Phi Beta Cons

Hard Times Demand Hard Solutions

An analysis by the Philadelphia Inquirer reveals that seven of twenty surveyed small colleges in the Philadelphia area sustained operating losses in 2015, more than double from five years ago. But in contrast to the laughably ineffective solutions proposed by Georgetown University, as reported by my colleague Jane Shaw in an earlier post, at least some of these Philadelphia-area colleges are taking aggressive steps to reverse the losses and position themselves more effectively in the market.

Although the future continues to look bleak for many, others are doing what they need to do — such as adding and dropping entire programs of study, operating without any tenured faculty, merging with another institution, etc. All of this in an effort to bring down costs and to meet changing market demand.

Perhaps not coincidentally, two of these institutions are being led by former business executives, one a CEO, who understand that colleges are a business, and they need to react to changing conditions as any business would.

Vic Brown had a thirty-year career in the chemical industry with FMC Corporation, where he held senior positions and worked internationally in sales, marketing, manufacturing, information technology and procurement.

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