Benchmark This!

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

Don’t Tell My Mother…I Read a Fiction Book

My parents immigrated from China in the 1950s and 60s. They strongly encouraged my brothers and I to study engineering, computers, medicine or mathematics. Nothing else mattered. I chose math and my brothers chose computer science and electrical engineering. I went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in math and a master’s degree in statistics from the University of Vermont. However, the business school would have nothing to do with me…I wasn’t a strong writer.

It took a year of self-study and consuming every writing course at the local community college to prove that I was ready for an MBA. Since then, I’ve grown to appreciate the humanities, the study of history and even reading Harry Potter. Just don’t tell my mother.

Recent research by Strada and Emsi, along with research from UPCEA’s Center for Research and Strategy on the re-positioning or re-engineering the Liberal Arts curriculum for the new economy can be found here.

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.


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“Americans and many around the world are not terribly satisfied with the state of democracy and the institutions that undergird it. Experts who were canvassed about the relationship between people’s technology use and democracy also expressed serious concerns about how things will unfold in the next decade. […] Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor of online learning at the University…

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COVID 19 – CARES Act Funding + Reopening Policies The past few months have been confusing for institutions wishing to disburse COVID-19 emergency grant dollars due to the Department of Education changing allocation calculations and requirements, including eligibility for who can receive grants from the relief legislation. One of the main groups that the Administration has…

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