Pressures and priorities for top-level campus officials
In a time of greater political pressure to enhance college access, one campus leader from a small institution expressed “grave concerns about the willingness of society to continue, let alone increase, support of postsecondary education.” One of 163 respondents to UB’s survey of presidents, chancellors and provosts, the leader’s comment reflects issues keeping top campus leadership up at night—worries over enrollment declines and strategy creation related to increasing enrollment.
“Enrollment growth is the most important issue facing us; loss of international enrollments is a major threat,” echoed another respondent, from an institution of more than 15,000 students.
In fact, for the first time in the five years UB has done its look-ahead survey, increasing enrollment edged student success initiatives and controlling costs in a list of top priorities for the year to come.
The latter still emerged in the list of top three priorities for 2019.
When asked about how the demands of their role will evolve in 2019, more than half of institutional leaders expect a greater emphasis on building collaboration around shared goals, on leveraging data to identify and solve problems, and on budgets.
Besides enrollment declines, the areas with the greatest potential for causing harm to respondents’ institutions in 2019 are state budget cuts and the national financial outlook.
When asked about their student services focus for 2019, more than half of campus leaders say such services will be more of a priority than last year. Specific areas getting the most attention are academic help/retention, admissions-related services, career services and services for first-generation students.
Source: UB reader survey; all numbers have been rounded
Read more Outlook on 2019 features.