Responding to College Vulnerability, Part 3

Becky Morehouse

Becky Morehouse

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Over the last two weeks we’ve reviewed ideas and suggestions to address challenges to institutional survival and growth.

If you haven’t already read them, here are links to the previous two in this three-blog series:

In this blog, we will offer the final set of recommendations.

1. Institutional Vulnerability: No Compelling Vision

  • Create a small “change team” of trusted faculty and administrators who have a strong disposition to action rather than deliberation.
  • Conduct a seminar on the importance of vision in organizational change. Using the situational analysis, develop, approve, and communicate a compelling vision that describes a clear, attainable, and desirable future.
  • Conduct a parallel seminar on the habits and characteristics of highly effective teams.
  • Task the change team with first identifying and then prioritizing the primary problems and opportunities confronting the institution.
  • Provide political support for the change team.

2. Institutional Vulnerability: Campus Culture is Highly Resistant to Meaningful Change

  • Identify why previous change initiatives failed or did not produce the intended results and fine-tune implementation process.
  • Once the vision has been developed, aggressively communicate the vision to the campus.
  • Task the change team with developing a streamlined strategic plan that focuses on the vision.
  • Additionally, develop a comprehensive internal communication plan that clearly and simply conveys the major issues confronting the institution.
  • Identify and then resource faculty and staff who actively support the new vision and plan.
  • Change the reward system to recognize faculty and staff who support the change initiatives.
  • Continually communicate progress to the campus community.

3. Institutional Vulnerability: Unable or Unwilling to Make Tough Decisions in a Timely Fashion

  • Firstly, reduce the number of people involved decision making.
  • Communicate to the campus community the consequences of delaying decisions.
  • Identify key decisions and create a timeline for decision-making.

4. Institutional Vulnerability: Failure to Reduce Unhealthy Dependency on Tuition Revenue

  1. Create a short-term capital campaign to support new vision.
  1. Consider the options for developing alternative sources of revenue presented in an earlier blog in this series.

5. Institutional Vulnerability: Few Cash Reserves and/or Unencumbered Dollars

  1. Once again, consider the options for developing alternative sources of revenue presented in an earlier blog in this series.
  1. Eliminate, don’t merely scale back, non-productive and non-essential products, services, and departments. This will increase available funds and reduce distractions.
  1. Use foundation or endowment dollars to create a fund for change initiatives.

6. Institutional Vulnerability: Aid for Current Students is Disproportionately Loan-Based

  1. Use foundation or endowment dollars to create scholarship funding for students interested in specific majors.
  1. Undertake fundraising initiative for scholarship funding.
  1. Increase number/amount of scholarships for academically talented students.
  1. Additionally, target more affluent students.
  1. Finally, identify majors that lead to higher paying jobs and thereby reduce need for institutional financial aid.

All in all, if you have any questions about this or the previous blogs, please let me know. I’d love to discuss how Stamats might be able to help.

Thank you! Becky Morehouse – [email protected].

Read Next: Assessing and Responding to Vulnerability

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