The recent CIC CAO conference in New Orleans was an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and colleagues, share new information, and engage with other professionals who are committed to building more innovative and dynamic academic leadership.

Taking copious notes during the four-day conference, I’ve distilled what I think are the three most important takeaways:

  1. Tenure: More than half of the chief academic officers in attendance have been at their jobs less than four years. Why is this important? Because there appears to be a growing “new class” of academic leadership emerging in independent higher education. It will be interesting to see how this group integrates technology, market insight, big data, and other tools of the Information Age into their roles.
  2. Research-driven strategy: Academic program assessments are as important as ever as colleges strive to maintain or expand their edge in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The recent white paper that Dr. Bob Sevier and I wrote on the topic of academic portfolio management speaks to the enduring need to align institutional academic programs with today’s market realities.
  3. Revenue diversification: Broadening revenue streams continues to be a challenge for small and mid-sized private independent colleges and universities. Again, as competition increases, building more varied and sustainable revenue sources will be central to institutional success.

If you attended this year’s event, I’m sure you have your own set of key learnings. If you’d like to discuss conference topics one-on-one or explore how Stamats can help your institution thrive in today’s competitive marketplace, please call me directly at 319-861-5085.

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