Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cautionary Tales: Strategy Lessons from Struggling Colleges

Cautionary Tales: Strategy Lessons from Struggling College by Alice W. Brown with a number of contributors was published in 2012.  While this book deals with similar themes to Brown's previously edited work, Changing Course: Reinventing Colleges, Avoiding Closure, there is little duplication.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading both books and feel they are complementary.  Brown does a good job of balancing case studies on specific institutions with topical chapters.

The book includes a number of chapters organized into five parts:
     Part One: Turning Around...includes chapters on trustees, how governing boards fail, observations of past president, faculty and staff, the role of faculty and staff in reviving fragile institutions, financial resources
     Part Two: Going It Alone...with chapters on Sue Bennett College [Methodist college in KY that closed in 1997], Mary Holmes College [Presbyterian college in MS that closed in 2004], and Lindenwood University [MO college that is doing well].
     Part Three:  Merging With Another College or University...with chapters RX for nonprofit colleges, Barat College [IL Catholic college that merged with DePaul University in 2001 and then closed in 2005], Western College [college in OH that merged with Miami University in 1974].
     Part Four:  Partnering With a For-Profit...including chapters on the College of Santa Fe [now the Santa Fe University of Art and Design], the for-profit challenge
     Part Five:  Lessons Learned...with the chapter, is there a future for small colleges...

Karen J. Haley's review from the Summer 2013 issue of The Review of Higher Education is also available.