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.

Role of Politics in State Higher Ed. Funding, OU Campus Master Plan, and State of Ohio Job Outlook

Michael K. McLendon, James C. Hearn, and Christine G. Mokher “Partisans, Professionals, and Power: The Role of Political Factors in State Higher Education Funding,” The Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 80, No. 6 (November/December 2009).

“In this paper, we report the results of a longitudinal analysis of factors associated with state funding effort for higher education. We begin by developing a conceptual framework that more closely integrates key state political indicators that have received insufficient attention in the past. The focus then turns to describing the construction of a panel data set and a fixed-effects analysis that we conducted on the drivers of state appropriations to higher education, measured as appropriations per $1,000 personal income, over a period of nearly two decades, from 1984 to 2004. The concluding section identifies several findings providing distinctively new perspectives on patterns of state support for higher education over this period.”

Ohio University Campus Master Plan (Facilities Planning and Space Management)

State of Ohio Job Outlook, Employment Projections to 2016, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

Cost Trends in Higher Education & Workforce Planning

Trends in College Spending, 1998-2008,” July 8, 2010

“A national trends report and cost-comparison tool released . . . by the Delta Project on Postsecondary Costs, Productivity, and Accountability provide significant insight into how thousands of the nation’s colleges and universities are spending their resources, with implications for what that means for ―the new normal in college spending.  The report – Trends in College Spending 1998-2008: Where Does the Money Come From? Where Does It Go? What Does It Buy? – examines national college spending and resource trends in the years leading up to the current recession. Focusing on the period from 1998 to 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available), the report highlights several ongoing patterns in how institutions get and spend their money. TCS Online (www.tcs-online.org), a new web-based application of the Delta project database, complements the national trends report with easy access to institution and state-level details.”

Academic Support Unit Workforce Planning Initiative Example (Cornell University)

“Driven by fiscal pressures and a responsibility to ensure the most cost effective use of limited resources, President Rawlings initiated the Workforce Planning initiative in November 2001 as a comprehensive review of non-academic staffing requirements across the Ithaca campus.”

State Budget Info and Open Source Info

“State Budget Overview” –a presentation made to the Budget Planning and Management Commission, 6-29-10

The Budget Planning and Management Commission is a six member, bi-partisan group created by the Ohio General Assembly, which is charged with making “recommendations for the 2012-13 budget ‘designed to provide relief to the state during the current difficult fiscal and economic period’ by Nov. 30 of this year.”

“State Funding for Higher Education in FY 2009 and FY 2010”, National Conference of State Legislatures

“In late 2009, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) surveyed legislative fiscal offices about the status of higher education funding.  Specifically, it was an attempt to see how higher education funding was faring as a result of the economic downturn and to determine how ARRA [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] funds were affecting funding levels.”

Brad Wheeler, “Open Source 2010: Reflections on 2007”, January/February 2007, EDUCAUSE Review

An accessible article, that while dated, provides a good introduction  to some of the possibilities and the challenges of open source software for institutions of higher education.

Environmental Scan Team Meeting, July 7, 2010

Update University Environmental Scan Team, July 7, 2010

On July 7 the University Environmental Scan Team met to discuss:

  • Preliminary findings relating to key trends in assigned areas that offer the greatest challenges and the greatest promise for the work of supporting a transformational learning community.
  • The type of analysis that will need to be done in relation to those key trends in order to better understand their implications for Ohio University within a 3-5 year planning window.

Areas discussed were culture and communications, regional issues, demographics, and infrastructure.

In the realm of culture and communications, the team discussed how the nature of the subject did not lend itself well to being captured in a typical database.  It is not easy to gather statistical information on questions such as how faculty envision their roles in a changing higher education environment or how the consumerism approach adopted by many incoming students has changed university culture.  It was suggested that fruitful avenues of further investigation might lie in attitudinal work that has been done on new faculty, annual surveys of student characteristics and expectations, and an examination of approaches used by institutions known to have strong and effective communication strategies.

On the subject of regional issues, matters such as how to understand and prioritize the diversity of educational needs in Ohio University’s service area were discussed along with how to project employment trends; how to anticipate the knowledge and skill set needs of future students; and how to make a convincing case in light of tight state resources and economic realities faced by families and individuals that quality matters at all levels.

In discussing demographics more in depth knowledge was called for of populations in the areas (both in-state and out-of-state) that we draw on most heavily for students.  We also must understand and project patterns relating to online learning.  Shifts in occupational growth are another area of demographic importance.  Finally, the team discussed what universities had profiles that were most similar to Ohio University—large public institutions with diversity in academic programs and structures, in a rural location, and in states with a large dominant land grant university.  Looking to these types of institutions, it was suggested would give us some important comparative options.  Randy Leite provided a list of potential demographic indicators that should be of use to planning units as they work on their environmental scans.

When it came to infrastructure, the discussion included some consideration of how the area needed to be subdivided into internal and external matters.  While external issues such as working with the City of Athens on issues of utilities, housing, and access were deemed to be vital, it was suggested that the greatest degree of cost control is to be had through the pursuit of our own “bricks and mortar”—understood in both the traditional sense and in the technological sense.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Provost requested that each member of the team provide by July 20 a written outline addressing the two bullet points cited in the first paragraph of this update.  For the August Environmental Scan Team meeting, she asked that each individual on the team select within their areas the three most important critical trends that are bound to exert an influence on the university’s ability to support a transformational learning community both near-term and long-term.

Resources on Online Learning Posted

Some useful resources from Craig Cornell about online learning:

Kyong-Jee Kim and Curtis J. Bonk, “The Future of Online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education:  The Survey Says . . .

An excerpt from the introduction:  “Institutions of higher education have increasingly embraced online education, and the number of students enrolled in distance programs is rapidly rising in colleges and universities throughout the United States. In response to these changes in enrollment demands, many states, institutions, and organizations have been working on strategic plans to implement online education. At the same time, misconceptions and myths related to the difficulty of teaching and learning online, technologies available to support online instruction, the support and compensation needed for high-quality instructors, and the needs of online students create challenges for such vision statements and planning documents.

In part, this confusion swells as higher education explores dozens of e-learning technologies (for example, electronic books, simulations, text messaging, podcasting, wikis, blogs), with new ones seeming to emerge each week. Such technologies confront instructors and administrators at a time of continued budget retrenchments and rethinking. Adding to this dilemma, bored students are dropping out of online classes while pleading for richer and more engaging online learning experiences. Given the demand for online learning, the plethora of online technologies to incorporate into teaching, the budgetary problems, and the opportunities for innovation, we argue that online learning environments are facing a ‘perfect e-storm,’ linking pedagogy, technology, and learner needs.

I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman,  “Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009

An excerpt from the Executive Summary:  “”Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009′ represents the seventh annual report on the state of online learning in U.S. higher education. This year’s study, like those for the previous six years, is aimed at answering some of the fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education. Supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and based on responses from more than 2,500 colleges and universities, the study addresses the following key questions:” how many students are learning online; what is the impact of the economy on online education; what contingency plans do institutions have for H1N1; is online learning strategic; has faculty acceptance of online increased; and do faculty receive training for teaching online.