Greening of Higher Education

Spring is here! We have all sprung forward, and for so many working in the higher education sector there is an increasing sense of new opportunities despite the unending shortcomings that have plagued so many colleges and universities this past year—and students, families, alumni, and campus communities. Campuses are definitely showing more of a natural green landscape environment, but they are also juggling multiple situations to hopefully create a “greener” revenue situation within their campus community.

Many years ago, The New Vaudeville Band came out with their song Green Street Green. The opening lyrics are a glimpse of the mindset that has permeated so much of higher education this past year:

If you’ve got a pack of trouble
Weighing on your worried mind
If you tend to see things double
And you can’t unwind
Take a trip to Green Street Green

And as English novelist Mary Webb noted, “Green is the fresh emblem of well-founded hopes. In blue the spirit can wander, but in green it can rest.”

This past year has definitely been a catalyst for wanting to experience “greener” opportunities and see new seeds of ideas being planted for consideration and some well-founded hopes. One of our key takeaways this past year is how so many colleges and universities are being more “edupreneurial” and thinking about how best to tone their strengths, while objectively assessing programs and situations that may really be hampering potential growth—and sustainability. In addition, there may be some cases where it is best to share costs with others and create alliances that will lead to growth and help generate more revenues.

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A new reality has planted seeds in the minds of so many members of college and university communities. The uncertain question is if these ideas will be a catalyst for growth and sustainability, or simply an unsustainable model for hopeful growth that will bring about a continued drought of success—and decrease a productive yield.  No matter what, persistence and fortitude should prevail. We strongly encourage you to continue to discuss and discover new seeds of ideas along with innovative opportunities, and to then make the necessary commitment to implementing and doing what you believe will yield the best harvest for all in the campus community.


Slow-Motion Change

While at-risk higher education institutions that are in financial crisis may survive, not everything about them will. (Source: Chronicle)

Leading Indicator

FAFSA submissions being down 9% “bodes ill for turning around a college-going gap that started in the wake of the pandemic.” (Source: Education Week)

5 Major Shifts

Jeff Selingo lists higher ed changes at America’s one-year mark of the pandemic that are likely to stick in the long run. (Source: LinkedIn)