Editor's Note (The View From Here)

The Education Marketplace

After incurring some of the steepest cuts in recent state budgets — an average 10 percent decline in a five-year period — many states are beginning to route more funds back into higher education. The increase is significant, with all but nine states proposing funding increases for 2015. This is supported by the continued improvement in state finances as a result of record gains in the stock market and overall improvement in the economy. In August, the U.S. Department of Commerce revised its measure of total growth (GDP) upward and the Conference Board’s leading economic index made gains for the sixth straight month. All good news for higher education!

When it came to spending, past funding formulas were based on the number of full-time equivalent students enrolled at the beginning of a semester — encouraging access, but not necessarily successful completion. The new model is Performance-Based Funding. Currently 25 states have allocated some funding to performance-based indicators such as course completion and time to degree, as opposed to counting full-time equivalent students.

Performance matters. Institutions are looking to guarantee that every dollar they spend counts!

Our September issue is designed to help institutions get the most for their money by helping them evaluate suppliers and examine the wide range of options available. College Planning & Management’s Education Marketplace is the most comprehensive directory of products, services and suppliers for education. This year’s directory contains product information from more than 1,800 suppliers to the education market. To make it easier to use, products are sorted by category, then sub-category. For example, under the main category “Safety and Security,” you will find sub-categories for access control systems, alarms, surveillance cameras, etc.

The Product Index can be found on page 13. Find the product category you are interested in, and then flip to the designated page for a list of companies that provide this product. Full contact information for all suppliers in the directory can be found in the Suppliers Section that begins on page 63. The suppliers with bold or enhanced listings support the publication of this guide through their advertising dollars. Product Showcases, starting on page 102, will give you more detailed information about the products and services available to you. To round out this information resource, we have included an article on the value of mentoring procurement department staff, beginning on page 8.

Our goal with this issue is to make institutions better places for learning by helping you make the best use of your dollars! To make that even easier for you, this Buyers’ Guide is available 24/7 on the Education Marketplace website at www.EducationMarketplace.com.

This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of College Planning & Management.

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