The Higher Ed CFO Survey: For Whom the Bell Tolls


Last week, Gallup and Inside Higher Ed released a fascinating and troubling survey examining the opinions of CFO’s on the state of American higher education.

CFO’s from 438 colleges and universities responded to the survey. Researchers found that two-thirds of CFO’s questioned believe that higher education is facing a financial crisis. While 23 percent of CFOs at public colleges/universities and 26 percent at privates believe they can sustain their business model over the next five years, only 11 percent of CFOs at publics and 15 percent at privates think their model will hold over the next ten years.

Perhaps the word that best describes the reaction to their collective view is “yikes.”

Researchers then questioned what steps the CFO’s planned to reduce budgetary pressures ensuring the sustainability of their model. Interestingly, less than 25 percent planned to ask senior faculty to teach more students, outsource academic programs, revise tenure, offer…

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