Meeting the challenges of higher education


Jason Osborne is a highly experienced leader in US higher education (HE) who has held leadership positions at Miami University, Clemson University, and The University of Louisville in his resume. His most recent leadership position is Special Assistant to President Greg Crawford at Miami University.

In this interview with The Knowledge Review, Jason uses the breadth of his leadership experience within HE to discuss how US institutions can meet the sector’s challenges.

Interview with Jason Osborne (Miami University)

Q: What are the key challenges facing HE institutions in the US? 

Firstly, thank you, Deepak, for interviewing me. Much appreciated, and I hope this is useful for you.

Higher education in the US in 2023 faces challenges that reflect global pressures and internal stressors.

While working as Provost and in other HE leadership positions, I’ve seen the speed at which challenges have been coming for educational institutions in the US. Some, like the COVID-19 pandemic, were utterly unpredictable.  Others, like the “demographic cliff” and reduced public funding for higher education, have been ongoing for decades.  Yet it seems as though the rate of change has increased exponentially over the last decade or so, particularly since the pandemic hit.

Higher education faces many simultaneous, serious challenges.  Yet as my colleague Brent Shock and I discuss in our recent Inside Higher Ed article, none of them are insurmountable if institutions are strategic and focus on their core mission and values.  Let’s talk about a few that have been top of mind recently.