Higher Education as a Business

April 10, 2014
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Eric Denna, CIO the University of Utah and Utah System of degree, is the 2014 Viewpoints department editor for EDUCAUSE Review.

In accordance with a recent find the expression "altering business model" on Chronicle of advanced schooling web site, the word had been used significantly more than 2, 000 times in the past 3 years. A fast reading of also are just some of the recommendations reveals the term is used rather loosely—which seems ironic for a community that prides it self on precision in language. This lack of precision implies that though there is considerable desire for the word, there's little contract on what it indicates.

Furthermore, the possible lack of precision into the use of the term "business model" is resulting in gross generalizations, careless thinking, and impractical expectations in regards to the nature and future of the enterprize model of degree. This permits others—others outside greater education—to drive the discussion, with little to no rigor and even less understanding of the annals and nature of higher education, aside from its future. The collective decreased understanding in regards to the nature of a company model in higher education leads to academics becoming omitted from vital plan discussions during the organization, regional, condition, and federal levels—where most are equally unclear concerning the nature of business designs generally and within advanced schooling especially.

To produce matters worse, responses into the term "business design" within higher education cover anything from "higher training is certainly not a ^#percent$@* business" to "what worldwide is a small business design?" Because of this, those of us in higher education come off as naïve at the best and as head-in-the-sand intransigents at the worst. To numerous, we be seemingly saying: "Let the remaining areas for the economy—whether medicine, building, manufacturing, publishing, governments (all amounts), government agencies, professional solutions, activity, libraries, whatever—enjoy being disrupted. Higher education is different."

Source: er.educause.edu
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