Saturday, February 23, 2008

Knocked by the market mechanisms

I almost laughed when Amazon knocked at my inbox with this ad:
We've noticed that customers who have purchased or rated "University, Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of American Higher Education" by Jennifer Washburn have also purchased "Strategic Financial Challenges: New Directions for Higher Education" by Lucie Lapovsky. For this reason, you might like to know that "Strategic Financial Challenges: New Directions for Higher Education" will be released on March 7, 2008. You can pre-order yours by following the link below.

Hey, I’m not interested in being strategic about financial challenges, I thought. Yet, I was tempted to take a look, but the Amazon page for that book didn’t reveal much. I went to another book by Lapovsky - Roles and Responsibilities of the Chief Financial Officer: New Directions for Higher Education - and read its description:

With demands for improved quality, increasing competition for state and federal funds, and the challenges of integrating technology into the curriculum, higher education faces greater economic uncertainties than ever before. The chief financial officer (CFO) of any higher education institution stands squarely in the middle of this maelstrom. This issue of New Directions for Higher Education offers CFOs proven strategies for balancing the operating and capital budgets, maximizing net enrollment revenues, containing costs, planning for the resource needs of technology, identifying and managing risks, and investing the endowment wisely. The contributors discuss how CFOs can build positive relationships with key players in the campus’s financial planning and budget, including admissions and financial aid staff, state legislatures, and the board investment committee.

Gosh, I’m happy not being a CFO! What kind of job is this? Let’s make a cause for crisis psychology for traumatised CFOs having hard times building “positive relationships with key players in the campus” when the faculty withdraw when market mechanisms threaten to knock-out academic expertise in university governance.

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