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Issues at UVa felt by all of higher education

 

No matter where you stand on the controversy swirling to some conclusion -- perhaps -- at the University of Virginia today, one thing is clear:

 

The issues occurring at Mr. Jefferson's university -- and at places like Purdue, which selected Gov. Mitch Daniels as its next president -- are occurring throughout public higher education.

 

As Chronicle of Higher Education Editor Jeffrey Selingo says in today's New York Times:

 

"There is good reason for the anxiety. Setting aside the specifics of the Virginia drama, university leaders desperately need to transform how colleges do business. Higher education must make up for the mistakes it made in what I call the industry’s “lost decade,” from 1999 to 2009. Those years saw a surge in students pursuing higher education, driven partly by the colleges, which advertised heavily and created enticing new academic programs, services and fancy facilities."

 

The transformational issues include how best to grapple with technology; how to increase access and affordability after years of tuition increases and flat or declining state support; how to determine what constitutes an educated man or woman in a dynamic and struggling 21st century, global economy?

 

None of the answers are easy ones.

 

But higher education has to get them right -- not just for the future of universities, but for states and the country we all serve.

 

 

 

Issues at UVa felt by all of higher education

 

No matter where you stand on the controversy swirling to some conclusion -- perhaps -- at the University of Virginia today, one thing is clear:

 

The issues occurring at Mr. Jefferson's university -- and at places like Purdue, which selected Gov. Mitch Daniels as its next president -- are occurring throughout public higher education.

 

As Chronicle of Higher Education Editor Jeffrey Selingo says in today's New York Times:

 

"There is good reason for the anxiety. Setting aside the specifics of the Virginia drama, university leaders desperately need to transform how colleges do business. Higher education must make up for the mistakes it made in what I call the industry’s “lost decade,” from 1999 to 2009. Those years saw a surge in students pursuing higher education, driven partly by the colleges, which advertised heavily and created enticing new academic programs, services and fancy facilities."

 

The transformational issues include how best to grapple with technology; how to increase access and affordability after years of tuition increases and flat or declining state support; how to determine what constitutes an educated man or woman in a dynamic and struggling 21st century, global economy?

 

None of the answers are easy ones.

 

But higher education has to get them right -- not just for the future of universities, but for states and the country we all serve.

 

 

 

Newspapers still setting policy agendas?

An interesting experiment is going on at a venerable mainstream newspaper -- The New York Times.

 

It's called agenda setting. It's an old school term.

 

For the last several weeks, the newspaper has dedicated hundreds of inches -- and prime front-page and national-page space -- to questions surrounding access to an affordable college education. Keying largely on compelling stories from one state -- Ohio -- the newspaper has clearly decided that the issue of access and affordability needs to be on the national agenda and part of the presidential campaign.

 

Few issues, I would argue, are more important that increasing the number of college graduates. As today's story illustrates -- http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/us/as-college-graduates-cluster-some-cities-are-left-behind.html?_r=1&hpw -- there's a pretty strong correlation between educational attainment and economic progress.

 

But it's also true that as the costs of that education have increased -- with declining state and federal support -- debt levels have increased (although not at the rates The NYT suggests; that's a story for another day).

 

It also underscores the degree to which newspapers -- large national ones or strong local ones -- can still set a policy agenda. They can still frame the issues that we talk about and to which policy-makers react.

 

And, old-school though I am, that's still why they are so important.

 

What's in a name ... or a slogan for that matter

Does a slogan really matter that much in determining someone or some product's brand? That's the question the Obama campaign and Democratic strategists are apparently wrestling with as the real campaign appears to get underway for the Fall. Check out this article from Politico:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/74930_Page3.html

What's in a name ... or a slogan for that matter

Does a slogan really matter that much in determining someone or some product's brand? That's the question the Obama campaign and Democratic strategists are apparently wrestling with as the real campaign appears to get underway for the Fall. Check out this article from Politico:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/74930_Page3.html

UK HealthCare branding effort demonstrates importance of marketing

One of the most difficult challenges we encounter in strategic communications and marketing are the questions about return on investment.

 

Is what we do -- whether on the earned or paid media front - worth it to the institution's bottom-line?

 

A new branding campaign, recently initiated by UK HealthCare, provides some good, early indications that it is -- particularly when you consider that return on the investment can be measured in a number of ways, from increased customers to increased pride among key constituencies.

 

UK HealthCare's broad-based branding campaign -- "That's Why We Are Here" -- creates compelling images of -- and narratives about -- the kind of high-tech, high-touch care that can be provided at academic medical centers. All of the ads - including TV, internet, print, billboards and buses -- present UK HealthCare's message through first-hand accounts by patients, the folks who know best about the care provided. One example is here: http://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/sally/

 

Bill Gombeski, UK HealthCare's director of strategic marketing, said the tag for the campaign came about like all good branding campaigns do -- from research. UK HealthCare has an ongoing dialogue with employee and patient advisory groups on campus, at the medical center, among physicians and in the community.

 

The goal of the campign, Gombeski said, is to "raise awareness of our advanced medicine role," which will help continue to grow the patient base in areas important to health-care in the state while also increasing employee and patient pride in the work done by UK HealthCare.

 

Gombeski said the early response to the campaign has been good. Patient and employee response has been positive, and perhaps most tellingly, calls are up from referring physicians.

 

The campaign, in my judgment, accomplishes what the best kind of branding efforts do - it reinforces key strategic messages that separate the institution from others. In this case, UK HealthCare's differentiator, if you will, is that it provides advanced, subspecialty care that can't be provided in other places.

 

As Mike Karpf, UK's executive vice president for health affairs, often says: a Kentuckian should be able to wake up in any corner of the state, knowing that no matter how sick they are, they can receive the best of care at UK HealthCare.

 

"That's Why We Are Here" underscores that powerful message in meaningful ways.

 

 

 

 


 

UK HealthCare branding effort demonstrates importance of marketing

One of the most difficult challenges we encounter in strategic communications and marketing are the questions about return on investment.

 

Is what we do -- whether on the earned or paid media front - worth it to the institution's bottom-line?

 

A new branding campaign, recently initiated by UK HealthCare, provides some good, early indications that it is -- particularly when you consider that return on the investment can be measured in a number of ways, from increased customers to increased pride among key constituencies.

 

UK HealthCare's broad-based branding campaign -- "That's Why We Are Here" -- creates compelling images of -- and narratives about -- the kind of high-tech, high-touch care that can be provided at academic medical centers. All of the ads - including TV, internet, print, billboards and buses -- present UK HealthCare's message through first-hand accounts by patients, the folks who know best about the care provided. One example is here: http://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/sally/

 

Bill Gombeski, UK HealthCare's director of strategic marketing, said the tag for the campaign came about like all good branding campaigns do -- from research. UK HealthCare has an ongoing dialogue with employee and patient advisory groups on campus, at the medical center, among physicians and in the community.

 

The goal of the campign, Gombeski said, is to "raise awareness of our advanced medicine role," which will help continue to grow the patient base in areas important to health-care in the state while also increasing employee and patient pride in the work done by UK HealthCare.

 

Gombeski said the early response to the campaign has been good. Patient and employee response has been positive, and perhaps most tellingly, calls are up from referring physicians.

 

The campaign, in my judgment, accomplishes what the best kind of branding efforts do - it reinforces key strategic messages that separate the institution from others. In this case, UK HealthCare's differentiator, if you will, is that it provides advanced, subspecialty care that can't be provided in other places.

 

As Mike Karpf, UK's executive vice president for health affairs, often says: a Kentuckian should be able to wake up in any corner of the state, knowing that no matter how sick they are, they can receive the best of care at UK HealthCare.

 

"That's Why We Are Here" underscores that powerful message in meaningful ways.

 

 

 

 


 

University of Kentucky, Miami of Ohio, Enrollment Management

The attached post from The Washington Post -- http://tinyurl.com/7ba3uw5 -- describes the significant jump in early admissions at Miami of Ohio. In short, their enrollment management chief says the university isn't spending more on its marketing, it is simply talking more directly with prospective students about quality -- quality of faculty, quality of programs and the quality of experiences that students can get that will lead to fulfilling careers.

 

In the last few years, as we've gone back and talked to prospective students through survey research and focus groups, we've discovered the same dynamic. Students want to know what a degree from UK will mean for them. They want to understand, to that end, what kind of faculty interaction they will have and the experiences they can receive that will help them be well-rounded, attractive candidates for jobs.

 

Students and their families understand very well the world we live in -- a high complex, interdependent and global economy, one that has been facing significant challenges.

 

The question for all of us who help market our colleges is how to develop compelling, truthful and transparent engagement with prospective students and families that resonates?

 

We're all facing the same economic constraints. Our customers  -- our stakeholders -- want to know how we plan to help them succeed.
 

What makes a public research institution different?

Why public research universities?

 

Two stories in this weekend's Herald-Leader tell all you need to know.

 

The first involves a potentially groundbreaking device and surgical procedure that may help more patients in need of a double lung transplant. Pioneered at UK by doctors Charles Hoopes and Jay Zwischenberger, this story -- http://www.kentucky.com/2011/07/29/1828752/uk-lung-transplant-recipient.html -- illustrates in compelling fashion how basic scientific research leads to medical and economic breakthroughs that can literally save lives and change communities and states.

 

The second story involves an innovative partnership between UK and community treasure, Keeneland, to provide free dental screenings to the children of workers in Kentucky's equine industry http://www.kentucky.com/2011/07/31/1829536/uk-keeneland-bring-dental-clinic.html. It's precisely the kind of engagement and service that only a land-grant institution, with strong research can provide.

 

Kentucky is plagued by high rates of poor oral health, a condition that can lead to a whole host of other health issues, ranging from diabetes to pre-term, low birth weight babies. Attacking poor oral health early life is critical.

 

The two stories, which range from the most basic of health care to the most sophisticated and technical of medical procedures, underscore the difference-makers that research universities are to our country and our future progress.

What makes a public research institution different?

Why public research universities?

 

Two stories in this weekend's Herald-Leader tell all you need to know.

 

The first involves a potentially groundbreaking device and surgical procedure that may help more patients in need of a double lung transplant. Pioneered at UK by doctors Charles Hoopes and Jay Zwischenberger, this story -- http://www.kentucky.com/2011/07/29/1828752/uk-lung-transplant-recipient.html -- illustrates in compelling fashion how basic scientific research leads to medical and economic breakthroughs that can literally save lives and change communities and states.

 

The second story involves an innovative partnership between UK and community treasure, Keeneland, to provide free dental screenings to the children of workers in Kentucky's equine industry http://www.kentucky.com/2011/07/31/1829536/uk-keeneland-bring-dental-clinic.html. It's precisely the kind of engagement and service that only a land-grant institution, with strong research can provide.

 

Kentucky is plagued by high rates of poor oral health, a condition that can lead to a whole host of other health issues, ranging from diabetes to pre-term, low birth weight babies. Attacking poor oral health early life is critical.

 

The two stories, which range from the most basic of health care to the most sophisticated and technical of medical procedures, underscore the difference-makers that research universities are to our country and our future progress.

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