Five Key Strategies

To Address College Presidents' Top Concerns

Thought leadership

What Keeps College Presidents Up at Night?

CampusWorks’ Higher Education Consultants Unveil Five Key Strategies to Address Presidents’ Top Concerns 

Being a college president has never been more challenging. In the complex, dynamic landscape of higher education, today’s leaders carry the weight of numerous challenges and expectations. At CampusWorks’ 25th Anniversary celebration, we invited three college presidents and longtime clients to join us for a discussion about the concerns that preoccupy today’s higher ed leaders. Their candid revelations highlight the resilience needed to steer their institutions through the evolving educational landscape. 

Our panelists included: 

  • Dr. Leah Bornstein, President of Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado  
  • Dr. John Mosby, President of Highline College in Des Moines, Washington 
  • Dr. Tuesday Stanley, President of Westmoreland County Community College in Youngwood, Pennsylvania 

When we asked the presidents what keeps them up at night, they unanimously highlighted the rapid changes and challenges within higher education, emphasizing the need for adaptation and innovation. Dr. Bornstein pointed out the critical role of artificial intelligence (AI) and technology in shaping future educational needs and delivery methods. Meanwhile, Dr. Mosby raised concerns about the mental health of students, exacerbated by the pandemic and financial strains, calling for a renewed focus on support services. Dr. Stanley touched on the difficulties in talent acquisition and retention, stressing the impact of competitive private sector salaries and the changing work attitudes post-COVID-19. 

Drawing upon over 25 years of experience in higher education consulting, CampusWorks has identified five key strategies that can provide leaders with much-needed peace of mind: 

  1. Innovation Through Visionary Leadership and Strategic Planning CampusWorks’ higher education consultants, leveraging their extensive backgrounds in academia and administration, offer trusted guidance to foster visionary leadership and strategic planning that resonates with each institution’s unique mission and goals. This partnership cultivates an environment ripe for innovation, informed by insights into emerging trends and best practices. 
  2.  Enhancing Institutional Effectiveness for a Happier Campus By conducting thorough assessments and analyzing data, CampusWorks’ higher education consultants identify opportunities to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness. Tailored solutions enhance the impact and performance of technology, student services, and administrative processes, facilitating a streamlined and resource-optimized campus environment. 
  3.  Prioritizing the Student Experience to Support Success Acknowledging the profound impact of the pandemic on students, especially underserved communities, CampusWorks collaborates with institutions to transform their use of technology to foster academic achievement and engagement. Initiatives aimed at process optimization, data utilization, and technology integration contribute to a nurturing and enriching student experience. 
  4.  Addressing Talent Acquisition and Retention Challenges With turnover and vacancy rates impeding progress, CampusWorks provides interim leadership and expertise to fill critical roles, ensuring institutions continue to thrive while searching for candidates who not only possess the required skills but also align with the institution’s culture. 
  5. Empowering Change Management and Organizational Development CampusWorks’ higher ed consultants bring a wealth of expertise and experience to guide institutions — and their people — through critical transitions and transformations. This approach is designed to not only mitigate risks associated with project timelines, scope, and budget but also to enhance the institutional capacity for sustainable change.  


The Key to a Successful Partnership 

College presidents work with countless vendors, but as Dr. Bornstein clarified, “CampusWorks is a partner, not a vendor.” A successful partnership, the panelists agreed, is built on honesty and the willingness to provide and accept candid feedback. Dr. Mosby expressed, “We’re college presidents; we can handle the truth.” Dr. Stanley voiced her appreciation for CampusWorks’ desire to understand, our team members’ forthrightness and their commitment to not just identifying issues but also collaborating on solutions, highlighting the essence of true partnership. 

In today’s rapidly changing, unpredictable world, there is no shortage of challenges keeping higher ed leaders up at night. According to panelists, CampusWorks provides peace of mind by delivering honesty, diverse perspectives, and expert advisory services, acting as a catalyst for institutional excellence and innovation. Through strategic support, data-driven insights, and a collaborative approach, CampusWorks empowers higher ed leaders to navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and fulfill their mission of shaping future generations. 


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