Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Three characteristics of a university's strength

Yesterday, Point Park's president -- Dr. Paul Hennigan -- addressed perhaps 100 university administrators, faculty and staff on a variety of topics. One issue in particular caught my attention, and it is one that you should consider about your institution (regardless of whether you are in higher education or simply an alum).

He noted that in these continuing difficult economic times, three characteristics have been identified across higher education to determine how strong an institution is. Mind you, strong in this case doesn't mean historical legacy, name recognition, or anything like that. Rather, it means how well the university is coping with the economic uncertainty.

Those three characteristics include: how many job cuts have been needed, how many people have been asked or required to take a pay cut and whether enrollment continues to grow.

Dr. Hennigan noted that over the past three years (dating to the start of the recession), no university employees have been fired or let go, no one at the university has had to take a pay cut, and enrollment has grown about 1.5%.

Sure, you might think of Point Park as just another institution in Pittsburgh. But speaking personally I think our administration deserves recognition for a sound approach to guiding a ship through an economic storm.

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