Financial Sustainability

December 2017

Higher education leaders are continually urged to innovate as they guide their institutions into the future. This compendium of research and best practices explains how successful institutions have translated this call to action into tangible results.

September 2017

The decision to consolidate or merge higher education institutions is never easy, and the process is nearly always painful and costly. But given the potential benefits, and current fiscal realities, leaders need to consider mergers in their long-term strategic plans.

August 2017

Each time a liberal arts college closes its doors, commentators predict the imminent demise of small private institutions. But does the data back up this belief?

October 2016

Performance funding applies financial incentives to higher education, tying a portion of public institutions’ state appropriations to retention rate, degree completion and other student outcomes.

October 2016

While reliance on part-time contingent faculty has helped constrain faculty compensation costs, it hasn’t produced the same level of savings in total compensation costs for all employees.

November 2015

Despite the increasing role of 401(k) plans as retirement vehicles, little is known about how mutual fund families acting as 401(k) plan service providers influence the investment choices offered in their plan. This study takes an in-depth look at service providers in the 401(k) industry and their effect on plan design.

October 2015

While a number of published studies have measured how the number and mix of fund options influence investment patterns in retirement accounts few, if any, have examined how plan participants react to a large reduction in investment choices.

October 2013

Colleges and universities face daunting challenges to long-established business models. The cost of providing higher education continues to rise but sources of funding have eroded. Endowments suffered major losses during the financial crisis and many haven’t recovered, government aid is down (only two states increased their support of higher education between 2008 and 2013), and students, as well as their parents, are stretched thin financially and can’t absorb the above-inflation tuition hikes to which the industry has grown accustomed.

September 2010

Accreditations are third-party verifications of quality. At the extreme, accreditations can be gatekeepers—without the accreditation you cannot operate. Other accreditations are more or less voluntary depending on particular state policies. Accreditation can also provide a roadmap to continuous quality improvement through feedback on a program or a school. The financial consequences of accreditation must be recognized, especially at a time like this when much of higher education is resource constrained or worse.