Collaboration, Technology, and Outsourcing Initiatives in Higher Education: A Literature Review
This report presents a sector-wide review of three types of cost-containment initiatives. The first, collaboration, allows for the sharing of resources, facilitates joint purchasing agreements, reduces duplication of services, and expands personal and professional contacts, but requires time to develop institutional relationships. The second, technology, introduces a range of equipment for automation, data processing, and communications; gives access to instruction and information through distance education and online systems; speeds up procedures; and customizes instruction for students. However, start-up costs are a major obstacle for this type of initiative, nor is it readily apparent to some how technology fits into institutional reward structures or the traditional view of student/teacher interaction. The third, outsourcing, involves contracting with an outside vendor to provide a service, allows institutions to bring in new expertise, technology, and services without hiring staff. It may also improve other, nonoutsourced services by introducing competition. However, outsourcing may require staff and expertise to manage the contracts and can also lower morale on campus if it results in layoffs. Following an introduction and descriptions of the methodology used, the report examines each type of initiative, listing benefits and limitations, provides descriptions of several programs, and makes some recommendations. (Contains 4 appendices and 70 references.) (MAB)
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