Campus-Based Perspectives From A Long-Term Provost
Colleges and universities today face challenges on multiple fronts. While many have fared quite well, it can be difficult to flourish without a new business model.
The environment for all of higher education has become much more challenging. Faced with modest endowments, many private institutions have had to engage in considerable tuition discounting. Enrollment fluctuations and changing student demand have posed additional challenges. Yet faculty have specific expertise and credentials and are not interchangeable as demand varies. Many institutions are thus left with few discretionary resources and high fixed costs. This paper suggests a new business model to overcome today’s challenges.
This paper’s author, an economist with a specialty in higher education, was for 25 years the provost of Hofstra University. His comments are based on personal observations and a broad economic analysis of the higher education industry. He has intentionally excluded Hofstra from the descriptions used to illustrate his views. Accordingly, the paper provides a general macro assessment of private higher education rather than a micro assessment of Hofstra.