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Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

How to Lead in Higher Education: Learn Creativity

Lynne Sampson
Managing Editor

Business acumen. Financial skills. Creativity. These are the skills required today of a chief business officer in the field of higher education.

Wait — creativity? Isn’t that for poets and conceptual artists?

Not anymore. Faced with falling levels of public funding and declining student enrollment, college and university business officers are getting creative to find new sources of revenue.

Some are partnering with corporations, providing training that is specific to what a company needs in its workforce. Some are looking overseas; Duke University recently partnered with a Chinese institution to open a new, joint university in China.

Still others are turning to continuing education, expanding their existing programs and launching new ones to attract adult learners. And more institutions are vying for sponsored research projects, often funded by private companies.

New Technology to Support New Operating Models

All of this complicates the job of finance teams that are tasked with planning, budgeting and forecasting revenue over the long term. Strapped for both staff and cash, finance teams must run numbers full of uncertainties with tools that were never designed to take these new business models into account.

Rather than relying on spreadsheets, which are time-consuming and error-prone, finance leaders at colleges and universities are looking for better, more cost-effective tools to help them plan and manage funding. Many of them are turning to enterprise performance management (EPM) in the cloud. These cloud systems include strategic modeling, profitability and cost management, and industry-specific functionality for new income sources such as continuing education and sponsored research.

The cloud also offers capabilities for other lines of business, helping campus recruiters target, attract and retain more students. A student information system that integrates with an institution’s finance systems can provide faster, more accurate insight into enrollment levels, helping finance teams to forecast revenue with greater accuracy. The combination of Oracle ERP CloudOracle EPM Cloud and Oracle Student Cloud can provide the insights and financial planning capabilities that business leaders are seeking.

Learn to Address Higher Education Challenges at NACUBO

Higher education leaders can learn more about these capabilities at the NACUBO Annual Meeting, July 21-24, 2018 in Long Beach, California. The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) is a membership organization representing more than 1,900 colleges and universities across the country. NACUBO represents chief business and financial officers through advocacy efforts, community service, and professional development activities.

NACUBO’s annual meeting is the industry's largest and best-attended event for college and university business officers. It’s a terrific opportunity to learn about what your peers are doing to address today’s higher education challenges.

There will also be cloud providers like Oracle on site, who can answer your questions about the latest technologies to support new business models. If your institution is already using Hyperion or PeopleSoft, we’ve made it easier than ever to move to the cloud and uptake new capabilities.

Please drop by the Oracle booth, # 1354, to talk about our migration packages, learn how you can easily get to the Oracle Cloud, and get more information about our industry support for higher education.

Register now for NACUBO 2018.

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