Higher-Ed Group Launches Consulting Service For Members
After repeatedly being asked by members about how they could be prosperous in the long term, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges formed a new consulting service—AGB Institutional Strategies--to reinvigorate higher-education business models.
Members were calling for help, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) answered. Its response: A new consulting service to assist them in addressing the challenges facing higher-education business models.
Formally introduced earlier this month, AGB Institutional Strategies looks at education throughout the U.S. from a macro perspective and offers advice on how colleges and universities can remain prosperous in the long term, Founding Managing Principal Richard Beyer told Associations Now.
Through the new service, colleges and universities will look at their business and financial models and how to adapt and revamp them given the long- and short-term trends they are facing. According to Beyer, there are “pretty significant macro trends taking place, from pressures on pricing, lowering revenue for students, rising labor costs, changing consumer behaviors, and a shift in student demographics.”
Members won’t be the only ones to benefit from this consulting service. Beyer said that it will allow AGB to not only continue its mission of being a trusted advisor in the boardroom for its members but also let them to expand across higher education by helping presidents, CFOs, and chancellors address the industry’s changing landscape.
For an additional fixed cost to members, AGB Institutional Strategies will conduct a diagnostic assessment to help them address the trends that are putting pressure on colleges and universities. “We will easily spend one to two months in a diagnostic evaluation setting that really helps understand the critical data,” Beyer said. There’s also an innovation and exploration phase, which could take another few months.
Although many changes are occurring in the marketplace, Beyer said these institutions still have the opportunity to do quite well, but that it will take a mix of strategies to align new opportunities with an institution’s mission. “Creativity and innovation are two important elements institutions need to address in business models going forward,” he said.
For AGB, this is not just a matter of coming in and making a recommendation, but facilitating stakeholder engagement, developing strategy solutions and timelines, and helping implement changes as needed. “We want to focus on prosperity—not just how to survive—but how do they prosper?” Beyer said.
AGB Institutional Strategies was built from scratch after collectively pooling the minds of AGB staff with strong backgrounds in academia, admissions, finance, legal, student life and service, and human resources. It will leverage current AGB employees and hire new staff as the service begins to serve clients. “All these resources, collectively, are able to help colleges and universities across the country address specific needs with regards to their future,” Beyer said.