Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Up, Up and Away

December 16, 2008 - So why does Eric D. Fingerhut, Chancellor of Ohio's Board of Regents, think that the higher education system should take a look at the Wright Brothers model of success? Not because they revolutionized the world. Not because they showed how relatives could run a business successfully. Not because they gave an interesting history lesson for grade-schoolers around the country.

According to an article today in the Chronicle of Higher Education ( subscriber log in), Fingerhut “pointed out that they created their flying machine without government grants, a subsidized research laboratory, or even college degrees.”

Fingerhut was speaking at The Higher Education Government Relations Conference, "Making the Case", where some 170 lobbyists for public colleges and universities met here last week to prepare for upcoming state legislative sessions and to discuss how to protect their institutions from severe budget cuts in a nationwide economic crisis.

His take home: DO MORE WITH LESS.

According to Fingerhut in the Chronicle piece, institutions need to find ways to show they can survive, despite government cuts. Perhaps that is why the ConnectEDU National Network™ is gaining so much ground in Ohio. Influenced by leaders in the state, both high schools and colleges are taking matters into their own hands and rethinking how they operate in order to streamline inefficiencies and ultimately save money.

In This Sunday’s Boston Globe, higher education reporter Peter Schworm highlights the efforts of ConnectEDU in helping colleges save money by changing how colleges meet students. With our college partners we share a common goal, which according to Schworm “is a more affordable, efficient system.” More and more, colleges and universities are taking control of their own situation, despite mid-year budget cuts or the threat of them, and finding ways to do more with less.

Using technology in recruitment is just one way to making a difference in the bottom line. As colleges begin to think outside the box and challenge the “ways of yesterday”, our students will be able to soar to new heights; after all, it worked for the Wright Brothers.

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