Positioning Colleges and Universities for Future Success
Edited by Madeleine B. d’ Ambrosio and Ronald G. Ehrenberg
Chapter 4: Financing Institutional Operations: The Entrepreneurial Leader
4. Financing institutional operations: the entrepreneurial leader 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,...
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