Campus dining directors operate in a higher education environment that is facing a wide range of financial, enrollment and operating challenges. Here are a variety of background articles to help you be more informed about them.

 

College Unbound

This NPR interview with Chronicle of Higher Education editor  Jeffrey Selingo's about his 2013 book, College Unbound, offers a quick overview of view that skyrocketing costs of higher education and increasing public skepticism  about its value proposition make this a transformative time in higher education. Selingo touches on the boom in residence hall construction, the growth in student lifestyle amenties and on the looming financial challenges facing many schools. It also offers an excerpt from the book.

Here's a link to printed excerpts from NPR's interview with Selingo.

Elsewhere, Amazon.com makes an audio excerpt from College Unbound available free on its site to give you a taste of Selingo's writing style.
 

Student Kitchens Become a New Campus Gathering Place

Those with a subscription to The Chronicle of Higher Education will be interested in its 2013 article on the changing nature and use of student kitchens, Social Life Heats Up in New Student Kitchens.
 

Managing the Student Lifestyle...

is the name of a a selected compilation of articles from Inside Higher Ed that covers key topics from Recruitment to Orientation to Retention. These are critical issues for college dining directors as well. To download a free pdf of the collection, go to: http://www.insidehighered.com/booklets
 

U-Cal System Challenged by Tuition Freeze Proposal

Incoming President Janet Napolitano wades into the fray with a proposal to the system's Board of Regents.

 

In Rustbelt States, Colleges Compete for Declining Population of Students 

The same is true in many other midwest and northeast regions, as demographics work against college strategic plans that call for growth. In northeast Ohio, here's how that battle is shaping up: Universities battle for students in Northeast Ohio.
 

State Higher Ed Budgets Rebound 

Illinois State University's annual Grapevine Report by its Center for the Study of Education Policy finds that state funding for higher ed is up for the 2014 budget year, but still lags significantly behind the level it was at in 2009.
 

Maximizing College Revenue 

At the 2013 annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), a major theme was how colleges might find new sources of capital and on the most promising ways to invest that money for the future. In this article, Show Me New Money, Inside Higher Education looked at various strategies discussed there, such as Ohio State's recent decision to outsource  its parking operation for $480 million.

 

Feds Still Looking to Rank College ROI's in National Ratings 

In last year's State of the Union address, President Barack Obama dedicated a part of his remarks to describing the administration's plans to rate U.S. colleges in terms of the ROI they return to students in terms of what they cost to attend and what the student can hope to gain from an individual institution's degrees. That effort is just getting underway, as described in this story in the December 2013 Bloomberg BusinessWeek,  The Government Wants to Grade your College.
 

Small Colleges Re-Think Discount, Rack Rates and Price Positioning 

As college counselors are fond of pointing out, prospective students and their families can not accurately estimate the cost of attending many colleges by their published tuition rates since financial aid formulas sometimes discount those by as much as 50 percent. Now, increasing numbers of small private schools are taking a different tack and making the sticker price--and the discount rates-- lower. Here's what The New York Times found when it studied the trend: Getting Out of Discount Game, Small Colleges Lower the Price.
 

The College Board Publishes Its Annual Look at College Pricing Trends 

Published prices, net prices, regional pricing variations—they're all covered in the College Board's annual look at Trends in College Pricing. Dining directors can also look at how room and board fees have changed over time.
 

Families Push Back Against the Ever-Rising Cost of College 

There's a rumbling in the land, and its starting to have an impact on who applies for college and where they decide to go, according to new research by Sallie Mae.  Read Inside Higher Education's Holding the Line. The story also contains links to other research related to this topic. For a look at the advice Money Magazine is giving parents on this issue, read: Does college still pay off?
 

Is Student Loan Debt the Next Big Bubble? 

Many people think so, and in January, Bloomberg BusinessWeek evaluated those arguments in Student Loans, the Next Big Threat to the U.S. Economy?
 

The Hefty Yoke of Student Loan Debt 

Default rates on student loans are rising rapidly, and every part of the economy may suffer as a result. Read The New York Times'  Hefty Debt for Students May be Yoke on Economy.