Malone University Navigates Challenging National Outlook for Higher Education
March 17, 2014 | Release # 6883
Comprehensive trustee plan includes balance of program additions / cuts
Malone University announces its plan to address current trends affecting higher education nationwide. The plan includes the addition of new academic majors while reducing operating costs and eliminating under-enrolled programs.
According to Moody's Investors Service report on higher education for 2014 (issued Nov. 2013), "Heightened competition for students, donors and government funds combined with pressure to increase compensation and invest in programs and facilities will result in continued deterioration of financial performance."
As Robert Sevier observes in a Stamats white paper. "Costs are too high and revenue is too low. In addition, revenue too often focuses on one source: tuition."
Malone University's Response
According to Malone President David King, "Malone is not immune to the challenges facing higher education today. Since fiscal year 2010, our net tuition and fees revenues have dropped by nearly 11%." He continued, "We're not going to wait for external forces to dictate our future. University trustees have developed several directives to guide us and help us remain financially healthy moving forward."
David Murray, chair of the Board of Trustees added, "The directives developed by the trustees seek to reverse this trend, and position the University for sustained viability given the current outlook for higher education."
The University will be adding a number of new offerings beginning fall semester, 2014. These include a hybrid (online/ground) master's degree in nursing, an associate's to bachelor's degree program in social work, and three new theology majors.
In addition, the University will eliminate and consolidate select under-enrolled programs and their associated faculty positions. Non-academic programs – including certain intercollegiate athletic programs – will also be eliminated. Gauging the viability of academic and athletic programs will be an exhaustive process focusing on a number of key questions related to overall cost and student impact. A comprehensive review is in its early stages, but President David King said men's and women's tennis have already been identified as programs to be cut.
Maintaining student outcomes while reducing the overall cost of operations is an overarching theme for the University. To increase revenue, Malone will seek to raise the number of summer programs aimed at non-college audiences, including programs for high school students.
Vision for the Future
"The goal is to be smart about how we reach potential students and serve them once they enroll," said King. "We want to strategically invest in faculty and program strengths, increase awareness, and diversify revenue while enriching our student-centered culture."
King is pragmatic yet optimistic. "We are reminded time and time again by our alumni and their employers of the value of what Malone offers. Now we need to be nimble and courageous enough to adapt to the times."
Malone University, a Christian university for the arts, sciences, and professions in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 100 academic programs. Malone has been recognized by the prestigious Templeton Foundation as a leader in character development, as one of Northeast Ohio’s Top Workplaces by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and is ranked among the top colleges and universities in the Midwest under the category Regional Universities according to U.S.News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2014,has been awarded the designation Military Friendly School by Victory Media, and is named to AffordableCollegesOnline (ACO)’s Best Lifetime Return on Investment list for the State of Ohio.
Suzanne Thomas, APR
Director of University Relations
2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W., Canton, OH, 44709
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