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Reengineering the University

, 304 pages

30 line drawings

January 2016



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Reengineering the University

How to Be Mission Centered, Market Smart, and Margin Conscious

First Place, Typographic Text from Washington, FY17



Higher education expert William F. Massy’s decades as a professor, senior university officer, and consultant have left him with a passionate belief in the need for reform in America’s traditional universities. In Reengineering the University, he addresses widespread concerns that higher education’s costs are too high, learning falls short of objectives, disruptive technology and education models are mounting serious challenges to traditional institutions, and administrators and faculty are too often unwilling or unable to change.

An expert microeconomist, Massy approaches the challenge of reform in a genuinely new way by applying rigorous economic principles, informed by financial data and other evidence, to explain the forces at work on universities and the flaws in the academic business model. Ultimately, he argues that computer models that draw on data from college transaction systems can help both administrators and faculty address problems of educational performance and cost analysis, manage the complexity of planning and budgeting systems, and monitor the progress of reform in nonintrusive and constructive ways.

Written for institutional leaders, faculty, board members, and policymakers who bear responsibility for initiating and carrying through on reform in traditional colleges and universities, Reengineering the University shows how, working together, administrators and faculty can improve education, research, and affordability by keeping a close eye on both academic values and the bottom line.

William F. Massy, a higher education consultant, is professor emeritus of education and business administration and a former vice president and vice provost at Stanford University. The author of Honoring the Trust: Quality and Cost Containment in Higher Education, he is the former president of the Jackson Hole Higher Education Group.

"Massy's in-depth yet highly accessible analysis is a must-read for any academic leader."

"Massy has done an excellent job of explaining the interaction between the university budget, which creates the margin, or the financial return on investment, and the role of teaching and learning being core to the university mission. He spends considerable time helping integrate and resolve the two dimensions of mission and margin."

"William Massy is a complex, deeply knowledgeable man: half hopeless romantic about the value and high purposes of higher education and half pragmatic engineer focused on costs, efficiency, and metrics. That combination proves to be just right for this wise and insightful book."

"Reengineering the University spells out the efforts that William Massy has made throughout his extraordinary career to develop models to aid academic institutions in improving their cost efficiency and academic quality. Written in clear and concise form, academic administrators and faculty concerned about the future of their institutions should read it."

"This book is a game changer. It cogently deals with the problem of long-term sustainability of universities by addressing the core problems of quality in relation to cost and margin. Massy builds a strong case for his 'reengineering tools' which any university leader would find remarkably helpful in tackling critical issues of quality-conscious cost containment."

"Reengineering the University is a tough love prescription for making the nation's colleges and universities more affordable by reengineering them to be more efficient. It is Bill Massy at his best."

"Only Bill Massy could provide this perspective on an extraordinary moment in higher education, offering leaders a variety of adaptive tools and methods to engage this moment and strengthen the important work of creating sustainable futures for our universities."

"This is a thoughtful book by an author who has a formidable range of experience with different formats for teaching... His arguments are tough, intricate, and demanding."

"... Massy, perhaps more than any other contemporary student of higher education, knows and critically thinks about how universities function day-to-day and academic year-to-academic year: what decisions have to made, who should make them, with what analytical information, and within what time frame. He keeps a close eye on multiple cause and multiple effect, as one must in multiversities. It is hard to do."

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