It’s Time for Colleges to Cut Costs

Higher education thought leader Jeffrey J. Selingo has a new thought:

It’s time for colleges to cut costs.

Hasn’t this been obvious for the last 10 or 20 years? (See my 2005 article, “Lean in Higher Education“).

In his 26 May 2017 article in The Washington Post, “Forget the marketing gimmicks: It’s time for colleges to cut costs,” Selingo offers several ideas ranging from the obvious to the inane, none of which result in significant savings.

The only words written in Selingo’s article that are worth reading appear at the very end:

“Colleges can only discount their prices so much until they are forced to cut actual costs given reduced revenue. If recent news reports are any indication, the pricing strategies that colleges have utilized for several decades to attract students seem to be coming to an end. So college officials will be forced to confront their expenses whether they want to or not.”

Hopefully, college and university leaders will adopt Lean management, a non-zero-sum method to reduce costs and improve their offerings:

It is much better than the alternative that is normally used, shown in the image below:

Given the rapidly deteriorating situation, university leaders would be wise to take an immediate interest in Lean management and kaizen. Maybe that will be Jeffrey J. Selingo’s new thought in 2027 or 2037.

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