Abstract for: Strategies for University Growth: A System Dynamics Analysis of Organizational Change

This paper reports on a study with a real-life client. In response to budgetary difficulties, administration at a tuition-dependent university pushed for growth in student enrollment. The expansion was resisted by the faculty who argued that the quality of education has declined. More students also impacted the use of university infrastructure. By actively engaging key stakeholders, a dynamic hypothesis was constructed and a small model was built that captured existing mental models. A working model was used to conduct experiments with the stakeholders. The experiments simulated key policy decisions to gain insights from the resulting behavior. University management is a topic that enjoys active debate and increased attention in the higher education policy and management literature. The current project could be expanded to include financials, graduate enrollment, and the pressure of academic research.