I started a fight on LinkedIn last month. And I’d do it again. And this article for educators and by educators is exactly why.


What was the fight about? I had the gall – the absolute temerity – to tell higher education marketing executives that they need to look at prospective students as…are you ready?…customers!


They lost their minds. How could we possibly treat this institution of higher learning as a business? If we look at students as customers, then aren’t we turning education into a commodity?


My answer to their questions: In order to survive and it already is.


As this insane insider vs outsider battle raged, I read the attached article. It has helped me understand why we have this problem of understanding. We do speak different languages and more and more schools are making it more difficult to communicate across this chasm.


This article focuses on the concept of Chief Business Officers at colleges and universities. I focus on the concept of Chief Student Officers.


Higher Education exists to serve – students and society, business and industry – and the best way to do that is to focus with laser intensity on the audience you are serving. Professors (tenured all the way down to adjuncts with a few hours per semester) have a job. It is to teach you. That would make you, the student, the customer. Whether schools like it or not. Indeed, I would argue that students require a seat – or at least a voice via delegate — at every decision-making meeting at every institution. It is the only way to make sure our interests are being served, our voices are heard, and our future is in the right hands.


So, here’s the takeaway: when you review prospective schools – whether you are just starting out, seeking advanced training or going back to school to start over or change careers – try to consider BOTH the value of quality of education AND where you fit. If you are not being treated as a highly valued customer in what will likely be one of the two largest investments of your life, maybe you should consider additional options.


That’s why we built – to help you inform schools about what you need and want from them. You do it when you order a pizza, why not the basis of your career?