Voters often complain that the U.S. Congress needs to change, while continually voting their own representatives back into office. A new survey found something similar in higher education: Academic leaders agree that college and universities are responsible for why institutions are delivering less value than 10 years ago, but that doesn’t include their own school.
In the report, from the research firm Eduventures and set to be published Sept. 29, about half of the administrators said their own institutions provided either more or somewhat higher value than a decade before, while another quarter said the value was roughly the same. When asked to rate the value of higher education as a whole, nearly 75% said it had decreased or remained the same.
“What I’m sensing is a bit of a vacuum,” James Wiley, principal analyst for Eduventures and author of the report, said in an article for Inside Higher Ed. “Leaders are pulled in all directions, and if there’s no real ownership or space to do anything, then what fills that void?”
One conclusion from the report is that colleges and universities may be suffering from “initiative fatigue.”
“Higher education is drowning in initiatives right now,” said Gunnar Counselman, CEO of the ed-tech firm Fedelis. “What’s happened in the last 10-12 years is that higher ed has recognized that what got them here is not going to get them there. They’ve recognized that they’re going to have to change and, as a result of that, they’ve put a dozen initiatives in the water.”