Questioning Higher Education's Value
“Rapidly changing technology”
“Institutional leadership transitions”
“Work/Life Balance strains”
“Increasingly complex compliance”
These are some of the concerns identified by HR professionals in higher education at a recent event hosted by Crystal Clear Consulting. While the particulars change from year to year the underlying issues are perennial. What is different this time is the broader context.
The value proposition of higher education is being questioned in a way not previously experienced.
As a society, we are grappling with questions such as:
Is higher education a right or a privilege?
How many scholars do we need?
What is/should be the relationship between education and vocation?
How do we assess the educational value of a community college versus an Ivy League school versus an on-line certificate versus Khan Academy?
Are tenure-track professors more valuable than adjuncts and/or practitioner-teachers?
What are the meaningful differences between non-profit and for-profit institutions?
What is the economic value of higher education, to the individual and to society? And what are we willing to pay for it?
Opinions about these issues are played out in daily decisions. Every strategic plan, every admissions or financial aid determination, every tenure or promotion case, and every budget allocation is made in the context of opinions on these questions.
With the start of a new academic year, I invite those of you in higher education administration to consider: How can I exercise leadership in finding institutional answers to these questions in ways that strengthen our mission and vision, and enliven our work?
Crystal Clear Consulting