Cautionary Tales: Strategy Lessons from Struggling Colleges

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-03-31
  • Publisher: Stylus Pub Llc

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Scarcely a week goes by without a headline about the unsustainability of higher education as we know it, under threat from new models, for-profits, or online education. Most threatened are small liberal arts colleges with commentators predicting the demise of colleges with fewer than 1,000, or even 1,500 students. Are these trends inevitable, or can they be overcome? Through a unique case study approach to examining and analyzing colleges that have struggled, Alice Brown reveals the steps that can lead to a sustainable operation and, when closure is inevitable, the steps to do so with orderliness and dignity. Rather than expounding on trends, or management theory and prescriptions, Alice Brown focuses on narrative examples of survival and closure, recounted by real people in actual colleges, and reports the lessons they learned. Here are examples of strategies involving mergers, partnerships, or going it alone, and their outcomes, that illustrate principles that can serve as guides for fragile colleges struggling to address their social and economic challenges. Added to Alice Brown's six carefully researched and extended case studies, her own insights and analyses of decisions made and actions taken, this book offers guidance by seasoned scholars and administrators on issues as varied as leadership, the roles of the president, governing boards, faculty and staff, in articulating and implementing mission and strategies for survival, and on the changing landscape of higher education. The references to the literature on college survival strategies constitute an education in themselves. While this book is of immediate practical value for trustees and leaders of small colleges as they look toward and plan for the future, for anyone aspiring to an administrative positions in higher education the examples constitute a microcosm of the interplay between the external constituencies, governance structures and internal forces that sustain or undermine institutional health, and which are hard to observe clearly in larger, more decentralized environments.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Early Historyp. 3
Twentieth Centuryp. 7
Twenty-First Centuryp. 13
Turning Aroundp. 15
Trusteesp. 17
How Governing Boards Failp. 21
Presidentsp. 33
Observations of a Past Presidentp. 37
Faculty and Staffp. 43
The Role of Faculty and Staff in Reviving Fragile Institutionsp. 49
Financial Resourcesp. 59
Going It Alonep. 67
Sue Bennett Collegep. 69
Mary Holmes Collegep. 79
Lindenwood Universityp. 93
Merging with Another College or Universityp. 107
RX for Nonprofit Collegesp. 111
Barat College/Depaul Universityp. 123
Western College/Miami Universityp. 145
Partnering with a For-Profitp. 167
College of Santa Fep. 173
The For-Profit Challengep. 187
Lessons Learnedp. 195
Is There a Future for Small Colleges?p. 199
Conclusionsp. 205
Afterwordp. 215
Endnotep. 217
Referencesp. 221
About The Contributorsp. 235
Indexp. 241
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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