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“Universities spend their time, energy and resources focusing on students who are with them for no more than seven years. They should think of ways to attract students when they are much younger and offer services well beyond their college years, providing classes all year round,” suggests Richard Matasar, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Institutional Effectiveness, Tulane University.

Matasar is a speaker at the marcus evans University Leadership Summit Spring 2018, in California, February 21-22.

How can universities extend their value proposition? What new income streams do you suggest?

Universities can establish a lifelong relationship with students. They can attract younger students by offering what they value at that stage, and extend services as their lifelong learning needs continue. Our job is to see a continuum of services until people reach the end of their career, otherwise our future will rest on just four to seven years. We tend to be bound to our location and the academic calendar, but most people’s learning needs are all year round.

What experiences are people looking to have throughout their career?

Meeting the needs of younger students is complicated because we also have to satisfy their parents. Depending on student age, universities need to focus on what their learning needs might be. Younger students need to be exposed to interesting things that do not get in the way of their curriculum, but as they get older, universities can help them advance their career more quickly by working their way through university in a less expensive way. We have to understand what students need at every stage. For those who already have a degree, we need to focus more on their immediate needs as they transition to another phase in their career.     

What challenges did Tulane face, and how did you find a way around them?

We are continuing to work our way around certain challenges to identify more exciting opportunities for our faculty and students. As most universities, we provided classes in two semesters and some in the summer, with a limited number of subjects available online. Expanding our offerings means every service has been affected. Student housing, cleaning, food services and transportation on campus all have to be extended and expanded to 365 days a year.

On the academic side, we have to get our faculty comfortable with non-traditional teaching experiences and schedules, without affecting their research or skewing incentives. As a research university, we produce knowledge both in the classroom and through research. Nothing we do while extending time and student age can interfere with our core mission or negatively impact our faculty colleagues.

Balancing the needs of our faculty with the demands of non-traditional teaching models to move the ball forward takes time, but when some momentum is reached it becomes easier to get our colleagues to realize the value of extending what they do to reach new audiences. Generating new business creates new resources available to support our mission and our faculty and that goes a long way towards getting our team aligned and excited about what we can do.

What tools are needed to make this a success?

Universities are not used to marketing services to new and non-traditional audiences. As we start reaching out to younger students before they have an inkling of what they need, we have to build a marketing strategy like most businesses. We have to find the right people, which requires strong search capabilities, research where the important markets are and build tools to communicate with students wherever they might be. There is also the delivery of education in alternative formats. As we expand our reach beyond the classroom setting, we have to generate materials for people to access wherever they are. We also need faculty members who understand how to teach younger students, who feel comfortable and enjoy interactions that take place on a screen as well as in the classroom.


Ahead of the marcus evans University Leadership Summit 2018, read here an interview 
with Richard Matasar discussing new income streams universities could consider 

Richard Matasar

Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Institutional Effectiveness 

Tulane University

Extending the University Value Proposition

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    and more…

About the University Leadership Summit Spring 2018

The University Leadership Summit is the premium forum bringing senior level university executives and solution providers together. The Summit offers an intimate environment for a focused discussion of key new drivers shaping the education industry. Taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel, Westlake Village, California, February 21-22, the Summit includes presentations on improving student success in higher education, building partnerships and alliances to remain competitive, improving classroom engagement and adding diversity into the campus.

Copyright © 2018 Marcus Evans. All rights reserved.

Summit Speakers
  • Stephen Freedman, PhD, Provost, Fordham University
  • Daniele Struppa, PhD, President, Chapman University
  • F. King Alexander, PhD, President, Louisiana State University
  • Michael David Rudd, President, The University of Memphis
  • Miriam Feldblum, PhD, Vice President, Student Affairs, Dean of Students, Pomona College
  • Rogan Kersh, Provost and Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Wake Forest University
  • Shirley McGuire, PhD, Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs, San Francisco University
  • MJ Knoll Finn, Vice President, Enrollment, New York University

     and more...

February 21-22, 2018

Four Seasons Hotel, Westlake Village, California

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