Crisis in Higher Education
A Plan to Save Small Liberal Arts Colleges in America
Transformations in Higher Education
Published by: Michigan State University Press
Imprint: Michigan State University Press
Sales Date: 2015-02-01
In 2005 Adrian College was home to 840 enrolled students and had a tuition income of $8.54 million. By fall of 2011, enrollment had soared to 1,688, and tuition income had increased to $20.45 million. For the first time in years, the small liberal arts college was financially viable. Adrian College experienced this remarkable growth during the worst American economy in seventy years and in a state ravaged by the decline of the big three auto companies. How, exactly, did this turnaround happen? Crisis in Higher Education: A Plan to Save Small Liberal Arts Colleges in America was written to facilitate replication and generalization of Adrian College’s tremendous enrollment growth and retention success since 2005. This book directly addresses the economic competitiveness of small four-year institutions of higher education and presents an evidence-based solution to the enrollment and economic crises faced by many small liberal arts colleges throughout the country.
Foreword by James E. Bultman
Chapter 1. Why Higher Education Needs This Book
Chapter 2. A Typical Small Private Baccalaureate Institution
Chapter 3. Growing Enrollment
Chapter 4. Getting Started
Chapter 5. Implementing the Admissions Growth Plan
Chapter 6. Using Admissions Growth Income to Support Your Institution’s Mission
Chapter 7. Admissions Growth Generates Its Own Momentum
Chapter 8. Why Haven’t Other Colleges Tried This Before?
Chapter 9. Who Will Implement Admissions Growth Successfully?
Afterword by Mike Rogers
Appendix 1. Keeping College within Reach: Improving Access and Affordability through Innovative Partnerships
Appendix 2. Memorandum: Economic Scope Analysis for Adrian College
“The miracle that Docking and his colleagues have worked is not about fairy dust but an all-too-rare blend of crafting strategic priorities based on a deep understanding of contemporary college student interests, persuading the entire campus community to buy into the vision, and staying the course with uncommon courage and wisdom.”
—George D. Kuh, Chancellor’s Professor of Higher Education Emeritus, Indiana University and Director, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, University of Illinois
President Jeffrey Docking has walked the talk in his book Crisis in Higher Education: A Plan to Save Small Liberal Arts Colleges in America. Adrian College was on its knees in 2005 when Docking became president. In five years, through his bold Admissions Growth plan—an increase in sports teams and athletic facilities, a cost/benefit analysis of every academic program and part-time faculty member, a highly targeted recruiting strategy that held coaches and admission staff accountable for a quota—Adrian doubled its enrollment; dramatically increased retention, graduation rates, and cash flow; improved faculty compensation; and developed a winning Division III sports program. Docking’s book is a must-read for every struggling liberal arts college president who must face the daunting challenges of these post-Great Recession years.
—David Warren, President of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
The miracle that Docking and his colleagues have worked is not about fairy dust but an all-too-rare blend of crafting strategic priorities based on a deep understanding of contemporary college student interests, persuading the entire campus community to buy into the vision, and staying the course with uncommon courage and wisdom.
—George D. Kuh, Chancellor’s Professor of Higher Education Emeritus, Indiana University, and Director of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes
Assessment, University of Illinois Crisis in Higher Education should be required reading for anyone concerned about the changing landscape of higher education. A recognized leader, Docking identifies the current threats to small liberal arts colleges with a penetrating analysis of common financial and administrative pitfalls. In the process, Docking effectively applies his vast experience and keen insight to fashion a creative plan for admissions growth, student success, and faculty retention. While other titles in the genre identify the crisis facing small colleges in America, no other book offers a more practical step-by-step plan to preserve these treasured institutions and vouchsafe their future.
—Ken Starr, President and Chancellor of Baylor University