The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published a provocative post about financial transparency on its Vitae blog. Allison M. Vaillancourt, an administrator at the University of Arizona, writes that frank discussion of financial issues with faculty and staff can benefit university employees. She argues that rather than avoiding the conversation or trying to protect people from a scary reality, it's best to give them the details they need to make changes.
As funding for higher education becomes more challenging, we have to consider how our day-to-day actions can influence the costs of running our enterprises. We can leave these decisions to our most senior administrators, or we can educate and engage people throughout our institutions to consider how to drive down expenses and expand revenues. Do you think people at your institution are up for that challenge?
You can read the post in its entirety here.
How have you handled financial challenges at your school? Do you keep them quiet? Or share them with the community? Clearly one must strike a balance — sharing enough to empower people, but not so much that everyone runs from the room, screaming, “The sky is falling!”
We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Image: "The Conjurer" by Hieronymous Bosch