Ask most college or university presidents or chancellors who have taken the helm in the last 10 years what their most important job is, and they will tell you it is finding ways to finance the operations of the institution through private and public resources. And though they may not often articulate it, the key to successful fundraising through private sources or advocacy for public funding is using a complex set of communications tools to reach prospective students, donors and public officials. Effective leadership communication, more than ever today, may very well be pivotal to the future of our higher education institutions. Leaders must make hard choices, almost on a daily basis, and the scenarios they face may be even tougher in the future.

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OVERVIEW

With the advent of increased natural disaster frequency, prevalence of cyber-attacks, and a global pandemic (COVID-19) that has plunged global marketplaces into precarious territory, organizations have more reason than ever to plan for unanticipated threats to their ability to conduct business and keep personnel and assets protected. Colleges and universities are no exception. Not only are enrollment cycles threatened but fundraising – ongoing and major campaigns – immediately began to see their investment portfolios and thus operating cash from endowments slide drastically while anticipated pledge payments started faltering.

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Before the CoronaVirus (COVID-19) outbreak, many companies were already operating with a remote workforce, but the traditional office environment remained the de facto way to conduct business. Now that people in cities and countries across the globe are quarantined for the foreseeable future, companies that previously may not have had much understanding of how to accommodate its workers remotely are scrambling to get up to speed. Fortunately, there are many programs—many of them free—that are quick to implement and enable personnel to stay on top of their tasks from home, even when collaborating as a team. Read more >

OVERVIEW

Companies with a global presence and offices and remote workers in multiple countries face a variety of challenges in maintaining productivity to ensure outcomes while managing employees and teams in multiple locations. Today, as organizations of all sizes transition rapidly to remote work, lessons from these organizations can help leapfrog them into the new mode of virtual work necessitated practically overnight by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Primary challenges include ensuring productivity from afar, establishing methods for effective communication, and streamlining project objectives and collaboration with multiple teams in far-flung locations. Broader challenges include differences in time zones, language fluency, navigating regulatory variations, understanding cultural norms, and bridging the gap between corporate and individual office policies. Read more >

As U.S. higher education starts a new decade, several critical issues are driving decision making at most colleges and universities. And, as we wrote four years ago in our white paper, Public Higher Education 2016: Overview of Top Issues, colleges and universities continue to try to solve these issues one institution at a time. A promising outcome is that this pressure is forcing administrative and academic leadership to focus on priorities and differentiation, but the progress and payoffs are mixed and there is no clear path forward in terms of “one size fits all.” The following are the top trends The Napa Group believes will greatly influence higher education in 2020 and beyond.

Six big issues and their impacts on higher ed are described here…

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