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University Business, February 2014

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Cover Story

The top trend in college performance spaces today is the flexibility being built into them.

Feature

The top trend in college performance spaces today is the flexibility being built into them.

Part of keeping a campus computer repair center running smoothly is staying aware of what problems are likely to disrupt its operations. Certain best practices have been defined by leaders of highly successful centers; here are seven elements for operating an efficient campus repair center.

With funding cuts, falling enrollments and increased competition from MOOCs and other low-cost online programs, higher education has been under enormous pressure in recent years.

Focus

As one who enjoys reading history, I often ponder those moments of missed opportunity by myopic individuals or organizations. History is rife with such tales.

How many members of your faculty would enjoy teaching the same courses, day in and day out, throughout a 30-, 40- or even 50-year career? Not many.

These days, institutions can’t say they fully “control” their recruitment and enrollment process—but they can adjust to how prospective students and their families are navigating it.

In the epic Hunger Games trilogy, Katniss learns that to survive, it is not enough to know where to be—it is just as important to know where not to be. For higher education, this means knowing what programs to curtail, and what markets to stay out of.

Technology

For an increasing number of faculty members, class prep has gone high tech. It’s not about simply reviewing notes and planning course exercises. It also involves stepping in front of a video camera.

Campus Finance News

A Midwestern state university budgeted about $12 million for a major addition to its library several years ago. At the time, there was not a tightly controlled project planning process at the institutio

Behind the News

The very thought of drone aircraft makes many people uneasy. After all, drones carrying out attacks on terrorist groups and conducting police surveillance have been in the headlines recently.

Located in the heart of campus at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, the 40,000-square-foot Dion Family Student Center offers a centralized space, housing a variety of student services. Nearly half the student population can access the center right from their dorms.

“Engage with the career center” sounds a bit like “eat your vegetables” to a college student.

While details of President Obama’s college affordability proposals are not fully known, what is clear is that higher education is going under the microscope to prove its value. Add to that a growing chorus of pundits who believe that a liberal arts education is a waste of time and a relic of the past. But two college presidents argue in a new book that a liberal arts education is, in fact, crucial to not just boosting the economy but to solving many of the world’s problems.

What makes a college or university more likely to attract million-dollar gifts?

Gwendolyn Boyd has begun her tenure as Alabama State University’s 14th (and first female) president, succeeding William H. Harris, interim president and president emeritus.

The majority of students, when they enter college, have been vaccinated against meningitis, a potentially deadly bacterial infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. In fact, 37 states mandate meningitis vaccination or education before entering college, according to the Immunization Action Coalition, which is financially supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Professional Opinion

I live in a world of lectures, faculty meetings and final exams. For my environmental science students and me at Widener University in Chester, Pa., however, it’s also a world of hands-on research on a butterfly farm in Costa Rica, or experiential learning in the rainforests of Peru.

Many small institutions wrestle with the annual assessment of how to manage routine capital projects. A backlog of deferred maintenance items can further complicate planning.

Universities, research institutions, academics and scientists have increasingly been under the bright light scrutiny of the legal system.

Similar to their corporate counterparts, institutions of higher education have to operate in a fiscally responsible manner, which means managing budgets and achieving bottom line results.