Brief Overviews from Planning Units

The following are brief descriptions of how some planning units are approaching their environmental scans.

Executive Vice President and Provost

Ohio University Chillicothe

Ohio University Eastern (Added 8-16-10)

College of Fine Arts

College of Health Sciences and Professions

Honors Tutorial College (Added 9-1-10)

Center for International Studies

Ohio University Lancaster

Vice President for Research & Creative Activity and Graduate College

Ohio University Southern (Added 8-20-10)

Voinovich School

Ohio University Zanesville (Added 8-12-10)


Higher Education Challenges: A Collection of Observations

Interesting information on economic issues facing institutions of higher education can be found in the series of “National Crosstalk” newsletters from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.

James Duderstadt, “Aligning American Higher Education with a 21st Century Agenda

Michael Crow, “Enterprise: The Path to Transformation for Emerging Public Universities

Michael Crow, “Building an Entrepreneurial University

Luis M. Proenza, “Beyond Research Rankings,” Inside Higher Education, May 17, 2007

Mortgaging Our Future: How Financial Barriers to College Undercut America’s Global Competitiveness, ” 2006

Transition Matters-Community College to Bachelor’s Degree,” 2008

Federal Reserve “Beige Book”

Summary of Current Economic Conditions, Federal Reserve.

“Commonly known as the Beige Book, this report is published eight times per year. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources.”

Chronicle of Higher Education Annual “Great Colleges to Work For” Survey

Josh Fishman, “97 Colleges are Recognized as Great Colleges to Work For in Chronicle Survey,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 25, 2010.

“The results of The Chronicle of Higher Education’s third annual Great Colleges to Work For survey, published [July 25], capture some of America’s most valued institutions at some of their most challenging moments. About 43,000 people at 275 campuses responded to the survey. It found that colleges continue to do well at creating work that makes a difference, providing jobs that fit the individual, and fostering a high degree of institutional pride. But now colleges are accomplishing those things in an economy that has been in a long slump, and tight budgets seem to be eroding confidence in college leadership, the survey found.”

Overview of Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act

The passage of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will have an impact on Ohio University in a variety of ways including our academic programs in health and wellness, the costs and types of benefits we offer our employees, the availability of research funding, and the delivery of clinical services (just to name a few issues).  The following report provides some analysis of what to expect from the PPACA.  Thanks to Jennifer Horner for passing it along.

C. Stephen Redhead and Erin D. Williams, “Public Health, Workforce, Quality, and Related Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), March 24, 2010, Congressional Research Service.

From the Introduction:  “Among its many provisions, PPACA creates a mandate for most U.S. residents to obtain health insurance and provides for the establishment of insurance exchanges through which certain individuals and families will be able to receive federal subsidies to reduce the cost of purchasing that coverage. In addition, PPACA significantly expands eligibility for Medicaid; substantially reduces the growth in Medicare spending that had been projected under preexisting law; imposes an excise tax on insurance plans with relatively high premiums; and makes other changes to the federal tax code, Medicare, Medicaid, and numerous other programs. This report, one of a series of CRS products on PPACA, summarizes the new law’s workforce, prevention, quality, and related provisions. It begins with some background on health care delivery reform, followed by an overview of the report’s content and organization.”

Administrative Review & Restructuring; Deferred Maintenance; and IT

Terry Conry provided the following documents and sources of information:

Administrative Review and Restructuring

Two recently completed reports from the University of Illinois:

Administrative Review and Restructuring Working Group, June 15, 2010.  “In November 2009, President Ikenberry, in consultation with the Board of Trustees and the Chancellors, charged the Administrative Review and Restructuring working group to conduct an assessment of the organizational structure and delivery of administrative services at the University and to recommend a set of reforms and changes to improve performance as well as reduce costs.”

Administrative Review and Restructuring, Shared Services Subcommittee, June 8, 2010.  A subcommittee was formed to investigate the topic of shared service centers as a supplement to the efforts of the Administrative Review and Restructuring Working Group. The charge to the subcommittee was to:

• Determine whether shared service centers existed on campus;

• Determine how shared service centers currently operate;

• Determine whether shared service centers resulted in reduced costs and improved service for units; and

• Identify any barriers to creating shared service centers and recommend processes that support and sustain their effectiveness once developed.


Deferred Maintenance

Association of Physical Plant Administrators, Capital Renewal/Deferred Maintenance [Set of articles available at this link].

Scott Carlson, “As Campuses Crumble, Budgets are Crunched,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 23, 2008.


Information Technology

Lev Gonick, “Future of Higher Education” [IT staffing], EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 33, Number 2, 2010.

Rosalyn Metz, “Cloud Computing Explained,” EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 33, Number 2, 2010.

Marianne Murphy, “Instructional Benefits of Remote Desktop Visualization,” EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 33, Number 2, 2010.

Coping Strategies for Universities & Useful Database for Higher Education Finance

The Delta Project Report entitled “Trends in College Spending 1998-2008: Where Does the Money Come From? Where Does It Go? What Does It Buy?” was posted on July 8 along with a link to an interactive database that allows access to “information on finance, performance, and enrollments for individual institutions, groups of institutions, or the nation as a whole.”  The database offers a useful way of understanding a set of complicated factors, and at Craig Cornell’s recommendation I’m drawing specific attention to its features.  The database has six “primary metrics”:

  • Revenue: Where Does the Money Come From?
  • Expenditures: Where Does the Money Go?
  • Cost/Price/Subsidy: What’s the Student Share of Costs?
  • Performance: Outcomes and Spending
  • Spending Comparisons: Prices and Enrollment vs. Spending
  • Enrollment: Where Do Students Go?


Christine M. Keller, “Coping Strategies of Public Universities During the Economic Recession of 2009: Results of a Survey on the Impact of the Financial Crisis on University Campuses,” (November 2009) Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

“In August and September of 2009, APLU surveyed its 188 member universities about the financial situation on their campuses.  The survey asked for information on state appropriations, tuition and fees, student enrollment, and educational revenues.  It also asked institutions how they were handling budget shortfall in both the short- and the long-term.”