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Articles: Leadership

Amy Crutchfield is a higher ed consultant and co-leader of Witt/Kieffer’s Enrollment Management practice.

Enrollment management presents one of the most pressing challenges for many institutions in the current higher education landscape. Uncertain economic conditions, stretched institutional budgets, dependence on tuition revenue, increased competition for top students, and changing demographics have all intensified the need for effective enrollment strategies—and for exceptional managers to champion those strategies.

Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of education, billionaire businesswoman and philanthropist Elisabeth “Betsy” DeVos, is more of a household name in K12 than higher ed circles. DeVos has worked to promote school choice and voucher programs, including creation of Detroit’s charter school system. 

She sits on the board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, whose mission is “to build an American education system that equips every child to achieve his or her God-given potential.”

Public funding levels and the various approaches to affordability—from debt-free college to private-sector loans—will continue to dominate higher ed debates in and outside campus administrative offices.

A greater level of accountability around access and outcomes looms on the horizon for higher ed administrators in 2017 and beyond. Experts across the ideological spectrum predict the federal government and the general public to demand more transparency in the data released about how graduates of specific campus programs fare in the job market. 

Student success is inherently at the center of every institution’s mission, and this round of Models of Excellence showcases eight initiatives dedicated to supporting that goal, from before a student’s first class right through—and beyond—graduation.

W. Allen Richman, dean of the Office of Planning, Assessment and Institutional Research at Prince George’s Community College, has led the institution in revamping data systems to get a clearer picture of student performance.

Data can be a beautiful thing. It can reveal patterns, failures and sometimes, surprises—as long as the measurements are consistent. At Prince George’s Community College that wasn’t the case. Each class was measuring different things, so campus leaders couldn’t quite see the big picture.

More than 40 years after it was established, Title IX continues to pose compliance challenges for higher education institutions struggling with sexual assault investigations. Some say the federal government doesn’t provide enough guidance.

Nirmal P. Narvekar, now at Harvard, was previously CEO of Columbia University’s $9.6 billion endowment, which returned an average 10.1 percent during his leadership.

Nirmal P. Narvekar is the new president and CEO of Harvard’s $35.7 billion endowment, the largest fund in higher ed.

Narvekar, a former JPMorgan Chase & Co. derivatives trader, was also previously CEO of Columbia University’s $9.6 billion fund, which returned an average 10.1 percent during his leadership from 2005 to 2015. At Harvard, he is expecting to improve fund performance and reorganize staff at Harvard Management Co., which oversees the endowment.

The ills of society are often magnified in the high-intensity atmosphere of college campuses.  Over the last two years, violent events involving police officers and a perceived lack of administrative responsiveness to incidents of on-campus racial bias have led to protests and confrontations. On most campuses, these demonstrations were organized to address issues of diversity, tolerance, inclusion, and sensitivity to others who are different from ourselves. Clearly, the inequities still extant in America have driven the conversation.

Steve Mims’ new film, "Starving the Beast," documents a political and philosophical shift that seeks to reframe public higher education.

Steve Mims’ new film, "Starving the Beast," documents a political and philosophical shift that seeks to reframe public higher education—not as a public good for society, but as a “value proposition” to be borne by those pursuing a college degree.

Weldon H. Latham is founder and chair of the Corporate Diversity Counseling Group and a member of the Higher Education Group of Jackson Lewis PC. He can be contacted at lathamw@jacksonlewis.com.

Universities welcome media coverage of college sports, groundbreaking research and alumni achievement—all of which generate recognition and revenues supporting their educational mission. Too often, however, racially charged events at universities have dominated those headlines.

University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols has met with the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone business councils to recruit students.

University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols has been traveling to local Native American reservations in an effort to improve recruitment of these students.

The initiative started in her previous position as provost at South Dakota State University. Wyoming’s Native American population is 2.5 percent, while the university’s is less than 1 percent.

Nichols has met with both the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone business councils. Their tribal populations are growing, which means more prospective students in the coming years.

Former Ivy Tech president Tom Snyder's Snyder’s book, "The Community College Solution," portrays community colleges as the true pathway to the American dream.

Former Ivy Tech president Tom Snyder's Snyder’s book, The Community College Solution, portrays community colleges as the true pathway to the American dream. But more important, it is a pathway not burdened by overwhelming debt.

Mike Krause lead Tennessee's Drive to 55 initiative to increase the percentage of state residents with a postsecondary degree or certificate.

Mike Krause has been appointed executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission by Gov. Bill Haslam.

Krause now spearheads the state’s Focus On College and Student Success (FOCUS) Act. Krause served as executive director of Drive to 55, the state’s initiative to increase the percentage of state residents with a postsecondary degree or certificate. He also managed the launch of the Tennessee Promise scholarship and mentoring program.

UTEP President Diana Natalicio throws out the first pitch at an El Paso Chihuahuas minor league baseball game.

This spring, University of Texas at El Paso President Diana Natalicio was recuperating from a serious health scare: She had suffered a form of cardiac arrest and collapsed while leaving a building on campus in February.

Luckily, she had been walking with a UTEP police officer who knew CPR and called paramedics immediately. She believes her life was saved by the officer, whose daughter is a pre-med student at UTEP.

President Diana Natalicio’s “access and excellence” formula powers the University of Texas at El Paso's mission. Access means working with local schools to develop talented students of limited resources. On the excellence side, a robust research environment provides the financial and academic fuel.

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