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University Business, December 2016

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Cover Story

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.

Feature

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.

In today’s world of vast networks and complex data analysis, the student information system is becoming a powerful tool to track—and influence—student success. By looking at the big picture of data generated across an institution’s enterprise resource planning software, universities can begin to forecast student outcomes.

Open educational resources have grown over the last few years from one-off oddities in single courses to the basis of entire degree programs. Cutting out textbook costs for students tops the list of reasons administrators encourage faculty to develop and adopt these free—or very inexpensive—resources, also known as OER.

Focus

As demographic, economic and market volatility continue to challenge higher ed’s ability to enroll a sufficient number of students able to take advantage of the educational opportunities available, understanding and advancing your institution’s value proposition should be at the top of the to-do agenda.

As the national movement for unionization continues to grow across college campuses, there’s an important lesson here. Unions typically spring up where inequities are either perceived or actually occur.

When Centenary College was granted university status in May, the news was celebrated by students, faculty, alumni and staff. For the marketing and student recruitment team, it was an opportunity to build awareness of the experience the institution offers career-oriented students.

Technology

AV has been absorbed by the IT department on many college campuses. But is the situation more like a friendly merger or hostile takeover?

Campus Finance News

After years of working with multiple food service vendors and local restaurants, Carnegie Mellon University brought fast-casual bakery chain Au Bon Pain to campus. The school’s first experience with a national restaurant franchise, it was a 12-month process from the brainstorming phase to opening the doors to hungry students.

On Topic

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.

Behind the News

The recently opened Ernest H. Moreno Language Arts and Humanities Building at East Los Angeles College provides a welcoming front door for the institution’s more than 30,000 students.

Instant Admissions Day at Unity College in Maine provides benefits beyond the immediate acceptance of students’ applications. This accelerated enrollment approach provides a clearer picture of the 700-student private college’s incoming class.

Exotic branch campuses across the globe give American institutions an extra shine when recruiting students and establishing an internationally recognized brand.

Designed by the company Freight Farms, the hydroponic lettuce farm inside a shipping container at Stony Brook University in New York uses 90 percent less water than traditional growing methods to provide an acre’s worth of leafy greens to campus

Recent regulations from the Department of Education improve protection for student borrowers targeted by misleading or predatory practices, and establish a clear path for loan forgiveness in instances of institutional fraud or misconduct—an issue financial aid experts say will impact both for-profits and nonprofits.

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

Professional Opinion

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.

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.

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.