Business and Financial Models

AuthorRebecca Purdom - Greg Brandes - Karen Westwood
Chapter 11
Business and Financial Models
The proliferation of electronic devices at virtually every level of society promises great potential for using
those same devices in higher education. Many institutions have made forays into distance learningsome
with excellent programs and dramatic success, and others with offerings considered rather bland by
students. The latter were not particularly well received.
A wide variety of business and financial models can work for the creation and delivery of distance
education, ranging from free distribution (generally without any attached assessment, certification or
degree) to full-price degree programs. Within legal education, distance programs have so far been on a
paid basis. Pricing models vary, but they generally reflect the same tuition structure as the rest of the
This chapter addresses:
Business case for distance learning. How does a law school assess its ability to provide
appropriate online programs?
Start up and ongoing financial models. How should an institution develop budget models that
account for launching and sustaining online programs with reasonable expectations for
investment and returns?
Home-grown programs, third-party partners, and institutional partnerships. When should an
institution develop a program internally and when should it look to outside partners and
investment for program development and support?
Business Case for Distance Learning
From both business and financial perspectives, the decision to offer distance learning should not be made
lightly but rather should be based at the outset on a sound, complete, and well-supported business case.
Setting forth and critically evaluating all factors of the proposed venture, including the strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities, and risks associated with the proposed offerings, and providing well-supported
revenue and cost projections will help the school accurately evaluate both the fit and opportunity of the
proposal. Of particular import are the potential costs associated with establishing or enhancing the
Information Technology (IT) infrastructure and the supporting personnel needed to ensure seamless
delivery of programs.
For institutions that already have robust systems and expert IT personnel, program development, testing,
and rollout should be readily achievable and affordable, both in financial and personnel terms.
Implementation will cost more for an institution lacking experts, experienced personnel, and a fully
functional, integrated, well-tested and adequately staffed IT infrastructure. It is worth noting that, in

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT