Every time veteran college administrators and professors get together to show that they know how to save higher education, they show that they don’t. “Another solution is to sponsor new academic programs,” Brian C. Mitchell writes on the academe blog maintained by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). “These programs are often a good idea since many respond directly to local and regional workforce needs. But they incur substantial start-up costs, require a multi-year commitment, and sometimes draw upon already scarce resources.”
“Fundraising for new programs can help a little. But most colleges and universities will increase the draw from their endowment – if they have one – or turn to temporarily restricted funds to execute and assess their new programs. This can be a solution, but it depends on the quality of the market analysis, the strength of external partnerships, and the commitment from the faculty and staff.”
“Colleges often sponsor these new programming efforts by expanding the areas of their outreach. Specifically, they build new or expanded continuing education, graduate, and professional programs.”
“The danger is, of course, that these programs become cash cows of poor quality with a limited shelf life. Unless implemented thoughtfully, they may detract from the mission of the institution and diminish its reputation and standing.”
Ya think? Look for the higher ed establishment to go all in on this suggestion and provide even more “studies” with adjectives to be filled in later that will entrance the crowd at the Modern Language Association (MLA), befuddle everyone else and provide yet more feeder lines to fill the openings at Starbuck’s.