While the Times was publishing Jeffrey Selingo’s piece on colleges’ financial troubles, Jon Marcus’s article on the same subject appeared in the Times‘s daughter publication in Boston: Are small private colleges in trouble? – Magazine – The Boston Globe. The take-away?
Private colleges desperately need to apply such business principles, says Heather O’Leary, a principal analyst at the Boston education consulting company Eduventures. “Are they all doing it? No. Some people on campuses are derisive of the concept that these institutions should be run like businesses. They feel they are somehow above that.”
If colleges were run like businesses, then wouldn’t presidents and board members be held accountable for their decisions? Wouldn’t they have a personal financial stake in keeping the institutions healthy? Those who call for colleges to be run like businesses should be careful what they wish for.