Task Force Report for the University, September 2012
Loyola University Chicago periodically engages in critical reflection that requires us to think boldly about our future in order to deliver on our promise to help people lead extraordinary lives. This Task Force Report is the result of an eight-month process of study. It provides recommendations to consider in a serious effort to reduce the pressure to raise tuition, to maintain access for our traditional constituencies, grow enrollments in new markets, and to retain or increase our competitive advantage as a Catholic, Jesuit institution of higher learning in Chicago.
In "Making the Grade In 2011: A Study of the Top 10 Issues Facing Higher Education Institutions," Deloitte calls the present college tuition situation a "perfect storm."
Universities are taking fiscal hits from all directions. Funding has been slashed, private financing is harder to get, and endowment returns have dropped. And all of this is happening as infrastructure costs continue to grow. A "perfect storm" indeed.
The 10 issues outlined by Deloitte are:
- Over budget and underfunded: As funding declines, cost management is key
- The rivalry intensifies: Competition to attract the best students heats up
- Setting priorities: The danger of making decisions in the dark
- Moving at the speed of cyberspace: Technology upgrades are needed across the board
- Rethinking infrastructure: A renewed focus on asset optimization
- Linking programs to outcomes: Where training and market demand intersect
- The best and the brightest: Attracting and retaining talented faculty
- A sustainable future: Enhancing environmental performance
- Education for all: Tackling diversity, accessibility, and affordability
- Reformers and reporting: New responsibilities require better disclosure
The question arises: How should Loyola University Chicago respond? Using these 10 issues as a framework, the University's administration created a Task Force to study how Loyola is positioned in each area. The Task Force worked with stakeholders including board members, University leadership, faculty, staff, students, and Deloitte Consulting. Deloitte supports how the "Making the Grade" framework was used and commends Loyola for the holistic analysis leading to this report's recommendations. However, due to its audit relationship with Loyola, Deloitte cannot endorse the report or its recommendations.