Then globalization and the Internet changed everything. Customers suddenly had real choices, access to instant reliable information and the ability to communicate with each other. Power in the marketplace shifted from seller to buyer. Customers started insisting on ‘better, cheaper, quicker and smaller,’ along with ‘more convenient, reliable and personalized.’ Continuous, even transformational, innovation have become requirements for survival.”

Steve Denning, “The Management Revolution That’s Already Happening,”
Forbes Magazine, May 30, 2013.

 

 

ChangeIsOptionalDanielChristian-evolllutionDotcom-June2013

 

.

PDF of article here

 

 

TheNextGenerationUniversity-May2013

.

Excerpt:

As the nation struggles to find new ways to increase college access and completion rates while lowering costs, a handful of “Next Generation Universities” are embracing key strategies that make them models for national reform. The report The Next Generation University comes at a time when too many public universities are failing to respond to the nation’s higher education crisis. Rather than expanding enrollment and focusing limited dollars on the neediest of students, many institutions are instead restricting enrollments and encouraging the use of student-aid dollars on merit awards. But, according to the report, some schools are breaking the mold by boldly restructuring operating costs and creating clear, accelerated pathways for students.

Download the full report here.

.

In addition to the report, see:

 

Also see:

  • What happens when 2 colleges become one — from chronicle.com by Ricardo Azziz
    Excerpt:
    Earlier this year, Moody’s Investors Service released its annual assessment of higher education in the United States, a report that viewed the sector’s short-term outlook as largely negative amid growing economic pressures. The analysts, however, applauded the efforts of a few states that were trying to merge or consolidate campuses because such efforts “foster operating efficiencies and reduce costs amid declining state support.”

WhyLeanStartUpChangesEverything-SteveBlank-May2013

 

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

But recently an important countervailing force has emerged, one that can make the process of starting a company less risky. It’s a methodology called the “lean start-up,” and it favors experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over traditional “big design up front” development. Although the methodology is just a few years old, its concepts—such as “minimum viable product” and “pivoting”—have quickly taken root in the start-up world, and business schools have already begun adapting their curricula to teach them.

From DSC:
This fits into my thinking/recommendation that each institution of higher education should create a much smaller, more nimble group within itself — whose goal is to experiment, pivot, adapt, etc. — in order to find out what’s working and what’s not working.  It’s why I have categories and tags for words like “experimentation,” “staying relevant,” “reinvent,” “innovation,” “surviving,” and “disruption.”

The trick is/will be how NOT to be a commodity –what’s going to differentiate your college or university?

 

 

 

 

Traditional institutions will close, number of colleges and universities will rise (audio and transcript) — from evoLLLution.com (where LLL stands for lifelong learning) by Richard DeMillo | Director of the Center for 21st Century Universities, Georgia Institute of Technology
Excerpt (emphasis DSC):
.

Well, for me, it always boils down to value. People misunderstand this as assigning value based on salaries or employability, but I mean value in the larger sense. You have to have a reason to ask students to pay more than the marginal costs of delivering education. And with all these revolutions in technology for course delivery, that marginal cost is going to zero very, very quickly [think journalism]. So, every institution that’s going to survive, I think, over the next 50 years, is going to have to make that case. Why is it that tuition at this institution is justified?

The interesting thing about this is it’s going to be accelerated because the old bureaucracies, the old institutional models… are crumbling. At least, their boundaries are crumbling. Let me tell you what I mean by that.

The accrediting agencies, which I think traditionally have had — at least for the last 120 years or so—an institutional focus, are now shifting their focus to students; to competencies, to demonstrations of what students know. And that really starts to cut against institutional entitlement.

I think the conclusion of all this is that, as it becomes harder and harder for… a “Me-Too Institution” to argue for a marginal increase in price, the amount of money that those institutions are going to have available to them to spend on anything but core mission for students is also going to go to zero. So, this is kind of a virtuous cycle; … institutions that are unable to make the value proposition will find themselves more and more strapped for discretionary funds in order to move themselves into a different space. And that’s an ending that’s not very good for most institutions.

From DSC:
How will our/your organization keep from becoming a commodity?  What are we/you all going to bring to the table that’s different, unique, and worth paying for?

 

WalmartOfEducation-Christian2008

 

 

Also see:

CollegeScorecard-2-13-13

 

Also see:

On notice, again — from insidehighered.com by Libby A. Nelson

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday night called for major changes to the criteria accreditors use to evaluate colleges, asking Congress to either require accreditors to take college prices and educational value into account or to create an alternative system based on “performance and results.Either could mark a significant shift in how the federal government judges higher education quality and eligibility for financial aid programs.

 

From DSC:

  • This speaks directly to higher ed’s ability — or inability — to stay relevant, be responsive, and to reinvent itself.
    .
  • Accreditation teams should include many others who do not work for — nor are in any way connected to — a current institution of higher education.
    .
  • If higher ed can’t respond, the conversation will continue to move away from traditional pathways/institutions and people will find their own ways of getting ahead/surviving.

 

 

College branding: The tipping point — from forbes.com by Roger Dooley

Excerpt:

Change is coming to this market. While there are multiple issues of increasing importance to schools, two stand out as major game-changers.

 


From DSC:
Important notes for the boards throughout higher education to consider:


Your institution can’t increase tuition by one dime next year. If you do, you will become more and more vulnerable to being disrupted. Instead, work very hard to go in the exact opposite direction. Find ways to discount tuition by 50% or more — that is, if you want to stay in business.

Sounds like the scene in Apollo 13, doesn’t it? It is. (i.e. as Tom Hanks character is trying to get back to Earth and has very little to do it with. The engineers back in the United States are called upon to “do the impossible.”)

Some possibilities:

  • Pick your business partners and begin pooling resources and forming stronger consortia. Aim to reduce operating expenses, share the production of high-quality/interactive online courses, and create new streams of income. Experimentation will be key.
  • Work with IBM, Apple, Knewton and the like to create/integrate artificial intelligence into your LMS/CMS in order to handle 80% of the questions/learning issues. (Most likely, the future of MOOCs involves this very sort of thing.)
  • Find ways to create shorter courses/modules and offer them via online-based exchanges/marketplaces.  But something’s bothering me with this one..perhaps we won’t have the time to develop high-quality, interactive, multimedia-based courses…are things moving too fast?
  • Find ways to develop and offer subscription-based streams of content


 


From DSC:
First, what prompted the questions and reflections that are listed below?  For that, I turn to some recent items that I ran across involving the use of robotics and whether that may or may not be affecting employment:


 

The work of Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee; for example their book Race Against the Machine

Excerpt of description:

But digital innovation has also changed how the economic pie is distributed, and here the news is not good for the median worker. As technology races ahead, it can leave many people behind. Workers whose skills have been mastered by computers have less to offer the job market, and see their wages and prospects shrink. Entrepreneurial business models, new organizational structures and different institutions are needed to ensure that the average worker is not left behind by cutting-edge machines.

 

How to freak out responsibly about the rise of the robots — from theatlantic.com by Derek Thompson
It’s fun to imagine an economy where machines are smarter than humans. But we don’t need  an artificial crisis over artificial intelligence.

Excerpt:

Let’s say it upfront: Technology can replace jobs and (at least temporarily) increase income inequality. From the spinning jenny to those massive mechanical arms flying wildly around car assembly lines, technology raises productivity by helping workers accomplish more in less time (i.e.: put a power drill in a human hand) and by replacing workers altogether (i.e.: build a power-drilling bot).

What ails us today isn’t a surplus of robots, but a deficit of demand. Yes, we have a manufacturing industry undergoing a sensational, but job-killing, productivity revolution — very much like the one that took farm employment from 40 percent in 1900 to less than 5 percent today. But the other nine-tenths of the economy are basically going through an old-fashioned weak-but-steady recovery, the kind that hundreds of years of financial crises would predict.

 

America has hit “peak jobs” — from techcrunch.com by Jon Evans

Excerpt:

“The middle class is being hollowed out,” says James Altucher. “Economists are shifting their attention toward a […] crisis in the United States: the significant increase in income inequality,” reports the New York Times.

Think all those job losses over the last five years were just caused by the recession? No: “Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market,” according to an AP report on how technology is killing middle-class jobs.

 

Technology and the employment challenge — from project-syndicate.org by Michael Spence

Excerpt:

MILAN – New technologies of various kinds, together with globalization, are powerfully affecting the range of employment options for individuals in advanced and developing countries alike – and at various levels of education. Technological innovations are not only reducing the number of routine jobs, but also causing changes in global supply chains and networks that result in the relocation of routine jobs – and, increasingly, non-routine jobs at multiple skill levels – in the tradable sector of many economies.

 

 

Man vs. robot — from macleans.ca by Peter Nowak

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industrial-robots

 

 

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Secondly, some reflections (from DSC)


I wonder…

  • What types of jobs are opening up now? (example here)
  • What types of jobs will be opening up soon? How about in 3-5 years from now?
  • Should these trends affect the way we educate and prepare our kids today? 
  • Should these trends affect the way we help employees grow/reinvent themselves?

Again, for me, the answer lies at least partly in helping people consistently obtain the knowledge that they need — i.e. to help them build, grow, and maintain their own learning ecosystems — throughout their lifetimes.  We need to help people dip their feet into the appropriate streams of content that are constantly flowing by.

Perhaps that’s one of the key new purposes that K-12, higher ed, and the corporate training departments out there will play in the future as they sift through the massive amounts of information coming at us to help individuals identify:
.

  • What are the most effective tools — and methods — that people can use to connect with others?
    (Then allow folks to pick what works best for them. Current examples: blogging/RSS feeds, Twitter, social bookmarking.)
    .
  • Who are some of the folks within each particular discipline/line of work that others (who want to learn about those disciplines) should know about?
    .
  • What trends are coming down the pike and how should we be preparing ourselves — and/or our organizations — for those changes?
    .

 

SanJoseStatePlus-UdacityPartnership-Jan2013

 

Also see:

Excerpt:

Today Udacity is thrilled to announce a partnership with San Jose State University to pilot three courses — Entry-Level Mathematics, College Algebra, and Elementary Statistics — available online at an affordable tuition rate and for college credit. To my knowledge, this is the first time a MOOC has been offered for credit and purely online. Much credit for this partnership goes to Mo Qayoumi and Ellen Junn, president and provost of SJSU, and to the five fearless SJSU professors who have chosen to work with us at Udacity to explore this new medium. The offices of Governor Brown and CSU Chancellor White have also been critically important to this partnership for their leadership and expediency. Last but not least, I want to personally thank our great Udacians who, like everyone on this list, have worked endless hours to drive innovation.
Over the past year, MOOCs have received a lot of attention in the media and education circles mostly because so many students are taking advantage of the course for free. Predictions that MOOCs would fundamentally change higher education often revolved around the fact that the courses have unprecedented reach and affordability.

 

From DSC:
Given that such “Walmarts of Education” (i.e. solid learning at a greatly reduced prices) continue to develop, what’s our/your plans for responding to this trend? How are we/you going to compete?  What’s our/your vision and strategy?  By the way, you can look all you want to for data — but at the end of the day, it’s likely with this sort of thing that you won’t find all of the data that you require to make a decision. Examples:

  • When I began working for Kraft Foods in 1990 (brought in to roll out email to 66 plants at the time), I believed in the power of email when few others did. Email was viewed as “fluff” and it would never be used for solid business practices; management put the project on hold. But I kept working with email at Kraft — trying to get others to use it. If you looked for data back then, you wouldn’t find it. But by the time I left Kraft in 1997, thousands of people could communicate with thousands of other people throughout the world — within minutes.
    .
  • When Alexander Graham Bell introduced the telephone, what data would support the success of his invention?  I suppose you could have pulled some data on the usage of the telegraph, but even then, vision would have had to trump the data (the ancestor of Western Union rejected his invention, as they questioned why anyone would need/use a telephone when there was already the telegraph in usage).
    .
  • Such technological developments often are not so easy to back up with data; they require some vision, experimentation, and risk taking.

 

Combine the trends listed in this graphic:

.

Trends-ReportFromDeptOfEdu-2012

— from The Economics of Higher Education, Dec 2012 (pg 2)

 

…with the next several graphics…

.

Surging college costs price out middle class -- from CNNMoney.com on June 13, 2011

 

.

The middle class falls further behind

 

.

Daniel S. Christian: My concerns with just maintaining the status quo (from 2009).

From 5/21/09

 

 

…and you can see that the Perfect Storm in Higher Ed has been amassed.  Massive change is in the air. People will find a way to achieve their goals/objectives — one way or another. College is still a good call — but what “college” and “university life” will look like in 5 years will likely be very different from what they look like today.

There is no returning to the “good ol’ days” — things are not going back to the way they were 5-10 years ago.  It’s time for massive — but controlled/intentional — experimentation within higher ed, to find out how best to use the Internet in order to promote learning (and, hopefully, to still make a living!).

.

 

asdfsadf

 

 

 


Some examples that illustrate that change is in the air…and that the conversation continues to move outside traditional institutions of higher education (I mention these not to dog higher ed, but to get us to innovate, to reinvent ourselves, and to stay relevant!)


 

Big idea 2013: College becomes optional — from LinkedIn.com by Ben Smith

Jailbreaking the degree: The end of the 4 year diploma — from onlineuniversities.com by Justin Marquis

Excerpt:

What’s wrong with getting a college degree? According to the grassroots movement, “Jailbreaking the Degree,” being pushed by radical education startup Degreed.com, quite a bit. The organization has identified several fundamental flaws with the long standing college degree process. It aims to overcome them and dramatically change the nature of learning and credentialing in the process. In order to justify their initiative they present some dramatic numbers on their website…

Degreed wants to jailbreak the college degree — from techcrunch.com by Rip Empson

Saying no to college — NYT.com by Alex Williams

Do a Google search on uncollege.org and see what you get

The rise of college alternatives— from huffingtonpost.com by Dan Schawbel

educreations.com: Teach what you know. Learn what you don’t.

 

 

Excerpt:

With the public’s continued focus on value and affordability, higher education finds itself at a critical juncture. Cost pressures and increased global demand for access have given rise to innovations that have unleashed new delivery models into the education marketplace. Such innovation is required if universities are to thrive, compete, and bring new relevance and meaning to the value of college in the 21st century.

Also see:

  • Americans believe higher education must innovate — from Northeastern News
  • President: Witt must adapt to survive — from springfieldnewssun.com by Tom Stafford
    Excerpt:
    Liberal arts colleges that ignore market realities “absolutely won’t exist in the next decade,” Wittenberg University President Laurie M. Joyner told Springfield Rotarians on Monday.  But the practical or applied liberal arts education that she predicts can sustain Wittenberg will encourage deeper connections with Springfield, she said while speaking at the Hollenbeck-Bayley Conference Center, because “our students learn better when dealing with real-world problems.” A shrinking pool of price-sensitive high school graduates has combined with a bad economy to produce “the equivalent of a perfect storm for some of us,” said Joyner, who succeeded Mark Erickson on July 1.
  • Surviving disruption — from hbr.og by Maxwell Wessel and Clayton M. Christensen
    Excerpt:
    …to meet disrupters with disruption of their own, but also to guide their legacy businesses toward as healthy a future as possible.
  • Sanjay Sarma appointed as MIT’s first director of digital learning — from MIT by Steve Bradt
    Mechanical engineering professor will shepherd efforts to integrate elements of online education into traditional MIT courses.

From DSC:
Experimentation. Innovation. Experimentation. Innovation. Fail. Fail. Succeed. Fail. Succeed. Fail. 

 

The education giant adapts — from MIT Technology Review by Jessica Leber
Pearson is the world’s largest book publisher. Now it wants to be a one-stop shop for digital education.

Excerpt:

Pearson pulled this off with a decade-long string of acquisitions that helped it shift its emphasis from selling books to selling education services. The London-based company styles itself as the “world’s leading learning company,” even if that learning isn’t delivered through traditional books. These days, Pearson is more like an IT department for classrooms and schools. It sells technology infrastructure, software, and consulting services to schools—services that in turn help deliver the vast stock of textbook content Pearson owns. The company says its revenue from online content and services will surpass those of the traditional publishing business this year.

From DSC:
I congratulate Pearson on reinventing itself.  The words of Steve Jobs ring in my mind…something about cannibalizing one’s business before someone else does it for you.  Several other words and phrases come to my mind after seeing the above article — that regular readers of this blog and my archived website will instantly recognize:

  • Dangers of the status quo
  • Staying relevant
  • Survival
  • Disruption/change
  • New business models
  • Game-changing environment
  • Using teams of specialists

Also relevant here/see:

 

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:

 

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.”

 

.

Addendum on 7/16/12:


From DSC:
My cousin helps Fortune 500 companies innovate and deal with change management-related issues.  Something he once said is rather haunting to me now…

“Often when organizations start feeling the pain, it’s too late at that point.” (Think Blockbuster, Kodak, Borders, and many others.)

So that has been the question I’ve been pondering these last couple of years — are we already too late to the game?


 

Public universities see familiar fight at Virginia — from the NYT by Tamar Lewin on 6/25/12

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The tumult at the University of Virginia …reflects a low-grade panic now spreading through much of public higher education.

But the 10-point outline she offered — listing state and federal financing challenges, the changing role of technology, a rapidly changing health care environment, prioritization of scarce resources, faculty workload and the quality of the student experience, faculty compensation, research financing and the like — was almost generic, and would have applied to nearly every public university in the nation.

Rebuilding Mr. Jefferson’s University — from insidehighered.com by Kevin Kiley

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In a statement before the vote, Dragas said the events of the past two weeks have actually unified the campus around a series of questions it needs to address. “Prior to these events, there seemed to be a roadblock between the board’s sense of urgency around our future in a number of critical areas, and the administration’s response to that urgency,” she said. “Also, many of our concerns about the direction of the university remained unknown to all but a few. This situation has now keenly focused the attention of the entire university community on the reality and urgency of the specific challenges facing the university  most of which, once again, are not unique to U.Va. – but whose structural and long-term nature do require a deliberate and strategic approach.”

University of Virginia: Only the Beginning — from The American Interest by Walter Russell Mead

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

What we see at UVA this month is just a foretaste of the storm that is coming — a few early raindrops and gusts of wind before the real storm hits. The country needs more education than the current system can affordably supply, and the pressure on the educational system will not abate until this problem is resolved.

Fixing college — from the NYT by Jeff Selingo, editorial director at The Chronicle of Higher Education, who is writing a book on the future of higher education

Excerpt:

Other information industries, from journalism to music to book publishing, enjoyed similar periods of success right before epic change enveloped them, seemingly overnight.We now know how those industries have been transformed by technology, resulting in the decline of the middleman newspapers, record stores, bookstores and publishers.

Colleges and universities could be next, unless they act to mitigate the poor choices and inaction from the lost decade by looking for ways to lower costs, embrace technology and improve education.

 

Ousted Head of University Is Reinstated in Virginia — from the NYT by Richard Perz-Pena

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Facing a torrent of criticism, the University of Virginia trustees made a stunning turnabout on Tuesday, voting unanimously to reinstate the president they had forced to resign over concerns that the university was not adapting fast enough to financial and technological pressures.

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