Two models of preparing to weather change

Today’s Chronicle of Higher Ed tells of two different approaches to weathering change.

Bard, a small liberal arts college in the Hudson Valley, with, likely, plenty of cash, bought a small liberal arts college in Berlin, Germany.

After it merges with Bard, says the news release, “academic programs will be expanded and graduates will receive a dual degree accredited in Germany and the United States,” a new study-abroad program will be started next year, and “several master of arts degree programs are planned.”

Expanding into a global market in some way is one strategy; though Old Europe is not likely to have the kind of growth we’ll see in East and South Asia, Germany is probably the safest bet in that market.  Interestingly, the purchase also includes 15 buildings (for only 65 students!) so it’s worth arguing that it was also a real estate investment.

On the other hand, Southern University, a traditionally black college with plenty of real estate in its five Louisiana campuses, is expanding its services online–in part to draw upon the large number of older students in the state who might have started at Southern and been unable to complete their degrees the first time around.  The online partner will split the profits with Southern, but Southern will supply both materials and instruction for the online programs.

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