student demographics, to the overall concern among consumers about the value of a higher education, anxiety will haunt enrollment administrators moving forward.

Outlook on facilities: Campus space-shapers

Shifts in enrollment and the labor market having a big impact on campus construction

In many ways, 2015 will look a lot like 2014 with respect to facilities. But there are trends impacting the creation and use of physical space on virtually every college and university campus. Institutions will be curbing new construction activity, getting creative about funding, paying more attention to overdue maintenance, and planning more for mixed-use facilities.

Higher ed leaders pick favorite products

Presenting the 2014 University Business Readers’ Choice Top Products

University Business is proud to announce this year’s Readers’ Choice Top Products. College and university leaders from across the country have nominated the products they are using to operate their institutions more efficiently and enhance students’ experiences.

Growth areas: Student enrollment and success

Fifty-six percent of respondents say overall enrollment will grow modestly in 2015

Colleges and universities expect to add students in 2015, though no institutions anticipate significant growth or decline in any enrollment sectors, according to a UB survey of higher ed administrators

Fifty-six percent of respondents say overall enrollment will grow modestly in 2015, while only 11 percent are bracing for modest decreases. No respondents anticipate significant decreases.

Outlook on administration: Campus leadership challenges

Colleges and universities must figure out how to boost learning while remaining financially stable

Experts in higher education administration and management predict that 2015 will bring intense and sometimes surprising governance, financial and legal challenges to the sea of potential worries for university leaders. A few critical issues that will bubble to the surface involve financial health, academic performance, student wellness and continuity in leadership.

Continuing campus construction

Nearly four in 10 survey respondents expect to break ground on a new facility in 2015

The encouraging sounds of construction will be heard on many campuses in 2015, but funding shortages will force some institutions to scale back building plans, according to a UB survey of higher ed facilities managers.

Nearly four in 10 respondents expect to break ground on a new facility in 2015, while more than one-third say a new facility will be completed. And seven in 10 reported that a major renovation project would be launched or completed.

Outlook on teaching: Academic return-on-investment

The way in which students develop their skills will continue to shift away from the traditional lecture-based model

What college students are learning—and how—has become a mainstream talking point across the political spectrum. Much of this talk concerns dollars and cents—namely, cost and payoff. As a result, 2015 may be a year in which many institutions do a gut-check of their own value propositions, as pressure to increase affordability—and return on investment—pervades all of higher education.

Outlook 2015: Debut of UB’s annual year-ahead issue

What will be the biggest priorities for 2015?

To help our readers navigate the coming year in higher education, University Business proudly presents Outlook 2015. In-depth stories cover the major trends impacting administration and management, enrollment and retention, finance, facilities, technology, and teaching and learning. We interviewed administrators and other experts in each of these topics to capture their predictions about what 's on the horizon for colleges and universities.

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