The article excerpted below reinforces a persistent theme of this blog: the need to contain spiraling tuition increases (to maintain the affordability of access). Readers who delve into the entire article will find that the business-like leadership brought to the University of Georgia system by Chancellor Erroll Davis includes, as well, an emphasis on increasing efficiency (productivity). Indeed, improving unit cost structures and accounting for them (expense accountability) are an integral part of maintaining the affordability of access, and IT is the only tool available for systemically improving the unit cost structures of academic and administrative services.
Tuition plan just the start for Davis
Andrea Jones, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 6, 2006
Here's how Chancellor Erroll Davis wants to run Georgia's public colleges and universities: Identify a problem, find a solution, put it in place quickly. While the philosophy sounds simple, it is a marked change for the 35-school higher education system, which has run on a notoriously slow schedule of months-long task forces, reams of carefully gathered research and initiatives often years in the making. "We'll be operating differently," said Davis, who has a business background and has been on the job since February. "I've made it very clear, the pace of the decisions are going to pick up." For example, a university system tuition plan proposed and approved in the spring will take effect in the fall. In April, the Board of Regents backed Davis' bold approach, approving the fixed-rate tuition plan for incoming freshmen. The tuition policy, which affects thousands of students, sets a guaranteed four-year price. Davis said the policy will help parents and students budget their finances without worry of tuition hikes or surprises, and will encourage students to graduate on time. If students stay longer than four years — defined as 12 consecutive semesters — tuition jumps to the rate of the next year's freshmen. The pragmatic approach can leave some questions, but Davis thinks that is part of the process — not everything has to be perfect to make a decision. "You can ask the what-ifs til the cows come home," he said. "We need to be taking half the time to do twice as much." Read more ...