By Joseph Clay, Vice President – Human Capital Management Transformation at Oracle
The landscape for higher education is changing rapidly with greater emphasis on student experience, value creation, and affordability. In our webcast “The Modern Campus: Challenges and Opportunities for Human Capital Initiatives” we examine how HR can best leverage these changes to influence and perhaps even drive strategy for their institutions. Together with John Kiss, Senior Manager, Risk & Internal Audit, and Jeffery Haynes, Director Human Capital Services for Baker Tilly, we’ve explored the current challenges facing Higher Education and discussed how HR can play an integral role in helping institutions deliver on strategies and achieve greater success.
Higher Education is experiencing an early phase of a disruptive change. Advances in technology, new paths for obtaining a degree, ongoing tuition increases, and alternative funding practices are just a few components of this change. Last year, Oracle partnered with University Business on a survey of business, finance and executive leaders in Higher Education to identify the most critical challenges facing their institutions. Over 70% identified developing new sources of revenue as a top concern, 67% identified containing or reducing costs, 63% retaining students, 54% competing for new students and finally 48% listed upgrading technology systems and business processes as a top opportunity. Is the HR function in your institution prepared to play a role as Higher Education continues changing? Let’s take a closer look at some of these disruptive factors.
Many HR functions in higher education have a structural disadvantage because their budgets have historically been around 50% - 75% lower than other industries. Under-investment in the function has resulted in slower adoption of leading practices and a tendency to focus more on compliance and risk mitigation activities. A 2013-14 HR systems survey by CedarCrestone revealed extremely low adoption levels for workforce analytics, social media, business intelligence tools, and workforce /talent management. In fact, 97% of the survey participants identified HR as a heavily administrative function. Today, as institutions strive to anticipate, adapt and manage the changing higher education landscape, HR must become a more proactive partner.
Closing this gap offers HR an opportunity to redefine its traditional administrative role. The first step to closing the gap involves making an informed investment decision in more modern technology. Jeffery Haynes of Baker Tilly provided an overview of the latest research on how HR leaders are starting to make investing in modern, integrated HCM tools a priority. You can hear the discussion in the webcast about how HR leaders are starting to better understand how developing modern, sophisticated HR programs can lead to better student outcomes. A National Survey of Student Engagement determined the following, “Today’s student success is strongly correlated with the extent to which students interact with supportive adults on campus, both inside and outside the classroom.”
As you can see, these are highly disruptive and exciting times in Higher Education. The historical gap in HR funding and the subsequent focus on solely administrative work limited its ability to support the critical needs of the institution. Today, however, Human Resource leaders are aware of the need for change and see investing in technology as part of the solution.
Listen to the webcast “The Modern Campus: Challenges and Opportunities for Human Capital Initiatives” to learn more about the real opportunity for HR leaders to to shift the focus to modern, sophisticated HR programs like Talent Acquisition and Talent Management for reducing costs, and even driving student success.