ENOUGH CUTTING!!!!! Higher ed is not a slasher flick though most decisions that are being made about budgets is just as dumb and predictable as many such movies.
We have a budget issue? Okay. CUT! Not the scene but programs and sections and people that actually help students succeed.
C’mon folks. Calculators actually have an addition sign. Yes. That + things is to add revenue.
“But we have no money to add. Where are we to find money to put into the budget? Woe is me.”
How about trying to actually keep students. Maybe you heard the word retention before. Retention is not just about retaining water but about retaining students. You may remember them. They are the ones you count up as they come in but then really don’t care about enough once tuition comes in the Fall.
“Oh no. That’s not fair. We care about each and every one of our students. They are very important to us. Well, maybe not as important as the football coach, or the basketball coach, mainly the men’s coach, or the trustees, or my own salary and raises…..but still important.
And don’t give me that all you care about is keeping the faculty happy. And that faculty have it easy and are paid too much. Most of our faculty are adjuncts and we really don’t give a rat’s ass about them.
And don’t worry about us overpaying them? Won’t ever happen. After all, they don’t do research, except for finding places they can afford to live in on what we pay them.
And they are dedicated. They are teaching four and five sections mainly ones that are required and full-time faculty won’t teach them. Takes away from their research and we do love research. That’s what we reward after all. Research. And well, adjuncts just teach. Most do it well too. That allows our tenured faculty time to do research which is what they prefer to teaching. So we don't want to put reluctant researchers in classrooms so we use adjuncts who will work at wages less than what they could make at Wal-Mart.
So don’t try to tell me that we don’t care about students."
Okay, so then why do you cut so many sections of courses needed to graduate on time and offer some of them only once a year but never make sure advisers are aware of that fact? And why do you cut services that students need? And cut people to provide services? And cut and cut and cut…..? Haven't you heard that the school can add dollars simply by doing what is necessary to retain more students?
BOTTOM LINE – RETAINING MORE STUDENTS PUTS MORE MONEY IN THE BUDGET!!!
What is it about that idea that some can't just get it?
I mean what is it?
Can someone explain why as a nation we lose almost half of all students who start at a four-year college to attrition? And 70% of all students who start at a community college?
Explain it to me.
Is it fun to see students and families lose their investments in the future?
Is it more fun to cut and hurt than to retain and help?
Is there some perverse glee at losing so many futures and $4-8 Billion a year?
Tell me what it is that we can't get focused on keeping students in college?
Do we believe that having students drop out shows a school is academically rigorous and maintains high standards?
Is it that we base our revenues on Fall entering student numbers so we focus on entering only?
Whatever it is; someone just tell me.
Why can’t higher ed institutions keep more students through graduation; keep more money and better the lives of the students they sold on the school and, YES and keep more money in the budget so schools do not have to cut, cut, cut?
My g-d, with all the cutting and budget bleeding I’d think that colleges and universities are run by surgeons not academics!!!
If a college, university, career college or community college increased its retention it will accrue additional revenue that could oddest most of the budget “losses”. This is an old topic here. And I am amazed at how dumb some smart people can be.
Here it is if each student brings in $10,000 for example. If the school loses ten students it loses $100,000 from attrition. The school has to the recruit new students to fill the empty seats. For ten students, that will cost the school about another $65,000. So the loss in revenue to the school from attrition of ten students is $165,000.
Schools budget to lose students so the $165,000 loss is in the planned losses. If the school retains ten students more than it had in the budget that adds $165,000 to the budget.
Retention has the ability to add dollars to budgets and these dollars can still be added to the coming semester/term.
My publisher, The Administrator’s Bookshelf wants to both help make the point clearer and celebrate the success of one of my books. Customer Service Factors and the Cost of Attrition has sold out of all its hardcopies. There are no more left at this time. So to celebrate the selling out (in a good way this time) The Administrator’s Bookshelf has decided to provide free digital copies of Customer Service Factors and the Cost of Attrition to any reader of the blog, and any colleagues you wish to tell about the offer. Just click here and ask
CSFactors and the Cost of Attrition will also explain the retention to revenue concept more and even provide formulas you can use to see how much percentage increases in retention will add dollars to the budget. I also recommend a copy of another article that will help make anyone understand the value of retention Retain Students: Retain Budgets in University Business magazine.