Long before COVID further interrupted the business models on campuses, colleges and universities were confronting a difficult economic environment marked by declining enrollments, state budget cuts, and a public perception by some that tuition has outpaced the value of a post-secondary degree. The sudden and continuing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have amplified the financial challenges facing colleges and universities across the country, causing many to cut programs and some to contemplate closing their doors. Even the ones that have stayed open have been forced to reduce the density of their campuses significantly and pivot to hybrid or online learning as they navigate this enormous public health crisis. These decisions have been necessary to maintain public safety but have also carried significant financial losses from declining or deferred enrollment, plummeting revenue related to housing and other auxiliary services as well as athletics, declining state budgets, and more. The economic impact has already been severe, and many experts predict industry-wide financial difficulties for years to come. As institutional leaders look to generate revenue, cut costs, and develop new models for future sustainability, how can campus counsel best contribute to these efforts?
This mini-workshop will help sort through the legal challenges associated with a severe economic downturn.
Session 1: It will begin with a panel of experts who will first examine the current economic landscape of higher education. Then, the presenters will delve into counsel’s role in helping the institution to mitigate financial losses and generate revenue.
Session 2: The second panel of the day will look to the future. When leaders consider innovative suggestions for restructuring the existing business model, including shared services approaches and restructured employment arrangements, counsel can advise on the prudence of those solutions and identify additional ways to continue to fulfill the institution’s mission on a tighter budget, leading to long term economic sustainability.
Discussion Groups: We will close the day with a series of five discussion groups, to further delve into some of the hottest related topics.
Who Should Attend? While this mini-workshop will be of particular interest to General Counsel and Chief Financial Officers, many of the budgetary issues facing today’s colleges and universities implicate specific practice areas. This mini-workshop will also be of interest to business and transactional lawyers, employment lawyers, and lawyers who advise on faculty issues. Note: Unlike our webinars, workshops are not to be shared. If other administrators on your campus are interested in attending, they need to register and pay to attend.