LONG ISLAND, NY — Three colleges and universities on Long Island may not survive the coronavirus pandemic. That's according to research by Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at New York University who categorized over 400 higher education institutions into four quadrants: thrive, survive, struggle or perish due to the effects of the coronavirus.
Galloway plotted the institutions across two axes: value and vulnerability. Value looked at factors such as credentials, experience, education and tuition. Vulnerability looked at factors such as endowment dollars per student and share of international students.
Low endowment dollars and reliance on full-tuition international students make a university vulnerable to what he called "Covid shock," as those institutions could opt to "sit this semester/year out."
Galloway's "perish" list includes 89 schools such as University of Massachusetts Boston, University of Indianapolis, University of New England, University of Hartford, George Fox University, and Robert Morris University. These schools feature a "sodium pentathol cocktail of high admit rates, high tuition, low endowments, dependence on international students, and weak brand equity," Galloway said.
On Long Island, Hofstra University, Long Island University and Adelphi University were all categorized under the "perish" list. St John's University, Pace University, Yeshiva University and Fordham were also on the dire list.
Full time enrollment: 9,331
Undergraduate admit rate: 63 percent
Instructional wages per full-time student: $10,759
Average undergraduate tuition and fees: $45,700
Endowment per full-time student: $65,527
Share of international students: 5 percent
Full time enrollment: 8,497
Undergraduate admit rate: 76 percent
Instructional wages per full-time student: $10,890
Average undergraduate tuition and fees: $37,763
Endowment per full-time student: $27,350
Share of international students: 16 percent
Full time enrollment: 6,562
Undergraduate admit rate: 74 percent
Instructional wages per full-time student: $8,995
Average undergraduate tuition and fees: $38,740
Endowment per full-time student: $28,738
Share of international students: 3 percent
A spokeswoman for Adelphi University told Patch in a statement the institution is "confident" it can respond to the challenges created by the pandemic.
"While not without times of challenge, Adelphi University has thrived throughout its 125-year-old history — and we're planning for the University's next 125 years," the university said. "The pandemic has created unforeseen stress on all institutions of higher education, as well as every business and organization in the world. To date, we have planned and executed a university response that allows our students to continue their studies safely, without interruption, until it is safe to return to 'normal.'"
The university also questioned the methods used by Galloway to create his analysis. The methodology and numbers he used in the blog post "aren’t entirely accurate," the university said, and the analysis itself has not been validated.
"In fact, only days ago, Adelphi was listed by Galloway as "surviving" but has since changed to 'perish,'" Adelhi said. "Institutions with similar numbers are listed as 'thriving' adding to the ambiguity surrounding Galloway's assumptions."
Hofstra University also questioned the analysis.
"This so-called study is irresponsible in terms of any comments about Hofstra University," the university told Patch in a statement.
Hofstra said it has long-term investments of nearly $700-million, is highly rated by both Moody’s (A-2) and Standard and Poors (A rated), and has a track record of "strong fundraising and sound financial management."
"Our most recent Middle States reaccreditation, completed in 2018, states, 'the culture at Hofstra now seems to equip the school to weather economic and enrollment challenges in the Northeast better than most peers – and to enable the University to continue to flourish in coming years,'" Hofstra said.
And Long Island University said that while it respects NYU, it called Galloway’s prognosis "way off the mark," and criticized his analysis for using data that it called "largely incomplete and outdated."
Long Island University’s unprecedented success and emergence as a national teaching and research institution leads to the opposite conclusion of the professor’s prediction," the university told Patch in a statement. "LIU is in the best financial and academic position in its nearly 100-year history."
LIU has earned recognition and accolades from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, The Princeton Review and Forbes, among others, the university said. It pointed to its "unprecedented" financial growth and sustainability, as well as affordability, student academic quality, academic programs, quality of research and economic impact to support its positive outlook. This includes more than 200 percent growth in the university's endowment, and five rating increases from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. Furthermore, since 2014, LIU's annual 2 percent tuition rate increases have been less than half that of the national rate average, the university noted. And LIU is generates more than $900 million of economic impact.
Galloway in his post acknowledged the datasets he used for the analysis were not peer-reviewed.
"It’s a working document that seeks to analyze and understand the US college and university landscape and to help universities craft solutions," he said.
Christopher Ames, president of the Sage Colleges, which was also identified as being under the "perish" category, also disputed Galloway's findings.
"Turning those trend predictions into a ranking system is a perilous business and his prognostications are unsound," Ames told the Albany Business Review.
Elmore Alexander, dean emeritus at Bridgewater State University’s Ricciardi College of Business, said the institutions highlighted as most likely to fail showed signs of distress years before the pandemic. The coronavirus outbreak merely exacerbated those problems, he said.
"The cracks in the business models of the schools in the 'struggle' and 'perish' cells were already there and had been for the past several years, Alexander told the Business Journal. "Coronavirus has just turned the cracks into chasms."