Stats Watch

Admitted Students Want to Connect, Not Be Informed

When the entire city of Boston was on lockdown during the April 19 manhunt for the marathon bombing suspects, institutions such as Boston College and Boston University were posting on Facebook to let admitted students know the status’ of open houses scheduled to occur that weekend.

Campus Compenstation Packages

Does being an executive-level higher ed administrator “pay off” in perks? Presidents and chancellors, at least, may well think it does.

For the first time, administrators responding to CUPA-HR’s annual “Administrators in Higher Education Salary Survey” were asked if they received any of five “executive-only” benefits—housing, car/car allowance, club membership, deferred compensation program, and performance-based incentive opportunities.

Despite Financial Worries, Optimism Wins Out

More than eight in 10 administrators surveyed—mainly controllers/budget officers and CFOs—say they’re very or somewhat concerned about their institutions’ ability to fund future capital investments. Two-thirds expressed concerns about maintaining enrollment. A significant number of leaders have adopted or are considering tuition increases (53 percent), delaying capital projects (45 percent), eliminating programs that reflect less demand (34 percent), or freezing faculty salaries (28 percent).

Student Services Pulse Check

The experience students have on campus is what will keep them coming back, both while enrolled and after. But even if they love their classes, that joy can be overshadowed by frustration dealing with student services offices. The new report “Making the Grade: Optimizing the Higher Education Student Experience” from Oracle checks in on how administrators and students think higher education institutions are doing. The good news: 60 percent of students surveyed say their school meets their customer service expectations.

Observing Reverse Transfers

Reverse transfers­—students changing from a four-year institution to a community college—are nothing new, but until now the phenomenon wasn’t well understood. “Reverse Transfer: A National View of Student Mobility from Four-Year to Two-Year Institutions,” a National Student Clearinghouse Research Center report, dispels some of the myths surrounding reverse transfers so administrators can better serve them.

It’s Certifiable: U.S. Needs Certificate Programs

When President Obama set the goal of increasing the percentage of the population that has some postsecondary education, the assumed focus was on two- and four-year degrees. A new report, “Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees,” from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce makes the argument that certificates should not be overlooked.

Finding a Path to HR Savings

The fact that every campus has a human resources department could lead to inefficiencies within large university systems. Or at least that’s how officials at the University of California saw it. The system is consolidating routine payroll, benefits, leave management, and workforce administration functions from across 10 campuses at a single location near the Riverside campus.

Energy Efficient IT Report

The goal of being more energy efficient is not just fashionable. It’s sensible. There are cost savings to be realized from energy efficiency solutions. The fourth annual CDW-G Energy Efficient IT Report shows that savings are being realized by higher ed institutions that have implemented solutions, with 71 percent of surveyed schools reporting having reduced their data center energy costs by 1 percent or more. The report is based on a survey of 760 IT professionals from several sectors, including higher ed. 

Liberal Studies?

College campuses have long been accused of being bastions of liberal thought. But the most recent Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) survey of the nation’s entering students at four-year colleges and universities shows that current freshmen, at least, are arriving on campus with their own more liberal beliefs than previous classes. “The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2011” shares findings that students are more accepting of everything from same-sex marriages to affirmative action.

Public Colleges: Degree Completion Leaders

Public institutions may have lower graduation rates, but in moving students toward graduation, it appears they’re more successful than private institutions, according to a report assessing graduation rates from the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. It introduces a new method for predicting an institution’s graduation rate, based on social, economic, and psychological characteristics of incoming students.

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