Transformational Change in Higher Education

Transformational Change in Higher Education

Positioning Colleges and Universities for Future Success

Edited by Madeleine B. d’ Ambrosio and Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This unique volume discusses the management of transformational change in higher education as a key element of success. With input from researchers, presidents, provosts, and other senior leaders of the higher education community, this edited volume explores transformational change in a range of institutions from small teaching and community colleges to large comprehensive research universities.

Chapter 4: Financing Institutional Operations: The Entrepreneurial Leader

James C. Hearn

Subjects: business and management, management and universities, economics and finance, public sector economics, education, management and universities


James C. Hearn College and university leaders can never ignore their institutions’ finances, but the current era clearly demands heightened attention. The continuation of prior levels of subsidization and research support from governments is becoming increasingly unlikely. Tuition increases exceeding inflation rates have raised pointed questions among policymakers as well as among students and their families. Personnel costs, especially for healthcare benefits, are rising rapidly. These and other pressures are pushing leaders in all postsecondary sectors toward exploring new approaches to maintaining and improving fiscal health. From reforming core financial technologies to securing new clients and new revenues from investments, the goal has been to think of finance in more creative and ultimately more productive ways. The symposium session on financing institutional operations featured four institutional leaders working to push their own organizations toward more entrepreneurial, fiscally rewarding stances. This chapter reviews these leaders’ presentations and their ensuing interactions with the audience, then reflects on what the session suggests for leaders working to address contemporary financial challenges on their campuses. THE PRESENTATIONS Walé Adeosun, Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), tied his comments into his university’s ‘Rensselaer Plan’. This strategic plan points the institution toward achieving status as a ‘world-class technological research university 70 Financing institutional operations 71 with global reach and global impact’. The major financing aspect to this desired transformational change, Adeosun suggested, was acting to increase and diversify the institution’s revenue base, through creative financial and fundraising strategies. Adeosun...

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