by Ashley Barker
MUSC hosted a Southern Association of College and University Business Officers (SACUBO) higher education leadership drive–in workshop Dec. 10 and 11 at the Charleston Marriott.
Approximately 100 representatives from universities as far away as Texas registered for the event, which featured sessions about tax issues, credit ratings, financial reporting and MUSC's responsibility center management (RCM) model.
Larry Goldstein, president of Campus Strategies, LLC, a management consulting firm that provides services to institutions, spoke about the future of higher education. Goldstein said he rejects the doom and gloom predictions of brick and mortar college campuses disappearing because of online options and financial problems. "I get really frustrated when I hear people question the value of an education," he said. "Even a little bit of college gives you some better job security."
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for workers with a bachelor's degree was 4.3 percent in July 2011, but at the same time it was 9.3 percent for high school graduates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Goldstein also quoted statistics from Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce that said folks with a bachelor's degree can expect to make $2.268 million during their lifetime, while high school graduates will only see an average of $1.304 million during the same period.
He emphasized that the landscape of higher education has changed recently — state appropriations have been slashed, student demographics have shifted, and there has been an increase in the demand for accountability. In order to combat these changes, he said institutions must learn to better understand costs and revenues and then redistribute existing resources.
He explained Robert C. Dickeson's prioritization model, which is presented in "Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services," and said it has been successfully employed at "dozens, if not hundreds of institutions." The model helps leaders of institutions make decisions that support the reallocation of resources away from underperforming activities to successful activities.
Patrick Wamsley, MUSC's chief financial officer, hosted and helped organize the event.
"SACUBO drive-in workshops are a great way to bring high quality professional development to the campus. We were extremely fortunate to have the caliber of speakers we did," Wamsley said. "Mr. Goldstein's presentation, as well as the others that followed, provided a broad perspective of the national higher-education landscape. We were also enthused by the large turnout of higher-education professionals from all over the region."
For information, visit www.sacubo.org.