The Higher Education Strategy Forum hosted five virtual working sessions for presidential chiefs of staff and other strategic deputies representing 45 institutions across the United States and Canada. These working sessions gave us unique insight into what’s on the minds of presidents, cabinets, and boards as the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded.
To learn more about how higher education leaders are similarly seizing new strategic opportunities to thrive in a post-pandemic world, I sat down with EAB’s Senior Vice President of Research, Melanie Ho.
At a time when large scale, and potentially disruptive, changes are needed for higher education’s COVID-19 response and strategy, it’s especially critical that leaders are able to avoid these psychological pitfalls to make the right decisions. Here’s how you can identify and redirect three common crisis thinking patterns that can obstruct effective recovery and response.
Senior Vice President, Research
- Marketing and Recruitment
- People Management
- Strategy and Planning
The reality is starting to sink in that some form of social distancing could be needed into the fall term. Instruction-as-we-know-it might be disrupted for longer than anyone initially planned.
Faculty and staff must personally cope with COVID-19 while also serving as first responders to students in distress. Read our insight to learn how to help faculty and staff maintain their own mental health and wellness during the coronavirus crisis.
Facing an economic downturn and fierce competition for undergraduate enrollments, colleges and universities are looking for a silver lining: countercyclical enrollments. This tendency for enrollments to increase as the economy declines is well documented. But leadership at four-year institutions shouldn’t get their hopes up. Not every institution benefits equally from these additional students. The Great Recession had a far smaller impact on baccalaureate and graduate enrollments than it did on community colleges and vocational programs.
With dire predictions for fall freshmen enrollments making headlines, colleges and universities are bracing for the financial shock to come. While many are hopeful that even a partial reopening of campuses in the fall will avert worst-case revenue scenarios, they still face a fiercely competitive domestic enrollment market.
College and university leaders have made many tough decisions across the past few weeks—shifting classes online, recalling students from study abroad, and canceling major events like commencement. As the dust settles and students adjust to the new norm of remote instruction, they are now raising another contentious question—will I get my money back?
EAB is now launching Emergency Response Tabletop Exercises specifically designed for colleges and universities. Created for cabinet leadership, these exercises help leaders anticipate potential crises, accelerate decision-making, and identify critical vulnerabilities in their existing policies. They also provide the space and materials for charting a course of action if and when a crisis occurs.