The Rose-Colored Glasses Come Off: a Survey of Business Officers

The reality of higher education’s financial challenges is sinking in among college and university business officers.

Now the question is what they’re doing about it -- and whether they’re willing to do enough.

Chief business officers increasingly agree that higher education is in the midst of a financial crisis, according to the 2017 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Business Officers. Some are also starting to lose faith in the idea that they can overcome revenue shortfalls using the often-cited strategy of increasing enrollment.

Many respondents were open or supportive of the idea of consolidating programs or academic operations with other institutions. Yet survey results reflected a greater skepticism about their likelihood of actually merging with other colleges or universities in the near future. Business officers were also generally leery of addressing their budget issues in ways that would require them to ask faculty members to change. So although business officers are increasingly recognizing the financial threats they face, experts wondered whether they are being realistic about the kind of strategies they will have to pursue to chart a course forward.

Read more at Inside Higher Ed: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/survey/survey-finds-business-officers-increasingly-considering-more-painful-options