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Higher Education Policy and Practice

Colleges in Crisis & How to Survive – Michael Townsley’s Book Preview

Michael Townsley author of a number of books on finance in higher education is working on a new book – Colleges in Crisis. The central theme of this book is that the massive decline forecast for prospective college students over the next decade will push many private colleges to and over the

Leadership, Data, Collaboration, Innovation, Success

In 2012, Stevens Strategy conducted a comprehensive strategic analysis project with Wilson College, which was experiencing serious enrollment and financial difficulty. Its total enrollment at the time we began our work with them was 762 students resulting in a 3 million dollar deficit. We

Will Half Of All Colleges Really Close In The Next Decade?

In the late 70’s and early 80’s, higher education faced an enrollment crisis similar to today’s, which was portrayed by pundits and researchers alike as a coming doomsday for small private colleges and universities. During the next decades these supposedly doomed colleges, led by the best

Smart, Succinct and Agile: Strategic Planning in an Age of Uncertainty

Stevens Strategy is pleased to announce this comprehensive report on the process of Strategic Planning authored by Inside Higher Education’s Rick Seltzer. We are humbled to be mentioned as an innovator in the use of strategic planning in higher education. Click to see Inside Higher Education’s

Controversial Speakers and the Challenges Faced by College Presidents

In 2017, conservative scholar Charles Murray was met with protests during his lecture in Middlebury College. However, much of the controversy did not stem from his political beliefs but from his 1994 book The Bell Curve in which he argued that racial group intelligence is variable. Later in the

Predicting Student Retention and GPA from Student Personality

Fall-to-Fall 2016-2017 Student success is critical to the mission of every higher educational institution. All other things being equal, students who are the most intellectually and psychologically prepared for higher education will be the most successful. While most universities assess the

Institutional Turn-around Strategy Principles

Would you consider taking on the presidency of an institution in need of a turn-around? If so, in this blog I’ll introduce several Turn-around Principles you’ll need to keep in mind before taking on the challenge.  Consider the following scenario (which is not derived from the experience of any

Eyes on the Metrics: A Board’s Guide to Preparing for Presidential Transition

Whether it’s the end of a successful Presidency or a board’s decision to seek new leadership, Presidential transition is never easy. It’s risky, time consuming and expensive and that’s before factoring in a level of cultural uncertainty as a new President takes the helm. And the experts are

What’s Happening in Higher Education – Can Private Colleges Survive?

A slow plodding revenue growth strategy may no longer provide private colleges with the financial reserves needed to survive.  For decades, marginal increases in enrollment, tuition, and other revenue sources were good enough to cover expenses and provide a cash buffer against unforeseen

Explosive Growth

Too many budget-enrollment and net tuition strategies are based on finding just enough new students to cover next fiscal year’s budget expense.  This strategy worked fine when colleges tended to stay within their own markets, labor costs were low for skilled positions, and technology was not