College crackup and the online future — from bloomberg.com by Mark C. Taylor

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College Crackup

Illustration by Keith Shore

Excerpt:

In the coming decade, emerging technologies will thoroughly transform higher education. Although distance learning and computer-assisted education have been around since the 1960s, financial pressures are forcing institutions to develop aggressive online programs.

These practical considerations shouldn’t overshadow one of the most promising innovations that online education will bring: The very structure of knowledge will change.

As students mix and match courses online, pressure will increase for professors to develop classes that integrate different approaches and disciplines.

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Also see:

 

From DSC:
Creating “Innovation Labs” within each institution of higher education sounds like a good idea to me…we can experiment with things at smaller scales and see what works and what doesn’t.

Also see:
Take a lesson from Apple: A strategy to keep customers in your ecosystem — from forbes.com by Alonzo Canada

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

1.     Set focused, strategic targets.
2.     Create a portfolio of experiments. Like Apple or Mercedes Benz, once you have focused, strategic targets set, create a series of experiments.  A general rule of thumb is the 7-2-1 rule:  one experiment should be big and relatively safe.  Two experiments should be slightly more risky and moderately sized.  Then seven experiments should be highly risky and low cost. These experiments can be scaled accordingly across teams, business units, and the entire company. 3M is one of the first companies to mandate that its employees spend 20% of their time thinking up blue sky ideas beyond its current lines of business and this is how Post-It Notes were born.  Art Fry, an engineer at 3M wanted to find a better way to manage notes in his hymnal on Sundays at church.
3.    Leverage learnings to inform new experiments.

 

 

 

Rethink college: 3 takeaways from the TIME Summit on Higher Education — from nation.time.com by Kayla Webley

Excerpt:

For a room full of academics talking about the future of higher education, the conversation was surprisingly blunt.  Yesterday TIME gathered more than 100 college presidents and other experts from across the U.S. to talk about the biggest problems facing higher education, which U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan summed up for the room as “high prices, low completion rates, and too little accountability.”

 

 

Also see:

  • Higher-Education Poll– from nation.time.com by Josh Sanburn
    Excerpt:
    The American public and senior administrators at U.S. colleges and universities overwhelmingly agree that higher education is in crisis, according to a new poll, but they fundamentally disagree over how to fix it and even what the main purpose of higher education is. According to a survey sponsored by TIME and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, 89% of U.S. adults and 96% of senior administrators at colleges and universities said higher education is in crisis, and nearly 4 in 10 in both groups considered the crisis to be “severe.”

The future of English higher education: two scenarios on the changing landscape -- May 2012 by Huisman, de Boer, and Pimentel Botas

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From DSC:
Whether one agrees or not with the scenarios…what’s important here is to promote discussions of the future of higher education across the world. Developing scenarios is an excellent way to jump start such conversations, contribute to strategic plans/visions, and develop responses to the changing higher education landscape.

Trends in College Pricing for 2012

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Also see:

 

My thanks to Academic Impressions for the resources/updates

Keynote Address: Democratizing Higher Education by Sebastian Thrun, VP & Fellow Google

From DSC:
Sebastian Thrun gave a great keynote at last week’s Sloan-C Conference in Orlando, Fl.  An especially interesting item:

One of the business models Sebastian is considering is to have Udacity act as a job placement organization.  That is, Udacity can run courses, identify the top performers worldwide, and then match employers up with employees.  Udacity would get ___% of these placements’ first year salaries. Very interesting model.

 

Online Education Grows Up, And For Now, It's Free -- from NPR.org

 

 

From DSC:
Sending a special thanks out to Dr. Kate Byerwalter,
Professor at Grand Rapids Community College for this resource!

 

Also see:

 

Technology and the broken higher education cost model: Insights from the Delta Cost Project — from Educause by Rita Kirshstein and Jane Wellman

Excerpt:

Although U.S. higher education has faced numerous crises and dilemmas in its history, the situation in which colleges and universities find themselves at the moment is indeed different. Shrinking public subsidies coupled with historic rises in tuitions come at the same time that colleges and universities have been tasked to dramatically increase the number of individuals with postsecondary degrees. Additionally, many of these students need financial aid, putting further strains on the higher education system. The stratification between rich and poor institutions in their access to resources is also growing. These conditions make the current “cost model” under which higher education has typically operated no longer sustainable and have led to college and university leaders examining alternative ways to deliver both high-quality and affordable higher education. These alternatives incorporate technology and include access to distance-delivered education and services, a focus on learners’ outcomes rather than inputs, and technologically sophisticated buildings and classrooms.

The changes are welcome and largely overdue in much of higher education, but unless the use of technology, whether in instruction or in the operation of the institution, is guided by an understanding of higher education costs and cost structures, its use will not fix the problem of a broken higher education cost model. This problem is not confined to the way that instruction is funded and delivered; rather, it is much broader, including the costs of academic and administrative overhead and the largely unexamined “fixed costs” that drive so much of institutional spending. To implement technological innovations that can improve both efficiency and effectiveness, leaders must be guided in their efforts by a strong understanding of the impact of the innovations on both costs and revenues, as well as on learning outcomes. Without this understanding, leaders are likely to follow the usual model of innovation in higher education: implementing program add-ons, which are sometimes successful and sometimes not but which inevitably increase costs rather than replacing or reducing them and ultimately fail to take hold in ways that will leverage systemic improvements.

Universities report $1.4-billion in earnings on inventions in 2011 — from The Chronicle by Goldie Blumenstyk

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Universities and their inventors earned more than $1.4-billion from commercializing their academic research in the 2011 fiscal year, collecting royalties from new breeds of wheat, from a new drug for the treatment of HIV, and from longstanding arrangements over enduring products like Gatorade.

Northwestern University earned the most of any institution reporting, with more than $191-million in licensing income.

From DSC:
That sounds about right…my alma mater (NU) going for the cash — rewarding research(ers), while not putting enough resources and consideration towards whether these researchers can actually teach.  I wonder how much these researchers are being paid per year…?  Probably some serious paychecks are involved here.  How do those high salaries impact the cost of tuition?  BTW, NU  currently charges ~$65,000 a year.  Are students’ interests really being served here?  But who really cares, right?  As long as the NU brand buys them access to high-paying careers…

 

 

 

Key quote/lesson from “How Barnes & Noble destroyed itself” — from fool.com by John Maxfield

An unnecessary tragedy
What makes B&N’s story tragic from a shareholder’s and book-lover’s perspective is that it wasn’t inevitable. The company would be in an entirely different position if its leadership hadn’t pooh-poohed online retail in the late 1990s, when the now-dominant Amazon was in its infancy. Consider this from its 1998 annual report: “Although it is clear the World Wide Web, with its profound possibilities, will become a major component of the future of bookselling and publishing, we believe retail bookstores will remain the foundation of our industry . . . shopping and browsing in a bookstore is an irreplaceable experience, and it is woven securely into the fabric of our American culture [emphasis added].”

From DSC:
I love going to B&N; sipping some coffee and reading a book. So don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy the physical experience of going to a bookstore. But the lesson for higher ed — as well as for the corporate world — is that technology cannot be pooh-poohed and shoved aside.  Those who do so will be very sorry that they chose that route. There can be danger in pursuing the status quo.

How about your organization…is there solid representation of technology on your board/executive suite/leadership team?

My last thought here relates to my posting  What happens in our hearts has very practical, relevant implications in our daily lives

In 2009, the company paid its chairman of the board, Len Riggio, nearly $600 million for B&N College, an amalgamation of campus-based bookstores that controlled the rights to the parent company’s trade name and was then owned by Riggio and his wife.

At the time, it looked like a classic covetous overreach by an executive to extract capital without selling shares. When all that’s left of B&N is a Harvard case study, however, my guess is that this blatant display of avarice and disregard for minority shareholders will be characterized more ominously as the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

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Also relevant here:

At new online university, advertisers will underwrite free degrees — from The Chronicle by Angela Chen

Excerpt:

An online degree-granting institution called World Education University, set to open this fall, plans to try an advertiser-driven model to support its free content.

The rise of the multinational university — from universityworldnews.com by Geoff Maslen
Excerpt:

More than 200 degree-granting international branch campuses of universities are now located in foreign countries. But a new report says some universities are considering transforming the branch campus model into fully fledged multinational universities “by slicing up the global value chain in ways akin to multinational corporations”.

Prepared by Sean Gallagher and Geoffrey Garrett from the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney Business School, the draft report says many of these universities are focusing on China because of its scale and rapid development, and on Singapore because of its aggressive government policy and high level of development.

Also see:

Disruptive Higher Education is Opening Access Worldwide — from evolllution.com by Thomas Gibbons | 2012-2013 President, UPCEA
Excerpt:

Something extraordinary is taking place in higher education. Not a week goes by without a national headline about the latest “it” initiative in the online learning world.

This summer a dozen highly ranked universities announced signing up with Coursera, a private start-up that will offer free online classes. They join forces with founding institutions Stanford, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania and University of Michigan.

What is certain is that the walls of the most exclusive universities are coming down—but not in a bad way. Many of our great universities have prided themselves on creating the highest-quality learning communities with the world’s best faculty, premiere research facilities and most beautiful campuses, but they have also defined their greatness by not how many students they educate but by how few they allow within their hallowed walls.

 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Issues Wake-up Call to Higher Ed

Also see:

 

 

Colleges and Universities Raise $30.30 Billion in 2011  — from Council for Aid to Education (CAE)

Excerpts:

Contributions to the Nation’s Colleges and Universities at $30.30 Billion
Charitable contributions to colleges and universities in the United States increased 8.2 percent in 2011, reaching $30.30 billion, according to results of the annual Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey. The findings were released today by the Council for Aid to Education (CAE). Adjusted for inflation, giving increased 4.8 percent. Giving for capital purposes, such as endowments and buildings, increased 13.6 percent (10.1 percent, adjusted for inflation).

Charitable Gifts Concentrated at the Top
As is true of the nonprofit sector overall, most of the charitable dollars go to a small number of institutions. Twenty-five percent of the responding institutions raised 86.3 percent of the dollars reported on the VSE survey. The next 25 percent account for under 10 percent, and the next two quartiles of institutions together account for less than 5 percent of the total.

 

From DSC:
My encouragement to Development Offices/Departments:

  • In addition to thinking about facilities/the physical plant, also:
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Daniel S. Christian - Think Virtual -- April 2012

My hats off to Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring!  My respect level just went up yet another notch for these two people.

Seeing as Clayton is a Professor at ***Harvard‘s*** Business School and Henry is an ***Administrator*** at Brigham Young University, their stance and recent letter to college and university trustees nationwide is a wonderful example of true leadership.   They risked many things by taking a stand and urging institutions of higher education to change. Their purpose is noble. Their message should be heeded.

From the website of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni: (emphasis by DSC)

Clayton Christensen: higher ed trustees “crucial as never before”
Harvard Business School professor (and bestselling author of The Innovator’s Dilemma) Clayton M. Christensen and Henry J. Eyring of Brigham Young University recently sent a letter to college and university trustees nationwide, recognizing a critical turning point for the future of higher education. “If you’ve been serving for more than a few years, you’ve seen a big change in the nature of trustees meetings,” the authors wrote. “Before the downturn of 2008, the agenda tended to focus on growth and on ways to fund it…. At some point, the bubble was bound to burst—or at least start to sag. Now that it has, your role becomes crucial as never before.” The letter urges trustees to demand innovative solutions to expand student access and improve academic quality at their institutions: “The innovators can do more than merely avoid disruption. They can help usher in a new age of higher education, one of unprecedented access and quality, a combined industrial revolution and renaissance.”

 

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Addendum on 7/16/12:

The future of higher education and other imponderables — from elearnspace.org by George Siemens

Excerpt:

Educators are not driving the change bus. Leadership in traditional universities has been grossly negligent in preparing the academy for the economic and technological reality it now faces. This failure is apparent in interactions I’ve had with several universities over the past several months. Universities have not been paying attention. As a result, they have not developed systemic capacity to function in a digital networked age. In order to try and ramp up capacity today, they have to acquire the skills that they failed to develop over the last decade by purchasing services from vendors. Digital content, testing, teaching resources, teaching/learning software, etc. are now being purchased to try and address the capacity shortage. Enormous amounts of organizational resources are now flowing outside of education in order to fill gaps due to poor leadership. Good for the startups that were smart enough to anticipate the skill and capacity shortage in higher education. Bad for the university, faculty, and support staff.

I have delivered two presentations recently on the scope of change in higher education, one in Peru at Universidad de San Martin Porres and the other at the CANHEIT conference. Slides from CANHEIT are below…

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Addendum on 6/20/12:

Addendum on 6/21/12:

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