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Professional Opinion

Elizabeth Davis is higher ed president of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.

The rancorous 2016 election and this year’s transition to a new presidential administration makes one thing clear: We are suffering from a national shortage of empathy.

Steven DiSalvo is president of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, and a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the New England Council and the Higher Education Commission of the State of New Hampshire.

In response to the White House’s Executive Order titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States,” we as leaders at colleges and universities have had to take decisive action to protect our foreign students and faculty members.

Donna Fletcher is a higher ed professor of finance at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Legislators, parents and students are not the only ones asking questions about the cost and quality of higher education.

Gary A. Olson is president of Daemen College in New York.

Like all of the free tuition plans proposed to date, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan in its present form will have unintended consequences that could be devastating to the state’s economy.

Kevin Wayer is an international director and co-president of JLL’s Public Institutions group, providing real estate services to higher ed institutions.

To bridge the gap between dwindling public resources and the growing cost of infrastructure and facilities, a public-private partnership (P3) can be a solution that infuses capital into an overstretched budget and makes new development financially feasible.

COLLEGE SERVICES--Susan Brennan is associate vice president of University Career Services at Bentley University. Kara J. Della Croce is director of campus recruiting at Ernst & Young LLP.

Colleges and universities must face a harsh reality: Employer expectations of their graduates are changing. It’s not enough for candidates to have the professional or technical skills needed for a particular job. Hiring managers now want employees with the ability to apply both hard and soft skills to their role.

Sarah Bassler Millar and Richard Pearl, of Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP, advise higher ed leaders that fiduciaries should be trained by outside counsel with expertise in ERISA retirement plans.

Recently, plaintiffs’ attorneys have brought dozens of lawsuits against universities alleging that their retirement plan fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). A failure to fulfill fiduciary duties under ERISA can lead to serious consequences, including personal liability under ERISA. There are steps fiduciaries can take to discharge their responsibilities and avoid these harsh results. 

Bill Path is president of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology

Despite its sometimes rigid conventions and customs, higher education is still very good at finding innovative solutions to problems that face students. Today’s college graduates are struggling. They need the technical skills to enter the modern workforce and the ability to advance their careers—not one or the other.

Scott A. Bass is the provost at American University in Washington, D.C.

How many databases does your campus administer in the broad area of student support? American University uses more than 36 databases for different student-related administrative and learning management functions—yet, there is little to no integration.

Shani Lenore-Jenkins is associate vice president of enrollment at Maryville University.

While its primary focus is to educate students, a university is still a business with customers. Traditional marketing methods such as mailings, phone calls and old-fashioned boots-on-the-ground visits are no longer the best ways to reach today’s tech-savvy students, who find the information they need online.

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