As the social and economic significance of higher education increases throughout the world, colleges and universities find themselves facing many financial and economic challenges. Growing student demand and government expectations have made it imperative that institutional leaders become prudent fiscal managers and aggressive revenue generators. No longer can campus administrators simply rely on many of the traditional funding sources that dominated their development during previous decades. Currently, private institutions continually strive to maximize public resources through tuition-based government programs, and public institutions constantly maneuver to free themselves from public authority in order to exploit private revenues. Maximizing and forecasting revenue has become an important item on the agenda for every strategic-planning and institutional research team.
Each year, the Cornell Higher Education Research institute conducts a forum that brings researchers and institutional leaders together to address how higher education institutions are affected by these evolving economic conditions. In May 2001, many of these experts gathered to discuss how these financial and economic challenges were influencing institutional revenue production. Many of the papers initially presented at this conference have been refined into less technical versions and included as chapters in this text. In this volume, the contributors primarily address the issue of revenue generation and how institutions are struggling to find an appropriate balance between meeting public expectations and maximizing private market forces. Although many of these issues are not new, the contributors provide important insights into the current economic challenges and financial motivations that permeate nearly every aspect of college and university leadership today.
Nancy Cantor and Paul Courant open the volume by providing a practical overview into the multifaceted fiscal challenges facing public universities today. The authors also offer useful insights into the possible educational consequences of overzealous revenue-based institutional management.
The next three chapters address the effects of government policy and institutional governance on college and university revenue patterns, particularly as they relate to taxpayer support and student pricing. F. King Alexander compares state support by institutional sector and highlights drastic variations in taxpayer assistance by state and institutional sector. Alexander also analyzes the role of the federal government in influencing state higher education funding and policy.