A modest browsing of current research, articles, blogs, etc. regarding the state of higher education globally makes it clear that “The Academy” faces unprecedented challenges. Decline in public and private funding, competition between traditional on-campus, electronic, and hybrid delivery models, competition for and retention of quality faculty, declining belief in the viability of the student tuition models of the past, reduced student retention and completion rates, and many other issues confront the leadership of any higher ed institution. There is growing research and questions about perceived relevance of educational models to real life and the workplace. Meanwhile it is increasingly apparent that the growing complexity of physical, social, and spiritual issues can rarely be addressed effectively in isolation. Adding to the challenge, the rise of communications and collaborative technologies makes the isolated higher department or institution appear increasingly dated. Voices from government, business, community, funders, and, in the world of Christian higher education, the church and her agencies, are all calling for greater collaboration and integration of effort.
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