With so much at stake, education leaders want to know what to expect from the Federal Government over the next two years. To help leaders prepare for the Biden administration, EAB assessed the likeliness and impact of its potential higher education policy proposals below. Following this analysis, we also offered some advice for leaders to bear in mind across the coming weeks.

While interest in M&A has spiked, many leaders remain uncertain about how it might fit into their institutional strategy. Part of this stems from stakeholder misconceptions of M&A in higher ed: Board members, for example, may have experience with M&A in other industries but fail to recognize regulatory and cultural factors that make it difficult to apply corporate best practices in a higher education context. Meanwhile, other institutional stakeholders may misinterpret media narratives around M&As in higher ed, leading to overstated expectations around the ease, likelihood, or impact of a potential transaction

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On December 21, 2020, Congress finalized a new stimulus package and federal budget in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to provide another round of relief to the US economy. While this latest relief package is far smaller and later than many of us would have hoped for, higher education leaders can expect some additional federal assistance to start 2021.

We reviewed over 40 DEI plans across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K. to better understand how campuses are demonstrating real work and commitment to DEI. EAB identified four key components of an actionable and compelling DEI plan.

Statements that isolate university free speech values may disharmonize students who question if the institution values diversity and inclusion to the same extent as free speech. To promote a holistic view of their institution’s values, institution leaders must articulate, reinforce, and allow students to reflect on the university’s values. These three steps will help university leaders turn abstract values into values students engage with and ponder during their time on campus.

To offer insight into these challenges and advice for leading through them, on October 15, the Higher Education Strategy Forum hosted a working session for presidential chiefs of staff and other strategic deputies, featuring an interview and Q&A with Candace Dodson-Reed, Chief of Staff to the President and Executive Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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