While higher ed is slowly bouncing back from the pandemic, adjusting to the ‘new normal’ remains a challenge. This is apparent in the ongoing exodus of college president resignations and pushback from higher-ed unions in the face of funding cuts and loss of credibility from student loan debt and other scandals.
With enrollment down nearly 10 percent, mergers and acquisitions up 21 percent, and a growing list of campus closures, accreditors are keeping a closer watch on post-pandemic operations and overall institutional effectiveness.
New federal policies are putting downward pressure on accreditors, which in turn is putting downward pressure on institutions and their governing boards. As a result, compliance requirements are becoming more stringent, and accrediting bodies want institutions to provide more evidence of financial stability and viability moving forward.
While many in higher ed are feeling the pressure, the general outlook for colleges and universities is not all doom and gloom. As an aside, I’m a big believer in higher education and its staying power. Change can be messy, but I do think higher ed as a whole will rise to the occasion and do what’s right for students.