The Jenzabar CFO Conference was designed to support our client institutions in determining the proactive financial measures that can be taken now to help them stay in a strong financial condition, so that when the economy flourishes again they will be well-positioned for greater success.
Boston, MA (Vocus) December 3, 2008 -
Jenzabar Inc. (http://www.jenzabar.net)], the leading provider of software, services and strategies for higher education, announced today that in a survey conducted by Jenzabar, higher education CFOs identified growing budget constraints as their top concern. Jenzabar discussed financial concerns, major technology developments, and economic challenges affecting higher education at its recent Jenzabar CFO Conference, held in Boston on November 21, 2008, and featuring speakers Kenneth C. Green from The Campus Computing Project and Michael K. Townsley of Stevens Strategy, who addressed CFOs from institutions of higher education.
Jenzabar held a CFO conference at the Harvard Club of Boston for client executives who also attended the 2008 MIT Sloan CFO Summit. In support of the conference, Jenzabar surveyed chief financial officers from a sample of higher education institutions across the US. The survey provided topics of discussion for the conference including the as-yet unknown impacts of the financial crisis and current economic climate.
The survey found that the top concern for CFOs, regardless of institutional type, was increasing constraints on institutional budgets. Other top concerns varied depending on the type of institution where the CFO serves--whether public or private institutions, research universities, small undergraduate colleges, or community colleges--but included the need for more effective fundraising, increased competition for students, and rising healthcare and energy costs. Almost half the institutions in the study noted that they are currently engaged in both cost-cutting programs and active plans to increase revenue.
During the Jenzabar conference, keynote speaker Kenneth C. Green, Founding Director of the Campus Computing Project, spoke about major shifts in IT and emphasized that higher education is a service industry. Continuous developments in technology have raised the level of expectations of students, faculty and administrators and increased pressure on institutions to provide the same services students experience as consumers in other aspects of their lives. "Every day as consumers we use IT-based online services," Green said. "It is important to acknowledge that institutions of higher education are here to serve and should make institutional investments that reflect an Internet economy."
Mike Townsley is a Senior Consultant at Stevens Strategy, a management consulting firm that specializes in higher and secondary education, and also the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and a professor of business at Becker College in Worcester, Ma. Townsley spoke about the economy from a financial perspective and discussed credit, home equity, family income, and their affects on a higher education institution's tuition, investments, and overall financial planning. "Expanding target markets, creating partnerships, and building cash reserves are some of the strategic approaches to coping with the economic downturn," Townsley told the group.
The conference concluded with a roundtable discussion among CFOs and Jenzabar executives focused on actions that can be taken to help institutions keep their investments aligned with their unique mission and goals. It was suggested that among the areas CFOs can influence to achieve stronger financial performance are productivity within business and administrative offices, the number of online versus in-classroom courses offered to students, utilization and understanding of data analysis and administrative systems, and creating new ways to help students pay tuition or find funding.
"The economic climate poses a major concern for higher education leaders and their administrative staffs," said Robert A. Maginn, Jr., Jenzabar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The Jenzabar CFO Conference was designed to support our client institutions in determining the proactive financial measures that can be taken now to help them stay in a strong financial condition, so that when the economy flourishes again they will be well-positioned for greater success."
About Jenzabar, Inc.
Jenzabar, Inc. is a leading provider of enterprise software and services developed exclusively for higher education. With more than 35 years of combined experience offering technology solutions to colleges and universities, Jenzabar is the trusted partner of choice to more than 700 campuses worldwide, including private liberal arts, state, and community colleges and business, medical, law and other graduate schools. Jenzabar is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with regional offices located across the United States. For further information, please visit http://www.jenzabar.net.
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