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Are you looking for that perfect session that discusses a challenge you are facing in your home institution?  Are you looking for possible solutions or perspectives that will help you along the way?  Have you tackled a challenge at your institution that others may be experiencing?  Are you presently trying to assess and find a way forward for a newly emerging challenge? 

You are not alone!  The HEUG stands as a pillar of support and collaboration for institutions facing these challenges. As a community of professionals across various universities, the HEUG provides a platform for sharing experiences, insights, and solutions.  The challenges faced by higher education institutions are significant, but they are not insurmountable. With the support of organizations like HEUG and a commitment to collaboration and innovation, universities and colleges across the globe are well-positioned to thrive in this dynamic environment. Together, we can navigate these challenges, embrace change, and continue to provide quality education and support for our students and staff. 

We hope the following list of institutional challenges serves as encouragement for you to submit a presentation proposal on any of these topics or any other challenge your institution has recently solved or is currently working through.   

Affirmative Action Changes 

Affirmative action policies have long played a crucial role in promoting diversity and inclusion on college campuses. However, recent changes in these policies have universities reevaluating their admissions and recruitment strategies.  

Cloud Adoption 

The adoption of cloud technologies is transforming the way universities manage data and deliver services. While the cloud offers numerous benefits, including scalability and cost-efficiency, it also presents unique challenges.  

Enrollment Numbers 

Enrollment numbers are a critical metric for universities, affecting both finances and the student experience. Declining enrollments, especially retention between the first and second years, and changing demographics are common challenges.  

Changing Times, Technologies, and Resources 

The higher education sector continually faces shifts in technology and resource availability. To thrive in this dynamic environment, institutions may consider investment in digital infrastructure, innovation and adaptability among faculty and staff, collaboration with industry partners and peer institutions, expansion of online learning, and/or streamlining of administrative processes. 

Application Security Management 

As universities rely more on digital systems, application security becomes paramount. A breach can lead to data loss and reputational damage. Holistic security solutions, regular security update protocols, security audits, and comprehensive training are just some aspects of proper application security management. 

FAFSA Simplification Act 

Upcoming changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process have significant implications for both students and financial aid administrators. Some of these challenges might include ensuring staff and students are properly educated on the changes, adjusting institutional processes and technologies, and offering additional support and resources during the transition. 

Secure 2.0 – Federal Regulation Related to Benefits and Retirement 

New federal regulations related to benefits and retirement affect university employees.  To ensure appropriate handling, work may include clearly communicating changes to staff, coordinating with all HR departments for smooth transition, and offering financial planning resources for employees impacted by the regulation. 

Succession Planning 

The “Great Resignation” and workforce changes have raised concerns about institutional knowledge and stability. Institutions may choose to develop comprehensive success planning strategies, encourage ongoing knowledge sharing and documentation of processes and procedures, and preparing and offering early retirement options for experienced employees while preparing for their successor. 

Other challenges to consider for Alliance 2024 topics: 

  • Leveraging Data for Student Success: Explore how universities can use data analytics and insights to enhance student success and improve overall institutional outcomes. 
  • Adapting to Regulatory Changes in Higher Ed – Tips for Compliance: Offer guidance on navigating complex regulatory changes in higher education, ensuring compliance while optimizing operations. 
  • Embracing Innovation in Higher Ed IT: Highlight innovative IT solutions and approaches that can drive efficiency, enhance learning experiences, and reduce costs in higher education. 
  • Sustainability Initiatives in Higher Ed – Going Green for a Better Future: Discuss sustainability efforts in higher education institutions, including energy-saving technologies, waste reduction, and environmentally friendly practices. 
  • Future-Proofing Higher Education – Preparing for Technological Disruptions: Explore strategies for future-proofing educational institutions against technological disruptions and preparing for the next wave of innovations. 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Higher Ed: Address the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in higher education and share successful practices and programs. 

We hope to hear all about these topics and more when we see you in Phoenix! 

Thank you, 

The Alliance 2024 Program Team 

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