3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009

Barry T. Ryan, president of Argosy University, Southern California, is responsible for the integration of the operations and planning for the four Argosy campuses in Southern California. Ryan has overseen an annual growth rate of more than 30 percent since his arrival in January 2008. He came to Argosy originally as the president of its Washington, D.C., campus, following two decades of experience in higher education and law. He also served as a Judicial Fellow for former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist at the Supreme Court of the United States.

Q. How important is it to keep continuing education in the budget for companies in today’s economy?

It is vital for the success of contemporary companies to stay actively engaged in the continuing education of their work forces. Domestic competition demands an evermore educated employee resource pool, and international competition is often far ahead of American counterparts in such endeavors. Investment in the education of a work force pays dividends now and in the future, in terms of productivity, morale and intelligent growth.

Q. What is an error commonly made with continuing education in a down economy?

One common error is to slash support for continuing education of employees. What looks convenient on a spreadsheet at the moment may prove disastrous for the long-term health and welfare of the organization. Following cuts, the best employees will sometimes migrate elsewhere. Then it becomes even more economically inefficient for the company to recruit and train new workers, rather than retrain good ones who were already acculturated and committed to the organization’s success. Competitors who have continued to make the investment are better-positioned to leap ahead when economic conditions improve.

Q. In what ways can companies partner with colleges to save money on employee training?

A university can offer flexibility in meeting a company’s needs, with combinations of online, on-ground and hybrid methods of providing courses. In addition, colleges can sometimes teach courses at the company’s location. Customized curriculum can be delivered as individual workshops, certificate programs or full-fledged undergraduate and graduate degrees.