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Kasia Lundy quoted in Inside Higher Ed

In “Challenges for regional publics: A survey of business officers” Inside Higher Education highlights the findings of their survey, exploring the sentiment of chief business officers (CBOs) – particularly CBOs of regional public colleges – and their perspectives on handling change around financial and demographic pressures.

The survey found overarching themes around the confidence of CBOs across the country regarding their institutions' financial stability over 10 years, internal discussions around mergers and sharing administrative functions with another college. The findings note that CBOs in the Northeast are significantly less likely than their peers elsewhere to express confidence; those in the Midwest see themselves as somewhat less vulnerable than their Northeast counterparts but are generally less bullish than CBOs in the South and West.

The survey included questions on how well positioned CBOs believe their institutions are to adapt to a fast-changing environment. EY-Parthenon’s Kasia Lundy weighed in on how institutions are responding to pressures.

“It is refreshing (or encouraging) to see that about 40 percent of both public and private institutions agree or strongly agree that their institutions have the right mind-set (are willing and ready) to respond quickly to needed change," Kasia says. "But higher ed has a long history and legacy, and relatively few institutions – whether you consider absolute numbers or percentages – ‘go out of business.’”

“It is not at all clear today that higher ed stakeholders agree that change is needed or what purpose it aims to accomplish,” she continues. “Higher ed needs leaders with tremendous fortitude, and leaders need a ‘burning platform,’ to implement real change, in view of the impediments identified in the survey. But if today’s pressures are not enough, what will constitute this burning platform?”

Read the full article.