What is on Your List of Things That Keep Education Leaders Awake at Night?

May 14, 2019 – By Tom Davisson, Partner Edu Alliance Group – They say misery loves company. If that’s true, today’s higher education Presidents, and leadership teams, should have lots of friends.

I served as a senior university administrator for over 30 years and can safely say higher education is in the middle of very interesting times. I suspect there are many reasons including in no particular order:

  • Reduced state and federal support
  • Fewer High School graduates
  • More interest in industry for skills training
  • Pressure to increase student retention and graduation rates
  • Marketing my institution
  • Reduced revenues and increasing expenses including cost reduction of staff, and faculty
  • Increased scrutiny by accreditors and DOE concerning financials (Financial Composite Score)
  • Attracting & keeping talented faculty and staff
  • Possible closure or merger over the next decade.

I would like your input as a person who is working for a college or university.  I along with Dean Hoke will be speaking at the American Association of University Administrators leadership conference on June 6th in Detroit. The topic is “What Keeps College Administrators Awake at Night, and How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep“. As we prepare our presentation, we would like your personal input.  We are very curious about what is keeping you up at night. Is it one or more of the items above, possibly all or is it something else?

We will compile and share (anonymously of course) what you and your colleagues tell us.  Furthermore we would like to hear from our international colleagues as well as US higher education leaders. You can write to tom.davisson@edu-alliance.net or dean.hoke@edu-alliance.net  or you can comment publicly to this article.  We have written privately to a number of US college and university Presidents and getting tremendous input.

Maybe knowing that you are not alone in your concerns will in itself help you sleep better. We hope to hear from you. What you do is important.  We will also be writing a follow up article after the AAUA event.

davisson tom-1Tom Davisson recently retired after 20 years from The Sullivan University System where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. His responsibilities included: Head of Operations, oversight of campuses, new product/program development, and institutional accreditation.

Mr. Davisson is one of the leading experts in the area of higher education institutions bridging the gap between education and the workforce. He has written White Papers for Governor’s in two states, worked for a third Governor’s Taskforce for Workforce Development, and also testified before Congress. In addition he has served on and chaired numerous US and international institutional visits on behalf of SACSCOC. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees, and Executive Committee of The University of Rio Grande in Ohio.


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