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Economic Models Project

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) has initiated a two-year project that aims to help its member institutions navigate the changing dynamics of current higher education economic models. The project will illustrate the current state of economic models of higher education, set a vision for what future economic models might look like, and produce an extensive discussion guide designed to be used by governing boards, presidents, their leadership teams, and their stakeholders to engage in the difficult work of structural and cultural change within higher education.

An overarching goal of this project is to ensure that the economic models of higher education in the 21st century continue to provide students the opportunity to enrich their minds, their lives, and their communities, as well as enable institutions to pursue their missions in research and service.

Additional key goals of the Economic Models Project are to:

  • Equip NACUBO members with a comprehensive tool that provides the foundation for institutions to engage in complex conversations about higher education economic models that are financially sustainable, efficient, effective, and meet the needs of students, employers, and society.
  • Impact the national debate on higher education economic models on behalf of NACUBO member institutions with objective quantitative and qualitative information.
  • Develop a communications strategy that allows NACUBO leaders and our member chief business officers a prominent voice in the discussion on changes to the higher education economic model.

Economic Models Project

To equip NACUBO members and others with the information and tools to understand, communicate and resolve the economic sustainability challenges facing higher education today, the NACUBO Economic Models Project has produced two white papers.

(Background Papers: Convening on Financial Data in Higher Education, pages 20-28, March 2016)

Additional Resource


Jacalyn Askin
Senior Fellow, Finance and Campus Management