David Dowell, vice provost for planning and budgets at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), received a Fulbright award to participate in “Do More with Less–Implementing Change in Higher Education Management in Germany” program as part of a delegation of chief financial officers (CFOs) from 15 U.S. higher education institutions.
Led by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the German-American Fulbright Commission, the CFO delegation planned to compare learn management at American and German universities and identify best practices in both systems.
Dowell and his fellow delegates participated in workshops, expert meetings and panel discussions, and visited a range of German universities in Berlin, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg
The study visit introduced the U.S. administrators to the ways that German universities have responded to major financial reform pressures over the last decade and the results they have achieved, and to explore how this might be relevant to the current U.S. situation.
“I can certainly share our challenges of serving students well with declining resources. I can talk about budget, enrollment management and student success,” said Dowell, he said before the trip. “I hope to learn more about similarities and differences between U.S. and German university systems, management styles, budgeting practices, and the Euro crisis.”
With escalating financial pressures at U.S. institutions, senior administrators are facing unique challenges that are forcing them to react and restructure to maximize resources. Public higher education institutions are challenged further by state funding cuts that translate into budget crunches and force them to prioritize their programs. The study tour addressed these issues by examining financial strategies and efficiencies in the German model.
Questions addressed during the study tour included:
- How do German university leaders reshape their institutions and shift them from traditional state-government driven “alma maters” to modern, efficient and highly competitive knowledge providers?
- How do they slim down and professionalize their civil-service-based administration at no extra cost, and with the support of faculty?
- How do they adjust their higher education contracts with the state governments, secure quality in teaching and research and yield expected outcome-based results in student learning?
- How does change management affect faculty and students, and how do institutions in a severely underfinanced environment balance reform, lean administration, quality and market pressures?
- How do they motivate all stakeholders alike to support the process?
The German-American Fulbright Program implements Senator J. William Fulbright’s visionary concept: The promotion of mutual understanding between our two countries through academic and bicultural exchange. The largest and most varied of the Fulbright programs worldwide, the German-American Fulbright Program has sponsored more than 40,000 Germans and Americans since its inception in 1952.
IIE is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices worldwide and more than 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations and corporations.