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75% of College Presidents at Public Universities Cite Online Learning as #1 Solution to Budget Crisis


What’s keeping college presidents awake at night?

The same thing that’s bothering most Americans apparently—money, or the lack thereof.

Inside Higher Education, an online news agency, surveyed 956 head college honchos ranging from CEOs to Presidents in an effort to take the pulse of a higher education system under assault on issues of affordability and accountability. Online learning came up as the best method to cut university cost.

The IHE survey, termed Presidential Perspectives 2011, uncovered that not all university leaders see the same threats looming on the national horizon.

Public universities cite government funding shortfalls as their number one concern. And most cite raising tuition and fees as a response to decreasing state and federal support.

Public universities cited cutting full-time faculty and replacing them with more part-time and non-tenured positions as a leading cost-cutting strategy in the coming year.

Public, Private, and For-Profit University Budget Issues

Three in ten private college leaders believe their tuition rates are just too high and worry about their place in an increasingly competitive marketplace where for-profits run expensive and sophisticated marketing machines. However, less than 10% of private colleges favored reducing full-time faculty and tenured positions as a cost-cutting measure.

Meanwhile, CEOs in the for-profit sector are nail-biting over federal legislative changes that will require them to show higher graduation rates and lower student debt if they hope to keep receiving the federal aid dollars that keep them afloat. 

75% of public universities cited online learning as the #1 way they believe they can increase revenue and cut university cost. Yet, oddly enough, only a little more than 30% of those surveyed cited efforts to launch or expand online learning.

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