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Professional Opinion

Karen Bitar is a partner in the litigation department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

Allegations of sex abuse, once hidden from public view at universities, are seeing the light of day at record levels. That attention leads to inevitable questions: How can a school conduct the required investigation when a complaint is made, and deal with victim concerns that schools turn a blind eye to their needs?

John J. Petillo

From the earliest days of the modern university, cities have been important partners for institutions of higher learning—largely because universities can bring scholars and students together for creative thinking, while cities can provide the human capital necessary to share innovative ideas with the public.

Paul R. Brown

Anyone who has worked in higher education knows that harnessing and harmonizing many disparate voices representing different academic disciplines and administrative perspectives can be a challenge. That was our experience at Monmouth University during the more than 10-month process to develop our new strategic plan.

Susan Henking is president of Shimer College in Chicago.

In a “post-racial” and “post-feminist” America, do we still need colleges and universities that serve women? If most institutions now admit those previously excluded, isn’t the disappearance of women’s colleges and historically black colleges, oddly, a good thing? Not in my view.

T. Wayne Dennison is vice president of information technology and chief information officer at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.

The incoming classes at most schools want ubiquitous technology, and expect it to be available when someone uses their cell phone, tablet, laptop or other device.

IT leaders are charged with fulfilling the campus community’s needs and must do so within budgetary constraints, while continuously scanning the technological environment to make certain that advances are being properly leveraged at a sustainable rate.

Kent Runyon is executive director of the Novus Medical Detox Center in Florida.

The U.S. makes up 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it consumes 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. Additionally, 52 million people in the U.S. over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime. With these statistics working against us, it’s no surprise that prescription drugs are being used illegally on college campuses.

Rich Wagner is president of Dunwoody College of Technology.

Technical education is often touted as solely a means of getting a job. There is no doubt that it’s a key reason students enroll in our programs. And yet if all we do is give our students the tools to secure an entry-level position, then we have failed as educators. We have failed the student and we have failed the workforce.

Kimberly R. Cline, president of Long Island University, says branding is essential in higher ed.

Branding may have historically been considered too commercial an endeavor for higher ed, but this mindset has clearly evolved. It’s no longer a question of whether a college should brand itself, but of how it can create an accurate embodiment of its mission and student experience.

Branding a university is fundamentally different than branding a product. A university is a complex, multifaceted institution that cannot necessarily encapsulate its essence with a single word, phrase or logo.

Paula V. Smith is a professor of English and director of the Purposeful Risk Engagement Project at Grinnell College in Iowa.

The academic landscape is fraught with risk—everything from hazardous chemicals and internal fraud, to flu outbreaks and budget shortfalls.

It seems obvious that any college or university would invest effort to identify and rank its current top risks, if just to assign the right level of attention and resources to each. Yet many academic institutions don’t follow through with enterprise risk management (ERM).

Thomas J. Botzman is president of Misericordia University.

The U.S. Department of Education has been working to establish the Postsecondary Institution Rating System (PIRS) since President Obama announced it in August 2013. The proposed system is planned to provide consumers of higher education with objective data and information that helps students make educated decisions between different institutions.

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