Benchmark This!

Latest Trends Impacting Marketing and Higher Education
from Director of UPCEA's Center for Research and Strategy, Jim Fong

Cybersecurity, FaceApp, and Higher Ed

I admit it. I did the FaceApp thing and I shouldn’t have been surprised that the “old me” looks a lot like my father. However, like many others, I later learned through the media that there are potential threats and concerns regarding the ownership and permissions of the app. While the developers of the app are located in the Russia, my further research showed that the creators’ goal is revenue generation, and not necessarily to sell information on the dark web or influence the 2020 U.S. elections. While the possibility exists and has significant potential, I’ve concluded that some of the risks may have been exaggerated. What is more relevant are that the systems of many major cities globally are being hacked and ransoms are being demand (and being paid), that customer databases are being stolen from major retailers and corporations, and that our power grids and utilities are under cyberattack.

Unlike the webmaster craze in the late 1990’s, cybersecurity education and training is here to stay. And unlike when professional, continuing and online (PCO) education units rushed to the Internet to have a presence, and colleges and universities responded with webmaster programs (which for many were ultimately not sustainable), cybersecurity threats continue to increase, morph and become more sophisticated. They are also a threat to the lifeblood of an organization, its employees and customers. Cybersecurity impacts higher education at so many levels, such as protecting sensitive student and financial information, and exposing externally contracted faculty research, as well as employee and customer records. A successful cyberattack can also shut down operations, negatively impact the institution’s brand, force it to pay ransoms, and be in violation of codes and standards. While most institutions have taken measures to protect their systems and educate their employees about cyberattacks, why haven’t colleges and universities taken a more active role in defending society? Is society better equipped to train the network administrator, technology manager, chief information officer or president of the company on cyber issues?

Higher education has an opportunity for leadership and new longer-term revenues. While many institutions may not be able to respond quickly enough to technological advancement and changes, the investing into an area like cybersecurity offers many benefits. Read our latest whitepaper to see for yourself.

Jim Fong, UPCEA

Lead consultant Jim Fong, the founding director of UPCEA’s Center for Research and Strategy, has extensive background in marketing at Penn State, as well as experience in private industry. Jim brings a rich understanding of the dynamics driving today’s higher education leaders, providing research-driven strategy and positioning. Jim often presents at UPCEA’s regional and national conferences, sharing vital information with attendees.

Whether you need benchmarking studies, or market research for a new program, UPCEA Consulting is the right choice.

We know you. We know the challenges you face and we have the solutions you need. We speak your language and have been serving leaders like you for more than 100 years. UPCEA consultants are current or former continuing and online higher education professionals who are experts in the industry—put our expertise to work for you.


Data that tells your story.

Whether you need to assess the viability of a new program, find out how you stack up with the competition or would like a program portfolio review, we can assist with research and data that will help move your unit forward. Your decisions impact the quality of your operation, as well as the bottom line. We’ll provide data that does more than sit on a page—it’s data that tells the story.

The UPCEA Center for Research and Strategy offers a variety of custom research options through a variable pricing model.


Click here to learn more.

Other UPCEA Updates + Blogs

Just Released: UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Credential Innovation

Over the past five years UPCEA has published two Hallmarks of Excellence frameworks, first in Online Leadership and then Professional and Continuing Education. These quality frameworks have been endorsed and used by countless organizations and institutions as they evaluate, enhance, and sometimes even build professional, continuing, and online enterprises. Today, I am so pleased to…

Read More

A Generational Redefinition of Higher Education, Post-COVID-19

Older Gen Zers (often called the “iGeneration”) may be a deciding factor in not only the upcoming presidential and congressional elections, but also in what higher education will look like in the future, post-COVID-19. Generation Z is typically defined as individuals born between 1995 and 2005, are roughly between 14 and 24 years of age,…

Read More

Major Announcement: Introducing online professional development from UPCEA

I am pleased to share a major announcement today regarding a profession that is indispensable to the future of higher education. The field of Professional, Continuing, and Online Education (PCO) has truly come of age in the 21st century – and our importance and sophistication continues to expand exponentially as our members play an increasingly…

Read More

Look no further for your benchmarking and research needs

Today I’m writing to shine a light on UPCEA’s best kept secret: the Center for Research and Strategy led by Jim Fong and featuring some of the best consultants in the industry. The Center provides actionable research and benchmarking free of charge for all members; and high value custom consulting across the entire spectrum of…

Read More

UPCEA Issues Public Comments to Department of ED on Regular + Substantive, Distance Education Regulations

Today, UPCEA has submitted comments to the US Department of Education in response to their Notice of Public Rulemaking (NPRM) issued on April 2, 2020, which closes on May 4, 2020. These regulations were informed by the 2018-2019 negotiated rulemaking committee. We wrote regarding clarification and suggested edits for how the NPRM amends key definitions…

Read More

Regional conferences go virtual ⁠— and are free for members!

Exciting news: All five of our 2020 UPCEA Regional Conferences this fall will now be fully virtual AND are free of charge to our members! Choose one or all five regions for this new conference experience—Virtually Together: 2020 UPCEA Regional Conference Series. All are open and complimentary for members this year. Gather your team and…

Read More

The Nation's Top Universities Choose UPCEA Consulting

Informed decisions. Ideas that work. The data you need. Trusted by the top universities in the nation.