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The United University Professions (UUP), SUNY’s labor union, has defended funding for public higher education—which has decreased nationwide by about 25 percent since the Great Recession. (Only two states, Alaska and North Dakota, have increased funding.)

The temperature around higher education unionizing efforts often runs hot. Officials are reluctant to have outside labor groups on campus or to relinquish control over important personnel decisions—including pay, benefits and other sensitive employee issues. But should higher ed leaders fear unionization efforts?

Communicable diseases that can impact college and university campuses run the gamut from mumps to measles.

Although flu is the most common infectious disease on college campuses, trailing not far behind it is chlamydia, one of the sexually transmitted diseases most prevalent among young adults.

To help diagnose and treat students for the disease, which can cause infertility in women, the University of Missouri in Columbia has offered free testing events for both chlamydia and gonorrhea at several locations on campus and in the community. Triggered by the CDC’s “GYT” (Get Yourself Tested) initiative, the university last fall increased the testing to twice a month.

Donald Farish, president of Roger Williams University, predicts nonprofit private colleges will continue to increase both tuition and discount rates in 2015. Farish will deliver a keynote at the UBThrive conference in June.

Presidents and other thought leaders look ahead on cost, technology, learning and the other big issues in higher education.

Wi-FI, academic technology and data security will see big investments in 2015. (Click to enlarge graphic)

What cutting-edge devices are going to demand campus bandwidth in the near future? The 21st century versions of two old stand-bys: the refrigerator and the wrist watch. Sure, there will still be plenty of laptops, tablets and smartphones crowding the Wi-Fi, but the “internet of things” and wearable technology are coming to campus, forcing CIOs to yet again boost the power of their networks.

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.

A majority of higher ed leaders expect modest to significant increases in tuition revenue in 2015. (Click to enlarge chart)

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.

Higher ed leaders expect modest enrollment increases in the coming year. (Click to enlarge graphic)

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.

More than two thirds of administrators surveyed say they expect to start or complete a major renovation project in 2015. (Click to enlarge)

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.

UB 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.

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