Top Problems Facing Colleges lists the sixteen most daunting challenges facing the majority of private colleges in America. Many pundits have predicted that hundreds of the approximately two thousand private colleges in existence will fail and close within the next decade or so. What is happening? Over the past fifty years since the 1960s, the majority of college students have gravitated away from private colleges and toward community colleges and public universities, which is the result of massive public higher education expansion during the baby boom college years of the 1970s. The comparative high cost of private colleges, combined with growing doubts about the relative value of private college degrees, has resulted in major enrollment declines that are placing many private colleges in financial jeopardy. At the same time, the Internet is making these problems more apparent to prospective students and their families, thereby intensifying the seriousness of the crisis for many smaller, unendowed colleges. Top Problems offers strategies for colleges being subjected to these declines that can help avoid demise and construct a template for survival and even future success. The book is written for senior officers and trustees of private enrollment-revenue-dependent colleges. The sixteen problems cited include the need for challenged colleges to completely rethink the way in which they select presidents and trustees, along with the need for better cost management that will likely require goring many of the most cherished academic sacred cows.
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About the Author
Norman R. Smith has logged 30 years, of his 45 years in higher education, as a college and university president. Most recently, he has served as interim president at several institutions including Suffolk University Boston and Elmira College in New York. His first presidency was at Wagner College in New York where, during his 14 year tenure, the College evolved from bottom tier ranking and near bankruptcy, to full enrollment, fiscal stability, record fund raising, and top tier ranking. Smith went on to be President of Richmond The American International University in London, England and then became Founding Chancellor of what was to have been the largest American international university in the world, on the Egyptian Mediterranean coast west of Alexandria until that project ended following the "Arab Spring" revolution. Earlier in his career, he was Assistant Dean of two Harvard University graduate schools: Education and then the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He was a Fellow of the Harvard Philosophy of Education Research Center. He earned his doctorate from Harvard University and a BS & MBA from Drexel University where he launched his college career as Assistant Dean of Students, moving on to Philadelphia University as Vice President and Dean of Students. His previous books include MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN DECIDING ON YOUR COLLEGE, WHAT COLLEGE TRUSTEES NEED TO KNOW, and TOP TIER, The Wagner College Turnaround Years. Additional background, and contact, information can be found at www.normansmith.org.