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In 2004, Phil Goldstein led a year long ECAR research project looking at the state of IT Funding in Higher Education. The study included interviews, case studies and a survey of 472 IT officers and 386 chief business officers. The major conclusions of the research are:

  • The cost of maintaining already implemented technology is crowding out the ability to invest in new needs and innovations. This poses a significant threat to the industry's ability to invest in research and learning technologies.
  • Few institutions are investing sufficiently to maintain already implemented technologies. There is a deferred technology maintenance problem looming that could threaten the reliability and performance of past IT investments.
  • There is a growing disparity between public and private institutions' ability to fund today's technology needs and invest in the future. Without further changes, the future technology capabilities of public institutions will significantly lag those of private institutions.

Philip Goldstein, Goldstein & Associates
March 2005
The obvious-and most important-lesson from the 2004 national elections is that domestic policy generally and higher education specifically lack visibility and salience as a federal issue. Terrorism, the war in Iraq and fiscal policy are likely to dominate the national policy and political agenda, absorbing the policy attention and the financial resources of the federal government. For higher education as a national priority the presidential election changed little if anything. Nor is it clear that a different outcome would have altered this reality.

February 2005
Partly because of the hoopla surrounding its release, institutional leaders may be tempted to quickly dismiss Measuring Up as just one more simple-minded approach to providing "public information" that only ends up making higher education look bad. After all, the report says nothing about my institution's performance and it excludes much of what higher education is all about, including graduate education and research. Can't it just be ignored so we can move on? Here are a couple of reasons why I don't think so.

Peter Ewell, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems
December 2004