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NACAS Business Partner Aims to Bring Auxiliary Departments out of the Software Dark Age

By Jerry Clemmer

Higher Education Status Quo

It’s no surprise that the financial picture of higher education is experiencing political, financial, and cultural pressure like never before. University public colleges have increased tuition 80 percent annually since 2000, and student loans have followed: the graduation class of 2015 borrowed an average of $30,000 while 23 percent of borrowers default within three years. The United States total student loan debt now totals $1.4 trillion and 1 in 10 public and private colleges is suffering “acute financial distress” because of falling revenues and weak operating performance.

Harvard Business School Professor, Clayton Christensen predicted, “In 15 years from now half of U.S. universities may be in bankruptcy.”  Universities are experiencing the need to perform well financially more than ever before to stay in business. While the current political climate demands more affordable higher education, university auxiliary professionals are hearing the call for a higher return back to their respective schools to fill the gaps of their budgetary shortfalls. Therefore, auxiliary leaders are searching to find better ways to manage their operations to provide these larger returns. Unfortunately, some leaders are challenged with not being able to make strategic decisions fast enough to take advantage of opportunities that may enhance revenue, or to swiftly stop the bleeding of expenses they may not realize is affecting their operation until it’s too late.

Reprinted with the permission of NACAS and College Services – Winter 2016

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