New from Educause:
Higher Ed IT Buyers Guide





Quickly search 50+ product and service categories, access thousands of IT solutions specific to the higher ed community, and send multiple RFPs—all in one place. This new Buyers Guide provides a central, go-to online resource for supporting your key purchasing decisions as they relate to your campus’s strategic IT initiatives.

Find the Right Vendors for Higher Education’s Top Strategic Technologies

Three of the Top 10 Strategic Technologies identified by the higher education community this year are mobile computing, business intelligence, and business performance analytics.* The new Buyers Guide connects you to many of the IT vendors your campus can partner with in the following categories related to these leading technologies, as well as many more.

View all 50+ product and service categories.



Excerpt from the page:

For Developers
Excellent opportunities exist for software designers and developers who want to use their talents to create impactful tools for teachers, school leaders, students, and their families. Our goal is to connect you to the resources needed throughout the cycle of a project – from concept ideation, to generating seed funding, to research and development and evaluation, and ultimately to scalable impact in education.


I originally saw this at “Ed tech must do more to ‘advance equity,’ U.S. Secretary of Education says” — from by Nichole Dobo


SCOTTSDALE, Arizona—The U.S. Department of Education unveiled a new education technology developer’s guide [on 4/7/15] during the annual ASU+GSV Summit conference here.

In remarks at the conference, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urged developers to consider the needs of disadvantaged students, so that they are not left behind as more schools adopt new tools that advance teaching and learning.

“If the technology revolution only happens for families that already have money and education, then it’s not really a revolution,” Duncan said.

Duncan announced the developer’s guide during a speech at the ASU+GSV Summit, , a gathering of about 2,500 people interested in innovation in education. The free guide, available for download at, is the result of two years of research by Department of Education officials, who interviewed educators, entrepreneurs, parents and students. Its goal is to help technology developers better understand the key needs of the nation’s school system. It identifies 10 “persistent problems in education,” among them increasing family engagement, improving professional development for teachers, creating tests that accurately measure what students have learned, and closing achievement gaps.



The most extraordinary speech ever by a graduating MBA — from by John Byrne

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Gerald spoke movingly about a near-death experience with armed gunmen in his hometown of Dallas, and how that changed his life forever. “A strange thing happened as I accepted that I was about to die: I stopped being afraid.” He then decided to “give my life to a cause greater than myself.”

After arriving at Harvard Business School from Yale, Gerald said that HBS “changed who we were; it reminded us who we could be. It reminded us that we didn’t have to wait until we were rich or powerful, or until we actually knew finance, to make a difference. We could act right now.”

With three classmates, Casey founded a non-profit, MBAs Across America, which is a movement of MBAs and entrepreneurs working together to revitalize America. “We saw the signs for hope in entrepreneurs who were on the front lines of change. They showed us that the new ‘bottom line’ in business is the impact you have on your community and the world around you — that no amount of profit could make up for purpose.”



See also:



From DSC:
Though the use of the word “ever” in John Byrne’s posting on may be a stretch for some, Casey Gerald did give an incredibly powerful, deep, well-articulated message at Harvard Business School’s 2014 Commencement. 

I really appreciated what Casey was getting at — a higher calling for business.  A higher calling for one’s life.  If it’s only about making a living — vs making a life and a contribution — it comes up short.  We can do better.  Businesses can do better.  Wall Street can do better.  With corporations sitting on a trillion+ dollars, how might those massive resources be put towards helping society at large?  Here are 2 ideas:

  1. Don’t lay people off so quickly.  Take some of those funds and use them to retrain/reinvent people.  Keep America’s households running. Help keep peoples’ skillsets relevant, and help keep people employed.  Better yet, do this now for those people that you know you will be replacing in the future with algorithms and/or with robotics.
  2. Fund/outfit educational institutions.  For example, it would benefit society greatly if the large tech companies would outfit the K-12 classrooms across the country (yes, I’m mainly thinking of you Apple, Google, & Cisco).  Many districts are struggling to implement ed tech and this would be of huge service to the country.



See also:




The Kalamazoo Promise
A program whereby qualified students of the Kalamazoo Public Schools (Kalamazoo, MI, USA) can get up to 100% of their college tuition paid for them.  Recently this program was expanded to include 15 other private liberal arts colleges.




Starbucks to provide free college education to thousands of workers — from by Richard Perez-Penaju


Starbucks will provide a free online college education to thousands of its workers, without requiring that they remain with the company, through an unusual arrangement with Arizona State University, the company and the university will announce on Monday.


EducationDive has some solid comments and advice, however, re: the fine print here –> Highly praised Starbucks program requires large upfront tuition payments first





Paper (Tuition) Cuts — from by Ry Rivard

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A spate of small private liberal arts colleges are dramatically slashing their sticker prices in an effort to, they say, tell the truth about the real cost of college, help families and attract new students.

The price cuts – which, for some students, may be more on paper than actual reductions in out-of-pocket expenses – are not a new phenomenon, but the rate at which small colleges are adopting the maneuver, as well as tuition freezes, appears to be picking up speed.

“We realized just how incredibly affordable we were once you cut through all the published rates,” said President Betsy Fleming.

Some students and families, of course, didn’t realize that either, and so may have shied away from applying. “We looked at it as being very confusing,” she said, “saying, Well, we cost this much, but don’t worry, we’ll help you figure out how to make it affordable.”


From DSC:
It’s about time! I’ve been suggesting for the last 5 years that there’s a Walmart of Education developing — i.e. degrees at 50%+ discounts from what they once were.  This  development — in the forms of MOOCs, partnerships, consortia, other — has caused an enormous downward pressure on the price of a degree. 

While I realize this won’t affect what many students are paying out-of-pocket anyway, I’m still hopeful that this trend will:

  • Encourage those students on the fence about attending college to still go to college
  • Continue and that it will encourage other colleges and universities to do the same
  • Force colleges and universities to innovate/experiment more, to be more responsive and in much more significant ways
  • Significantly lessen the “sticker shock” experienced by many people out there when considering what to do about their sons’/daughters’ educations
  • Lessen the needs to devote a significant amount of time to understanding the labyrinth of financial aid packages and options out there

 This is a welcome and long overdue step.


Addendum from DSC:
I just ran across “Colleges in U.S. offer highest-ever discount to entice students”, which encourages me further.






From DSC:
Match the needs of your institution with your donors’ passions!

In thinking about how to get the funding necessary to accomplish things, it seems to me that more people would give more of their resources if they knew what the specific needs were at a particular school, college, and/or university. This is where Web-based solutions could play a new, important role (and serve as another example of using technology strategically).

I was reminded of this possibility during a recent conversation with a faculty member from our Music Department.  First, some background. My mother was/still is a piano teacher. My folks met due to music and my dad has sung throughout his lifetime.  My siblings have each played 1 or more instruments.  Music has been something that has been extremely positive for my folks’ marriage and was always heard throughout our home.  (Not to mention that music can turn a bad day around for me.)

You can see where music was important to our family, to me…I have a passion for music.  So when I heard of a need that our Music Department had, I was ready to get my wallet out on the spot.  

I wonder how many more people would be struck like this if they only knew what the specific opportunities to contribute/make a difference were.

See below for some
related resources
on this topic.






Also see:


Addendum on 9/12/13:


College branding: The tipping point — from by Roger Dooley


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


It’s time for a special needs app fund — from by Tom Vander Ark


Alesha Bishop and Lisa Valerio worked together for 10 years at Charles Schwab. After both gave birth to sons with special needs, they have reunited to support the development of learning tools for students with special needs and family-friendly apps.

Scholarships are in decline as tuition soars — from by Chris Taylor
‘Every time we turn around there seems to be more red tape and cuts’


U.S. debt $417 billion below the debt ceiling — from by Jeanne Sahadi


The debt ceiling is currently set at $16.394 trillion. At the end of August, the amount of debt subject to that limit — which excludes certain types of debt was $15.977 trillion, roughly $417 billion below the cap. Since the government typically borrows between $100 billion and $125 billion a month, that means it’s on track to hit the ceiling sometime in December. But the Treasury Department will likely be able to use “extraordinary measures” to keep the debt just below the legal limit for a couple of months.

Bottom line:
Congress will likely need to raise the ceiling in early 2013 or Treasury will risk defaulting on the country’s legal obligations by failing to pay all of its bills in full and on time.

From DSC:
At some point, if we don’t turn things around, the vast majority of our tax dollars will go to pay for interest on our debt…and. nothing. else.


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:

 …and back from previous dates:


As of 11-20-11

As of 8-24-11


Also see:




Addendum on 5/7/12:

2011 Year in Review: Global Changes in Tuition Fee Policies and Student Financial Assistance.


All around the world, the pace of change in higher education is accelerating. In the face of continued increases in participation, demographic change and – in the west at least – profound fiscal crises, higher education institutions are increasingly being required to raise funds from students as opposed to relying on transfers from governments. Indeed, the pace of policy change is coming so quickly that it is difficult to keep track of all the relevant developments in different parts of the world.

In this, the second edition of Year in Review: Tuition Fees and Student Assistance, we outline the major changes related to higher education affordability around the world in 2011. In order to keep our sample manageable, we have kept our inquiries to a selection of 40 countries that collectively best represent the global situation:

The G-40 consists of: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam.

Marcucci, Pamela and Usher, Alex (2012). 2011 Year in Review:
Global Changes in Tuition Fee Policies and Student Financial Assistance.
Toronto: Higher Education Strategy Associates.


Below are the concluding paragraphs of Introducing Bennett Hypothesis 2.0 [by Andrew Gillen, Center for College Affordability and Productivity, with emphasis below from DSC)

Original Bennett Hypothesis + a couple refinements + Bowen’s Rule = Bennett Hypothesis 2.0.

The original Bennett Hypothesis held that increases in financial aid will lead to higher tuition, but the empirical evidence testing the hypothesis is inconclusive. The next generation of the concept, Bennett Hypothesis 2.0, adds three refinements.

1.  All Aid is Not Created Equal
2.  Selectivity, Tuition Caps, and Price Discrimination are Important
3.  Don’t Ignore the Dynamic Story

These three refinements not only help explain the mixed empirical evidence, but also provide a better understanding of the relationship between financial aid and tuition. While the first two refinements weaken the link between the two (lessening our concern about Bennett Hypothesis 2.0), the third refinement strengthens the link, implying that we should almost always be concerned about financial aid leading to higher tuition.

Given the current structure of the higher education system, Bennett Hypothesis 2.0 implies that the government will always be fighting a losing battle to increase access to college or improve college affordability since “additional government [financial aid] funds keep providing revenues that, under the current incentive system, increase costs.”54  As higher financial aid pushes costs higher, it inevitably puts upward pressure on tuition. Higher tuition, of course, reduces college affordability, leading to calls for more financial aid, setting the vicious cycle in motion all over again.

Bennett Hypothesis 2.0 exacerbates rather than causes out of control spending by colleges, the ultimate cause of which is Bowen’s Rule. Nevertheless, that is no excuse for ill-designed financial aid programs to pour fuel the fire.  As Bennett noted:

“Federal student aid policies do not cause college price inflation, but there is little doubt that they help make it possible.”55

Those words remain just as true today as they were a quarter century ago.

From DSC:
This report seems to show that the current system is only serving to expand the higher ed bubble even further; surely a pop will be heard in the future (if it hasn’t already at some individual colleges and universities).  Such a financial aid system seems to be causing one of the elements of the perfect storm — the cost of higher ed — to mount its waves to an even higher level.  (Keep in mind I created the image below in September 2010, but many of these forces are still with us today.)

The perfect storm in higher ed


Excerpts from An open letter to university administrators by Clayton Christensen

Defending the status quo is futile, and it’s no fun. Given fiscal realities beyond the control of university administrators, defending the operational status quo means choosing between big, focused cuts or death by a thousand small ones. Trading up to a larger school offers no escape from the grisly task of doing less with less.

Clinging to tradition will worsen individual and institutional disruption, while embracing innovation will hasten a new era of higher education productivity—not only of well-educated degree holders, but of new knowledge.

 Also see:


BERKELEY, Calif. — Across the nation, a historic collapse in state funding for higher education threatens to diminish the stature of premier public universities and erode their mission as engines of upward social mobility.

© 2021 | Daniel Christian