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Anticipating the Future of Higher Education. Presenter: James L. Morrison Date: March 16, 1998. SCT SUMMIT ’98. Session number / Page 1. Introduction. Objectives: What are the signals of change that will affect higher education in the 21st Century? How can we respond?

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Presenter: James L. Morrison Date: March 16, 1998

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Anticipating the Future of Higher Education

Presenter: James L. Morrison

Date: March 16, 1998


Session number / Page 1


  • Objectives:

    • What are the signals of change that will affect higher education in the 21st Century?

    • How can we respond?

  • I will be your strategic intelligence officer

Strategic Intelligence

  • Identify signals of change

  • Gather information

  • Evaluate information

  • Make decisions to shape the future


  • The tool: Environmental scanning

  • The analysis: Change drivers

  • The data: social, economic, technological

  • The implications

Change Drivers

  • The Maturation of America

  • The Mosaic Society

  • Globalization

  • Economic Restructuring

  • Information Technology

Older Americans to Experience Fastest Growth (1990 to 2000)

Source: US. Bureau of the Census

Distribution of US. Population by Race and Origin (1900-2050)

Source: Business Horizons


  • Between 1970 and 2000 New York City’s population will shift from 2/3 white to 1/3

  • In 1970, 5%of U.S. residents born elsewhere; in 1996, 10%

  • Top sources: Mexico, the Philippines, China, Cuba, India

The Enrollment Pipeline

High School Graduates, 1979-2004

(millions of students)



We Are Here!














source: WICHE

An Aging Clientele for Higher Education

Impact of Continuing Education for the Workforce

  • Tomorrow (2000)

  • 672 new campuses

  • 20 million new learners

  • $235b to build

  • $217b/year to operate

  • Today

  • 3613 institutions

  • 16 million students

  • $156b in operations

  • Workforce Statistics

  • 141 million workers

  • 1/7 require 7 credit equivalents/year

Source: Michael Dolence AACRAO 1997

Supply and Demand

Demand for Education









Resources Available



  • An increasingly diverse society

  • Increasing student enrollment

  • An aging student population

  • Concern about costs/productivity

  • A disparity between supply and demand


  • Globalization

  • Economic Restructuring

  • Downsizing


  • Movement of capital, products, technology, information continue at record pace

  • Global economy

    • Regional free trade

    • Multinational corporations

  • Economic competition increase

  • Must be able to function in a global economy for job success in the 21st century


  • Continued organizational downsizing

    • corporate

    • governmental

    • educational

  • Virtual companies

  • Outsourcing

  • Increased number of home-based businesses

  • Responsibility-centered management

Percent of Firms Downsizing by Business Category

Source: Chicago Tribune, August 21, 1995

During the decade of the 80’s, 46% of the companies listed in the “Fortune 500” disappeared.

The Department of Labor estimates that by the year 2000 at least 44% of all workers will be in data services (e.g., gathering, processing, retrieving, or analyzing information).

From 1980 to 1994, the U.S. contingent workforce—temps, self-employed, consultants—increased 57%

Fading are the 9-5 workdays, lifetime jobs, predictable, hierarchical relationships, corporate culture security blankets, and, for a large and growing sector of the workforce, the workplace itself (replacedby a cybernetics “workspace”).

Constant training, retraining, job-hopping, and even career-hopping will become the norm.

Today, 65% of all workers use some type of information technology in their jobs. By 2000, this will increase to 95%.


  • Globalization

  • Economic Restructuring


Students can no longer prepare bark to calculate problems. They depend instead on expensive slates. What will they do when the slate is dropped and breaks?

Teacher’s Conference, 1703

Students depend on paper too much. They no longer know how to write on a slate without getting dust all over themselves. What will happen when they run out of paper?

Principal’s Association Meeting, 1815

Students depend too much upon ink. They no longer know how to use a knife to sharpen a pencil.

National Association of Teachers, 1907

Students depend too much on store bought ink. They don’t know how to make their own. What will happen when they run out?

Rural American Teacher, 1928

“You don’t turn it on. You open it and turn the pages.”

What Lies Ahead in Technology

  • Diminution

  • Simulations

  • Virtual Reality

  • WWW

  • Low-Earth-Orbit Satellites

  • Web TV

  • Net PC

  • Expert Systems

The cost of computing power drops roughly 30% every year, and microchips are doubling in performance power every 18 months.

You give the birthday kid a Saturn, made by Sega, the gamemaker. It runs on a higher-performance processor than the original 1976 Cray supercomputer.

Today’s average consumers wear more computing power on their wrists than existed in the entire world before 1961.

In 1991, companies spent more money on computing and communications gear than the combined monies spent on industrial, mining, farm, and construction equipment.

Today, 65% of all workers use some type of information technology in their jobs. By 2000, this will increase to 95%.

I very much doubt that we’re the only family on the block without a Web page.

Signals of Change On the Horizon


  • Educational courses and programs are being produced by corporations

  • Cable and phone companies are consolidating to provide interactive multimedia programming


  • A third of Americans have a computer in the home; 40% of these have modems

  • An increasing number of students want and need non-traditional, flexible schedules


  • Certification monopoly at risk

    • employers concerned about competency

    • employers relying less on diplomas

  • Outcomes assessment coming on line--Western Governors University


  • Job guarantee programs

    • Univ Miami engineering

    • St. John Fisher College

    • Univ Missouri-Rolla


  • Transition from learned infrastructure to learning infrastructure

  • Transition from distance learning to distributed learning


  • Cyber-Universities

    • 1993: 93

    • 1997: 762


  • “Every day seems to bring the dawn of a new era”

  • To anticipate the future, we must identify signals of change

  • To shape our future, we must interpret and act on these signals

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