Finance and Business Big Thinking Session

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 1.  If Providence College were to be best known for one thing only within the next 10 to 20 years, what should it be?

  • 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0
  • Prepare students to be intelligent, hardworking, have a sense of purpose and sensitivity towards others.
  • Producing highly educated students that are critical thinkers, that can reason and communicate and that employers want to hire.
  • That PC prepares its students to succeed in life by: Being able to forge a path, and not just take the easy or clear path; creating critical thinkers, who know it’s ok to question; and who don’t necessarily have to know the answer, but know how to find the answer.
  • Provide an education that can lead to a successful career.
  • Become a first-choice school, not a second-choice.
  • Higher level of matriculation to the best graduate schools.
  • Obtain reputation as one of the top 10 schools nationwide.
  • Provide integrative education and experiences across majors.
  • Increase Distance Learning through technology.
  • Prepare students for life experiences.
  • Increase financial aid and diversity.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 2.  What should the College be doing in the next 10 to 20 years that it isn’t doing today?

  • 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0
  • Double the endowment and increase financial aid.
  • Lower private debt for our students.  Meet more need.
  • Expand the options for students who want to remain for Grad School– Science and Technology; Social Work; and Online Graduate studies.
  • Focus on the expanding the sciences.  More specific degrees in the sciences.
  • Offer programs that are more adaptive to the needs of the job market, e.g., computer programming, PT, nursing, physician assistant.
  • More 3+1 and 4+1 programs.
  • Increase diversity among our student body.  Recruit more international students.
  • Go back to its roots of providing a quality education for the middle class family.
  • Look at other learning platforms, for example, on-line learning.
  • The college could consider more on-line/mentor/teacher blended courses for basic instructional courses. By that is meant that typical “101” courses – entry level courses to any particular discipline – might be the best on-line courses available in the country, but paired with a specific teacher/mentor who helps guide the students through the course and keeps the student motivated. There have been studies which suggest that for some students, on-line courses are more advantageous, yet there are detriments to on line courses. These detriments might be mitigated with an instructor who does not teach the course but serves as a mentor and guide to strengthen the student and the course material. This might free up faculty to spend more time on their specialty courses, offering a more enriched discipline program. It may also be used to potentially reduce faculty resources spent to teach generic program courses. With this approach, faculty could possibly move away from teaching the basics to teaching even more of the interesting, enlightening courses in their field.
  • Strong investment in career services.  Build a stronger relationship with employers for recruiting our students.
  • The college should strive to further improve the statistics of Career Services. Rather than focus on changing the college’s overall academic programs, perhaps we can just intensify our efforts, provide additional resources, use our alumni network etc. to help our students get meaningful jobs, since 71% of them do not pursue graduate schools upon commencement. Our Academic programs and our philosophy on the purpose of a liberal arts education with DWC is strong and sound. Let’s just focus on helping our students find employment while still maintaining our enriching programs?
  • Create a co-op program for student workers similar to Northeastern University.
  • Take a holistic view of our structure – what we do and how we do it.  Look for ways to consolidate functions and processes to increase efficiencies and reduce costs.
  • Support graduates and foster relationships from the beginning.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 3.  If you had $100 million+ to spend, how would you spend it?

  • 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0
  • Increase Endowment
  • Increase Financial Aid
  • The college should go needs blind as it pertains to Admissions. This is the most noble, most compassionate, and most meritorious general approach to Admissions.
    • 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0
    • The college should reduce the gap between need and aid award to zero. Currently it appears that the award is approximately 80-85% of need. Reducing that 15-20% gap is beneficial.
    • The college should consider a reduction of “merit-based” aid and focus more on “need-based” aid. It could consider naming or awarding the last 10% of all need based aid merit if it desires, as the needs blind admissions focus would be more meritorious anyway.
    • After fulfilling the first two items, the college should consider reducing the overall loan amounts to UG students to $25,000 or below. Students are coming out of college with heavy debt burdens, it appears.
    • The college should try to consider a requirement of more support from the non-custodial parent. In many cases, this parent is the stronger one financially and can support more of the student’s needs.
  • Staff departments appropriately and competitively with not just Higher Education, but also private sector where appropriate for competing skill sets.
  • Create stand-alone Admissions Center to further showcase the College.  Although some believe that with all the investments in the campus, it sells itself.
  • Invest/renovate our traditional dorms.  (renovate 1 per year concept).
  • Land Acquisition
  • Increase Parking
  • Increase investment in sustainability programs that have clear ROIs and promote it more.
  • Build a men’s basketball facility in Providence to eliminate cost of the Dunkin Donuts Center.
  • Be careful and purposeful when we invest in projects.  See projects though 100%, e.g., wireless.
  • The college could consider making a commitment NOT to

a) reduce the medical contribution it provides to employees for medical expenses

b) reduce the pension contribution it provides to employees to TIAA-CREF nor require the employee to contribute in order to “earn” it

c) reduce the medical plan benefits it currently provides employees given rising medical costs, especially pharmaceutical costs.

d) continue with tuition benefits for children of staff.  It creates a sense of commitment, pride and deeper understanding and appreciation of the staff towards the college.

This would signal enduring compassion and commitment to both faculty and staff.

4.  What should be the most important measure or indicator of the College’s success?  Why?

  • 13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0
  • Retention and graduation rates
  • Short and long-term success of all graduates.
  • That we remove the question of “Is a PC Education worth the money”
  • Alumni giving rates.  Alumnus “want” to pay it forward by giving freely
  • Students give back because of the success they have attributed to their college experience.

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Source: http://library.providence.edu/fhertr/index.php/finance-and-business-big-thinking-session/