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2016 Seminar

ICF seminar on June 23-24, 2016

ACM office, Chicago, IL

Seminar Program and Schedule


11:00 a.m. - Registration

11:45 a.m. - Welcome and Introductions by Christopher Welna, President, ACM

Jill Tiefenthaler

Jill Tiefenthaler

Noon - Keynote Address - The Dialogue Begins: The Economics of Higher Education

Presenter:  Jill Tiefenthaler, President, Colorado College

Slides for Jill Tiefenthaler presentation

1:00 p.m. - Q & A for President Tiefenthaler presentation

1:15 p.m. - Lunch

Scott Bierman

Scott Bierman

2:15 p.m. - Keynote Address - The Economics of the Liberal Arts Colleges

Presenter: Scott Bierman, President, Beloit College

Slides for Scott Bierman presentation

3:15 p.m. - Q & A for President Bierman presentation

3:45 p.m. - Break

4:00 p.m. - 1st Breakout GroupThe Higher Education Business Model and "Innovative Responses" to Financial Strain

  • Reading: Lucie Lapovsky, The Higher Education Business Model: Innovation and Financial Sustainability (TIAA CREF Institute, November 2013)
  • Goal: Give participants an opportunity to use and interact with the concepts and ideas they just learned through interaction with each other, readying the group to absorb the Orr and Wheaton presentations on Friday morning.
  • Approach: Building on content from keynote presentations, introduce the notion of business models through a discussion of the following questions in small, multi-campus groups.

•  What are the basic business models across the ACM – i.e., endowment driven, tuition driven, hybrid, other? How would you describe each of these models in layman's terms?
•  What are the group's impressions of the Innovative Responses (Pricing and Discounting, Increase Access and Enrollment, Increase Operational Efficiencies, Improve Student Outcomes, Add Online Programs, Think Globally) that Dr. Lapovsky describes? Which seem most compelling? Under what circumstances?
•  What are examples of other "innovative responses" not identified by Dr. Lapovsky?
•  Questions of Scale: Is bigger necessarily better? What are the tradeoffs between large and small scale? What is an optimal size and what does that optimal point depend on?

5:30 p.m. - Dinner in small groups, with ICF-themed conversation topics assigned


8:00 a.m. - Breakfast

8:30 a.m. - Brief discussion of Thursday evening dinner conversation topics

Michael Orr

Michael Orr

9:00 a.m. - Presentation - The Liberal Arts College Financial Model

Presenter: Michael T. Orr, Krebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Lake Forest College

Slides for Michael Orr and David Wheaton presentations

9:45 a.m. - Break

David Wheaton

David Wheaton

10:00 a.m. - Presentation - Financial Challenges for the Future

Presenter: David Wheaton, Vice President for Administration and Finance, Macalester College

11:00 a.m. - Liberal Arts College Scenarios

Presenters: David Wheaton and Michael Orr

1:00 p.m. - Lunch

2:00 p.m. - 2nd Breakout GroupA Case Study re One College's Response

  • Reading: Chapter 4 (pp. 35-49) of Docking, Jeffrey R.,  Crisis in Higher Education: A Plan to Save Small Liberal Arts Colleges in America (Michigan State University Press, 2015) and Congressional testimony offered by President Docking to the Committee on Higher Education and the Workforce on September 18, 2013.
  • Goal: Give participants an opportunity to apply what they have just learned during the Wheaton/Orr presentation and spreadsheet in order to assess the approach and long-term sustainability of a case study that implements one of the proposed "innovative responses" – i.e., increase access and enrollment – from Dr. Lapovsky’s article on The Higher Education Business Model.
  • Approach: In his book Crisis in Higher Education, President Docking (Adrian College) describes an enrollment growth model that has had positive results over the past ten years. The group will use President Docking's example as a prompt for small-group, cross-consortial discussion of the following questions.

Thinking back on what you just learned during the Wheaton/Orr presentations:
•  How sustainable is the approach that Docking describes?
•  What, if any, are the constraints of Adrian’s Enrollment Growth approach?
•  What other outcomes and/or parameters, not explicitly described by Docking, might need to be in place for Adrian's approach articulated to work over the long run?

3:15 p.m. - Break

3:30 p.m. - 3rd Breakout GroupCampus-Based Group Work on College-Specific Questions

  • Goal: College-based teams apply concepts learned to contribute, through shared governance structures on their campuses, to the varied financial/economic circumstances that their institutions face.
  • Approach: Each college team will explore the following questions in the context of college-specific data (via pre-Institute  homework assignment) and then report back to the group.

•  What are the real-life decisions and choice sets about financial and budget priorities that the President and faculty at your institution will have to address? What information would you need to thoughtfully contribute to the conversations about these issues?
•  How do you see what you learned here helping to address the highest priority choices and real-life decisions on your campus?
•  Where in the decision-making process on your campus might this new knowledge about the economics of small, residential colleges be useful and how might you ensure that this information becomes part of that process?

4:30 p.m. - Report to the whole by campus teams

5:15 p.m. - Conclusion