Expanding entrepreneurial strategies to increase revenues: a study of three distinctive higher education institutions with practical application at a community college
Higher education institutions in the state of Arizona have experienced a reduction in government funding due to the economic challenges the state is facing combined with an ongoing national recession. Three higher education institutions studied are located in Phoenix, Arizona. The three higher education institutions are Phoenix College, Arizona State University and The University of Phoenix. An analysis of documents made public by each institution was conducted and high level administrators at each institution were interviewed to learn about revenue streams currently active and planned. The results of this set of analyses were presented to the leadership team of Phoenix College in a three-hour strategic planning and priority setting meeting. The action research study assisted Phoenix College administrators in gaining knowledge about and initiating action plans to increase revenue through entrepreneurial strategies. Increased funding is necessary to offset reductions in state aid and property tax revenues. Implementing entrepreneurial strategies to increase funding can promote self-reliance and flexibility and can mitigate the damage to institutional mission success that is threatened by reductions in traditional funding. The strategic planning and priority setting exercise conducted at Phoenix College produced three immediate outcomes: it informed the community of practice about entrepreneurial strategies to increase funding that are in use by higher education institutions located in greater Phoenix, Arizona; it influenced the community of practice to examine entrepreneurial revenue streams and; it committed the leadership team to pursuing and enlarging three additional revenue streams.