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Mary Piccioli

Athletic Spending, Part 2 - Monday Musings
My colleague Kathy Kurz’s recent post on athletic expenditures inspired me to look at the issue on a local level. Not long ago, the sports section of my hometown newspaper included an article about expenditures on athletics at the local university, which happens to be my alma mater. The article pointed out that my school consistently ranked at or near the bottom of the conference in dollars spent on athletics. (To be fair, the writer pointed out how competitive some of the teams have been, even with smaller budgets.) But more importantly, in comparing athletic expenditures, the article failed to take into account differences in enrollment among the institutions. Wondering how different the ranking of expenditures might look if based on cost…Read more

Making the Most of the Visit Experience - Monday Musings
Who knew that wine tastings would cause me to think of work?! But sure enough, on a summer trip to wine country in Sonoma, CA, I couldn’t help but think of the comparison to campus tours. As your campus is making plans for visits after the first of the year, perhaps these comparisons will provide food for thought on making sure the experience is the best it can be for your guests. During that week in Sonoma, our “tour guide” at each winery played a significant role in the enjoyment of the experience, and ultimately, of the wine. We all know how important the tour guide is on a campus visit. A welcoming and engaging tour guide leaves a lasting, positive impression on a prospective student. It’s no different at a winery, or in the case…Read more

College Mergers - Monday Musings
At the end of July, Montreat College (Montreat, NC) and Point University (West Point, GA) announced plans to merge. The headline caught my eye for two reasons: 1) The former president of Montreat graduated from the same high school I did, and 2), I have been thinking and talking frequently about college mergers during the last couple of years. My hypothesis is that more mergers are inevitable. Price escalation resulting in public and political pressure, and changing demographics resulting in changes in demand, are two major forces that will cause institutions like Montreat and Point University to look first at collaboration, and eventually at merging, in order to cut costs and stay viable. For many small, medium and non-selective colleges and…Read more