David C. Hodge
September 6, 2012
Creating the vision of a future Miami offers the opportunity to highlight those qualities that we believe most strongly define our core character.
While the vision provides the overall frame for our future, clear and ambitious goals provide the building blocks that create the frame. Together these goals should form a whole that is much greater than the sum of the parts. The goals, like the vision, should be aspirational, leading us to a future that elevates our success. The goals must be focused, complementary, and, to the greatest extent possible, measureable. They are the blueprint of those elements that are most vital to our success in realizing our vision, and we need to be able to assess our progress at the smallest unit level and over the shortest relevant timeframe.
Even the best goals, though, require high performance execution to be achieved. To ensure the best possible success, each goal should have action plans with timelines and measurable outcomes at each stage. There must be a clear sense of responsibility and accountability for achieving those outcomes. We must challenge our operational structures, adopt productive strategies that yield continuous improvement, and carefully scrutinize best practices across higher education and in the private and non-profit worlds. We must be relentless in our pursuit of the strategic goals we establish.
Before we jump into the details of the process for creating the Miami 2020 Plan, I would like to invite Provost Gempesaw to share some thoughts on how the context for higher education might be different by 2020. We will be inviting others to campus to share their thoughts on the future context as well.
No doubt you have heard from various pundits and experts the many doom-and-gloom predictions about the future of higher education. Although these challenges may seem daunting, we can overcome them and continue to thrive as one of the country’s premier universities if we take the time to understand and anticipate those challenges and face them with a dynamic, entrepreneurial and strategic mindset.
My goal today is to provide a greater understanding of the critical factors that will likely shape higher education and our own strategic goals and priorities.
Increasing Budget Constraints
For the past several decades, higher education has experienced a significant decline in state and federal support. Most universities have attempted to address this decline by augmenting their enrollments and/or tuition. Unfortunately, this solution cannot be sustained over the long run without adversely affecting quality, brand reputation, and student learning.
How are institutions responding to this continuing decline in federal and state funding? The answer is that a growing proportion of budgetary support must come from private sources, such as tuition, non-credit revenue, endowments, external contracts and grants, foundations, and external partnerships.
Initiating this change can be facilitated by sharing ownership through shared faculty governance and by establishing incentives and benchmarks to achieve higher levels of efficiency and to generate new sources of revenue. It will also require the creation of new programs and initiatives that are responsive to these budgetary challenges and an evaluation of how various academic and administrative units are organized.
Growing Global Competition
The recent increase in international student enrollment points to the fact that the market for higher education has expanded globally. Students from all over the world now travel to other countries (not just to the U.S.) to study. Demand for faculty has also expanded globally with other countries (such as Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Australia, and the Middle East) aggressively hiring doctoral faculty from the U.S. These countries are also offering partnership agreements with U.S.-based universities to establish branch campuses and many U.S. universities have responded by establishing new campuses in foreign locations. Other new global opportunities include the creation of international internship and co-operative learning opportunities and the development of dual degree programs allowing students from various countries to earn degrees from multiple universities.
In short, the globalization of higher education now extends well beyond sending students to study abroad or recruiting international students. In addition to enhancing campus diversity and the learning of all students, increasing international student enrollment can be an opportunity to promote the Miami brand to global audiences. Strong international partnerships and alliances are vital in an increasingly global and competitive higher education market.
The last census revealed that the population of non-white children has grown significantly. In fact, over half of all births in the U.S. last year were from minority groups. Experts predict that this trend will continue, with the United States steadily transforming into a predominantly diverse young population and a majority white and older generation.