The Great Higher Ed Financial Disconnect

The Critical Course Metric you probably don’t know about  Affordability and Financial Sustainability are primary concerns cited by Boards of Trustees of higher education institutions as stated in the latest AGB 2018 Trustee Index.    Unfortunately at most institutions there can often be a huge disconnect between affordability (price/revenue) and sustainability (cost/margins).    To determine if this is an issue at your institution, just ask this very simple […]

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Is a tuition freeze a good thing?

It can be if you know how to calculate the financial impact and develop mitigating strategies… here’s how: “Tuition Freeze” seems to be a headline that’s popping up more and more in higher education news sites in the US.  A growing number of institutions are proposing a tuition freeze for 2019-2020, some have had a tuition freeze […]

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Are you prepared for Higher Ed Disruption?

How can Higher Ed manage fundamental changes to their traditional business model? I was reading this article by Ray Fleming at Microsoft and it got me thinking about the Third Place concept for Higher Ed and in particular, how would an institution investigate the feasibility of establishing or transitioning to a Third Place model. For […]

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Conferences Debrief: CAM-I and Academic Impression

Well it’s been a busy week with trips to Austin TX and New Orleans to attend the CAM-I quarterly meeting and the Academic Impressions Activity-Based Costing for Academic Resource Management conference. Being a week turn-around the one benefit is that I don’t really get out of Australian time zone, so easier to settle back into […]

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Conference Debrief: LH Martin Service Improvement and Innovation

We were proud to sponsor and support the LH Martin Service Improvement and Innovation Conference down in Melbourne Oct 25 – 26.  We were also pleased to assist Ray Fleming from Microsoft with his workshop, where we dug into ways data can support decision making, which we will go through later in this post. The […]

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Higher Education Shared Governance Requirements #10-11: Budget Process Improvement and Scenario Planning

Every university goes through an annual budgeting cycle.  There are about as many budget processes as there are universities but they all have one thing in common:  the need to take account of changes in enrolment, governmental support, and other external factors.  This is not easy because each potential factor affects various parts of the […]

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Cost of Teaching: Let’s benchmark and look beyond just the Cost per EFTSL

Important Note: All of the dollar amounts shown below have been changed to protect the data privacy of our client institutions. Benchmarking within the university sector is not new.  It happens at nearly every level – between schools, faculties, peer group universities (private, public, research intensive, regional, etc), and even internationally. Although this blog is […]

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Higher Education Shared Governance Requirements #9: Improving Program Review

Previous blogs examined how the Pilbara model helps identify programs for investment and disinvestment (#5) and illuminates the economic relationships between programs (degrees) and individual courses (subjects).  Now we turn to “Program Review” – a deep dive into the specifics of particular programs. Traditional reviews look at a program’s curricular structure, the institution’s capacity (in […]

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Higher Education Shared Governance Data Requirement #8: Course and Program Relationships

Combining the analytic insights from using a tool such as Microsoft Power BI together with a robust cost model can open up a previously hidden set of views to management, particularly with respect to courses (subjects) and programs (degrees).  In the past, this data has not purposefully be hidden, but rather it’s simply not captured […]

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Higher Education Shared Governance Data Requirement #7: Tuition Price Setting

Tuition pricing decisions must balance each program’s expected student demand (at a given price) against its per-student contribution margin and recover the institutions full costs when all the programs are added together. The Pilbara model calculates fully loaded and net margins (based on gross tuition and fee revenue, offset by financial aid / scholarship / […]

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