2024 EDUCAUSE Top 10: Institutional Resilience [video]

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The 2024 EDUCAUSE Top 10 describes the contributions that technology, data, and the workforce will make to advance three dimensions of institutional resilience: mission resilience, operational resilience, and financial resilience.

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The 2024 EDUCAUSE Top 10 is sponsored by AT&T, Jenzabar, and CDW Education.

As we look ahead, higher education faces an ever-shifting sea of challenges: the public’s lack of confidence, the ongoing student debt crisis, climate change and weather disasters, cybersecurity breaches, deep fakes, culture polarization, and more. We can no longer assume that business as usual is punctuated by the occasional unforeseen bad event. Anomaly is the new normal.

Today’s leadership agenda must expand beyond growth and innovation to address risk and to prepare for what may be ahead. In 2024, institutional and technology leaders will focus their efforts on developing institutional resilience, which is the ability to anticipate, respond to, and adapt to rapidly changing circumstances in ways that maximize opportunities and minimize threats of unforeseen events. The EDUCAUSE 2024 Top 10 describes three dimensions of institutional resilience: mission resilience, operational resilience, and financial resilience.

Mission Resilience

An institution’s missions – most commonly education, research, and service – are enduring, but their expression and advancement must adapt to the needs and opportunities of the times. Education is the focal point of mission resilience, as evidenced by three of the 2024 Top 10:

#3, The Enrollment Crisis
#4, Diving Deep into Data
#6, Meeting Students Where They Are

Operational Resilience

Operational resilience extends to the institution’s assets and workforce and to its planning and decision-making processes. During the pandemic, higher education overcame its reputation for slow, grudging, and incremental change. Institutional leaders can now use the pace, flexibility, and widespread collaboration that characterized pandemic-era operations as a catalyst for fostering enduring institutional agility. Four of the 2024 Top 10 reflect this dimension:

#1, Cybersecurity as a Core Competency
#2, Driving to Better Decisions
#7, Hiring Resilience
#10, Adapting to the Future

Financial Resilience

Many institutions’ fiscal foundations have been based on decades-long trends and tactics. Enrollments, grants, investments, gifts, and capital and operating costs have had a certain range that shaped good or bad financial performance, and leaders understood the levers to pull to adapt. But outcomes today are unresponsive to the traditional levers, as illustrated by three of the 2024 Top 10:

#5, Administrative Cost Reduction
#8, Financial Keys to the Future
#9, Balancing Budgets

The last several years have shown us that the unthinkable can happen and that we need more than tradition, hope, and luck to survive. We need to cultivate resilient institutions. In 2024, leaders will be using technology and data to help higher education increase its mission, operational, and financial resilience.