Phone: (203) 979-8867
Email: Jim Locker

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Creating Sustainable Performance Improvement

Case 7: Institutional Turnaround

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." ~ Albert Einstein

Situation One of the smallest fine arts colleges in the US was near closing — declining enrollment, aging physical plant, higher program cost
Background Trustees established cross-functional team — board, administrative staff, faculty and outside consultants — to develop alternative courses of action
Analysis & Action:

Our Process
- Five year planning horizon adopted to stress-test sustainability
- Business-as-usual option determined to be economically unviable
- Sensitivity to operating options evaluated — none proved viable
- Identified strategic approach to merge with financially-stable institution
- Engaged former college president with merger experience to assist
- Several merger candidates held discussions with key team members
Result - Growing and financially-stable university signed merger agreement
- School continues to operate as autonomous college at existing location
- Operating deficits covered while expanding curriculum and recruiting
- Focused outreach attracted immediate/future donation commitments
- Most importantly: freshman enrollment is up over 40%!