Up to now Piedmont College has taken a rather impressionistic approach to launching new academic programs. Even though we have generally been successful in the past, we believe the increasing intensity of competition in higher education requires us to embrace a more focused, quantitative, and data-informed approach to decision making. Given the college’s recent adoption of a new five-year strategic plan, this seems like the right time to put strategic decisions in the academic area on a firmer footing. I am optimistic that Hanover will provide us the evidence we need to make strategic decisions that increase Piedmont College’s recognition in our region, increase enrollment, and increase net tuition revenue.

Investing in mission-driven program development is an important path to success as an institution. My advice to fellow chief academic officers would be to leverage their positions to help make that happen. In the case of institutions with moderate means and relatively low levels of staffing such as my own, intelligently determining the right mix of marketable programs consistent with institutional mission may require an external partnership to provide the necessary market data and analysis.

Dr. Dan Silber, Vice President for Academic Affairs

Hanover Research