LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute Explores Financial Leadership
October 14, 2019, @ 10:29 AM
The third cohort of the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute continues to explore different aspects of the higher education industry. This month marks the third session for this group and focused on financial leadership. This session was offered by Audra Kahr, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer, Cedar Crest College, and Mark Reed, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO, Moravian College. Kahr and Reed met with the group on Friday, October 11, 2019 in the Governor’s Suite at Iacocca Hall on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus.
Attendees gathered to learn more about the high-level aspects of the role of chief financial officer, the paths Reed and Kahr took to arrive in this role, and the ways in which they can partner with their current CFOs on their own campuses. The presentation also included an overview of general finances: sources of income and expenses for colleges and universities, long-term investments, endowments, operating expenses, etc.
While this overview offers insights into the general processes at higher education institutions in general, attendees asked for more detail regarding discount rates, rising tuition costs, and market trends for the overall industry. As these conversations take place nationwide, the input from the LVAIC campus leadership sheds light on the way our local colleges are managing these changes in the current landscape.
As the group heard about the challenges and opportunities involved with financial leadership, the attendees gained a deeper understanding of the way this work integrates with every aspect of the institution. Beyond managing multiple departments, financial leaders must balance the campus budget with competing priorities, plan for changes in governmental regulations, and overall market analysis. With the changing landscape of higher education, institutions must think and plan very differently; this type of decision-making holds major impacts with a far-reaching ripple-effect that affects the whole university.
This program hosts 24 mid-career faculty and mid-level administrators who have interest and potential for advanced administrative leadership in higher education. This is a 10 month program that allows participants to explore multiple aspects of leadership in higher education while building their personal and organizational capacity for leadership. The topics explored through this program include:
- The future of Higher Education
- Academic Affairs
- Student Affairs
- Human Resources
- Enrollment Management
- Assessment and Accreditation
- Role of President and External Relationships