EXCERPT SCOPE OF WORK RICHARD N. KATZ & ASSOCIATES ORIGINAL PROPOSAL TO NEVADA SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR

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1 EXCERPT SCOPE OF WORK RICHARD N. KATZ & ASSOCIATES ORIGINAL PROPOSAL TO NEVADA SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR CONSULTING ASSISTANCE FOR ONLINE LEARNING INITIATIVE 07/08/202 (BOARD OF REGENTS' AGENDA 09/06/2 & 09/07/2) Ref. BOR-29c, Page of 3

2 2. SCOPE OF WORK This section of our proposal outlines our understanding of your needs as described in our conversations, and provides our methodology for meeting those needs. Our Understanding of Your Needs The Nevada System of Higher Education is comprised of eight institutions that span the higher education spectrum from community colleges to a 4-year comprehensive college, to doctoral granting research universities, and the Desert Research Institute. Governed by a 3-member Board of Regents and administered by its Chancellor, the NSHE is charged with meeting the higher education and workforce development needs of a large, complex, and geographically challenging state. Over the past 27 years, enrollments in NSHE institutions have grown from 47,50 to 05,428 in fall 20. NSHE institutions are led by presidents. Nevada s economy has been heavily dependent upon tourism, gambling, and construction. Because these sectors of the economy have been hardest hit by the recent recession, there have been major reductions in the State s budget. According to the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) in 200, Nevada was expected to have the biggest budget gap of any state, as measured by the percent of its general fund budget. In 200, NCSL predicted that higher education s budget would take a disproportionate reduction under these conditions. Indeed, the higher education institutions of the NSHE have had state appropriations reduced in the last several years, resulting in elimination of degree programs, pay reductions, furloughs of faculty and staff, elimination of both faculty and staff positions, and limitations on course offerings. The State of Nevada funds the NSHE by a formula based on student enrollments. That formula is currently being reviewed by an interim committee of the Nevada Legislature. The NSHE has submitted a proposal for the replacement of the current formula. It was against this backdrop of funding insufficiency and inequity that NSHE leadership discussed with Richard Katz a possible consulting engagement focused on online learning that takes account of the NSHE s key circumstances: () lack of funds; (2) the need for more students completing degrees in a timely manner; and (3) the need to increase graduation rates. In particular, the NSHE wishes to explore: Opportunities/alternatives available to the system for expanding its involvement in online learning. It is increasingly clear that institutional size and the scale of online education operations are essential competitive and quality parameters. This review of alternatives, benefits, and opportunities will focus on approaches that might be recommended that lever and align current disparate activities across the NSHE to the benefit of all Nevadans. Benefits and risks for each of those opportunities High level market viability of alternatives Funding/revenue generation model(s) associated with alternatives Realistic timelines for program inception for alternatives deemed worthy of consideration To this end, the NSHE would like to hire an experienced consultant to conduct an engagement with the following scope of work, culminating in the generation of a written report: () Compile an overview of the current state of online learning in the NSHE. 4 (BOARD OF REGENTS' AGENDA 09/06/2 & 09/07/2) Ref. BOR-29c, Page 2 of 3

3 (2) Provide examples of successful and unsuccessful online learning initiatives external to the NSHE in the public and not for profit sectors of higher education, and provide analysis of factors contributing to success or failure. (3) Provide examples of successful and unsuccessful online learning initiatives in the for-profit higher education sectors, and provide analysis of factors contributing to success or failure. (4) Investigate alternatives available to the NSHE for greater involvement in online learning, and provide advice on which alternative NSHE should pursue. These alternatives should include, but not necessarily be limited to: (a) for-profit organizational models; (b) campus consortia arrangements; (c) self-support revenue generating; and (d) other current system models and/or Statewide collaborative approaches. (5) In particular, the NSHE would like to understand the dominant models and collaborative approaches that have been taken in public university systems and statewide organizations and their key success and risk factors. Based on reading from sources on the NSHE web site and elsewhere, the analysis of opportunities and possibilities should also include an analysis of: (6) How NSHE could generate net online learning revenues that could be redirected to participating campuses. (7) How alternative approaches could promote broader NSHE goals like: (a) mitigating "bottleneck courses" for the purpose of improving graduation rates; or, (b) creating an online General Studies degree designed for individuals who have completed some college work and wish to complete their bachelor's degree. In many cases, these individuals may have completed a technical degree or gained significant work experience. (8) For high value alternatives investigated, provide the following: a) An analysis of why this alternative might or might not be viable in Nevada. b) An assessment of the economic, political, and technical risks the NSHE system might face with such an initiative, with reference to experiences from institutions in the external scan. c) A high level costing analysis for -3 alternatives, including start-up capital costs and ongoing operational needs. The analysis should indicate when, if, and how the initiative could become self-sustaining and what its potential is for revenue generation. d) A listing of the companies that provide online courses and technical and pedagogical support to faculty. e) A high level review of technological readiness and/or barriers to NSHE s undertaking the alternative in question. f) A project timeline that shows the steps NSHE would take to launch the initiative. 5 (BOARD OF REGENTS' AGENDA 09/06/2 & 09/07/2) Ref. BOR-29c, Page 3 of 3

4 We understand that this scope of work may be subject to negotiation before a final contract is awarded. The NSHE would like the selected consultant to begin work on the project in August, 202. Project Approach Richard N. Katz & Associates, Inc. intends to deliver consulting assistance on the NSHE online learning initiative in the following form(s) and timeline.. Throughout the course of this engagement, representatives from RNKA will meet regularly with those members of the NSHE community who have been asked to steer this effort. In general we expect that regular meetings will take place via teleconference. Major milestone meetings will likely be held face to face in Reno or Las Vegas, Nevada. 2. In September 202, representatives from RNKA will conduct on-site and telephone interviews of NSHE stakeholders at all NSHE institutions, except the Desert Research Institute. Key individuals and stakeholder groups will be identified in consultation with the steering group or with the project sponsor. 3. By October 20, 202, RNKA will deliver an overview of online learning within the NSHE (Internal Scan). Signoff on this deliverable signals the conclusion of Phase. 4. By November 5, RNKA will report on the key trends in the current market for online education in the US. This report will identify major online learning providers, describe and where possible evaluate their business models and performance, identify and classify courseware providers and online delivery models. (External Scan) Signoff on this deliverable signals the conclusion of Phase By mid January 203, RNKA will deliver a report assessing the cultural, political, financial, technological, academic, business, and leadership capacity of the NSHE to rationalize and expand its online learning offerings. This report will summarize alternative and recommended strategies for the NSHE in the online learning arena and will evaluate the financial and programmatic potential of different online learning models in the context of the strengths and weaknesses at NSHE surfaced through the activities described above and through a literature review. A small (-3) number of models will be recommended along with a summary of the financial aspects (business pro forma) of these models and their potential public policy impacts. Signoff on this deliverable signals the conclusion of Phase 3. Richard N. Katz & Associates is uniquely qualified to perform this work. Richard Katz served in executive management roles at the University of California Office of the President (system office) and was chief advisor to Provost Walter Massey on online learning strategy for that 9 campus system. His book Dancing with the Devil in many ways opened the discussion of online learning strategy in higher education. He achieved international preeminence in this arena over 4 years as vice president of EDUCAUSE. His accomplished team has an unequalled understanding of the online learning arena as well as significant experience helping other higher education systems and institutions conduct strategic planning activities that are similar in structure to the NSHE s Online Learning Initiative. If retained, Katz & Associates would support a three-phased project that will: Quickly gather the information from internal and external sources that will be necessary to generate the report 6 (BOARD OF REGENTS' AGENDA 09/06/2 & 09/07/2) Ref. BOR-29c, Page 4 of 3

5 Work with NSHE stakeholders to validate alternatives in the context of the campus culture and mission Create a set of reports that can serve as a foundation for additional efforts in the online learning area Our approach to the project is summarized below: Project Activity Phase One - Information Gathering. Project Initiation.2 Collect Prelim. Information From Campuses.3 Scan External Initiatives.4 Identify External Providers Phase Two - Information Synthesis Week continued: Conduct institutional visits.2 continued: Scan External Initiatives.4 continued: Identify External Providers 2. Identify Alternatives 2.2 Investigate Alternatives 2.3 Validate Recommendation 2.4 Develop Detailed Analysis 2.5 Validate Analysis Phase Three - Report Development 3. Develop Draft Report 3.2 Validate Draft Report 3.3 Finalize Report 3.4 Present Findings to Leadership Note that the preliminary timeline shown in the above diagram does not include dates, though it assumes a project start date in early August 202. Information Gathering focuses on collecting the data that will be needed to execute the project, including internal information from the NSHE campuses and information on external online learning initiatives conducted by nonprofit and for-profit enterprises. It will also include a scan of vendors that provide the technologies, online courses, and pedagogical support. Information Synthesis, centers on developing the analyses that NSHE has requested for the potential alternative approaches for delivering online 7 (BOARD OF REGENTS' AGENDA 09/06/2 & 09/07/2) Ref. BOR-29c, Page 5 of 3

6 learning at the NSHE and validating that analysis with NSHE stakeholders. Report Development focuses on packaging the findings into a final report and presenting them to NSHE leadership.. Phase One Information Gathering. Project Initiation: The Project Initiation phase develops the foundation for a successful engagement through mutual agreement on project scope, goals, deliverables, and the plan for completing the project. Ensuring that RNKA and the NSHE start and remain on the same page helps keep the project on track and minimizes the chance for surprises. To help guide our efforts on this project, we strongly recommend that the NSHE appoint a project steering committee. We would expect that this committee would be available as a sounding board to review draft deliverables and provide feedback on project direction. This group could either be virtual or meet periodically to review progress. Re-confirm key objectives and scope Determine critical milestones Develop project plan at sufficient level of detail to execute the engagement Form project steering committee Agree upon the format and content of deliverables Agree upon and schedule necessary interviews, meetings and calls Agree upon progress reporting formats and forums, and issue tracking mechanisms Schedule meetings and interviews with NSHE personnel Obtain any existing documentation or analysis conducted by NSHE Finalized project work plan Finalized project governance (steering committee membership) (NSHE responsibility) Schedule of interviews and meetings (NSHE responsibility) Written summary of scope, key objectives, and desired deliverables Delivery of existing documentation to RNKA (NSHE s responsibility).2 Collect Survey Information From Campuses: To quickly and cost effectively gather information on the current state of online learning within the NSHE, we will prepare and distribute a survey to be filled out by campus academic deans or provosts, directors of continuing education, along with chief information officers. This survey will supply the baseline on the mix of programs being offered and markets being served currently through NSHE online learning. Additionally, RNKA will meet with key NSHE and campus stakeholders to understand the institution s overall goals for online learning. This will help us to identify the online learning model that is the best fit with these goals. 8 (BOARD OF REGENTS' AGENDA 09/06/2 & 09/07/2) Ref. BOR-29c, Page 6 of 3

7 Identify survey recipients (joint NSHE and RNKA responsibility) Inform survey recipients of survey goals and timing (NSHE responsibility) Create survey and follow up interview questions, and validate with NSHE steering committee and project manager Distribute survey (NSHE responsibility) Track survey responses (RNKA responsibility); follow up to maximize participation (NSHE responsibility) Conduct follow up interviews with all NSHE institutions Share findings with NSHE steering committee and project manager Deployable survey Interview guide Optional facilitated session Summary of findings.3 Scan External Initiatives: To gather information on external non-profit and for-profit online learning programs, RNKA will begin by compiling a list of known programs that are considered successful and unsuccessful, and highlight those where we have access to leadership. We will also develop a framework for evaluating the factors contributing to their success or failure. We will review these with the NSHE steering committee, and agree upon a list of institutions to research. For each of these, we will begin with a scan of publically available information. We will then use our deep connections in the industry to arrange telephone or in-person conversations with leadership at these institutions to better understand the factors that drove their results. 2 Factors we may consider include: Size of program (students, faculty, revenue) Focus of program (traditional learners, continuing professional education, geography, programs offered, etc.) Business model Growth rates Source of course content Involvement of traditional faculty Supporting technology Initial investment and ongoing budgets 2 In our experience, it is easier to get other organizations to agree to spend time discussing their programs if they are promised something in return. We recommend preparing a summary of the findings of this scan and sharing it with all participants. 9 (BOARD OF REGENTS' AGENDA 09/06/2 & 09/07/2) Ref. BOR-29c, Page 7 of 3

8 Scan the marketplace for examples of successful and unsuccessful online learning programs Develop a framework for evaluating online learning programs success factors Review market scan and framework with NSHE steering committee Compile information on each selected online learning program Review findings with NSHE steering committee Prepare summary of results to share with all participating institutions List of potential online learning programs to evaluate Framework for evaluating online learning programs Summary of findings.4: Scan External Providers: RNKA will conduct a market scan of companies that provide online courses and technical and pedagogical support to faculty. In our research of successful and unsuccessful online programs in Activity.3, we will identify, where possible, the external providers used by each. We will follow this up with additional research online and in discussions with current practitioners. We will reach out to a sampling of these providers in each category to understand the cost of their products for use in our financial models. Compile a list of external providers used by existing online learning programs Conduct a market scan of providers using publically available information Contact a sampling of leading providers to understand their cost structure Review findings with NSHE steering committee Summary of findings Phase Two Information Synthesis 2. Identify Alternatives: As part of our research into successful and unsuccessful online learning programs (Activity.3), we will identify their business models. From that work, and supplemented by the knowledge of our team s subject matter experts, we will develop a catalog of potential alternative models for delivering online learning at the NSHE, including for-profit models, campus consortia arrangements, 0 (BOARD OF REGENTS' AGENDA 09/06/2 & 09/07/2) Ref. BOR-29c, Page 8 of 3

9 self-support revenue generating, and others as appropriate. We will develop a schema to consistently describe these models. We will review the potential models with the NSHE steering committee to get guidance on which of the models warrant further investigation. Develop a catalog of potential delivery models for online learning at the NSHE Develop a schema to consistently describe online learning organizational models Share findings with NSHE steering committee Catalog of potential delivery models Summary of findings 2.2 Investigate Alternatives: During this activity, the RNKA team will prepare the detailed analysis that the NSHE requested for each of the alternative models identified in Activity 2.. This analysis will include: An analysis of NSHE institutions' current methods for delivering online education A market analysis indicating the potential viability of the model(s) An analysis of the economic, political, and technical risks of the model, referencing the information gathered from the external market and provider scan (Activity.3) Development of a pro-forma financial model including an estimate of start-up and ongoing operational costs, along with projections for revenue generation and timing to break even A list of the external providers that offer technology, materials, and support for the model A readiness assessment of technical, organizational, and other factors that could serve as barriers to NSHE s adoption of the model A roadmap that shows the high-level timeline for steps the NSHE would need to take to launch the initiative Based on our analysis, RNKA will recommend which model best meets NSHE s goals for online learning. Note that there may be more than one model that makes sense for an institution the size of NSHE, focused on different parts of the overall academic mission. Conduct analysis Review findings with NSHE steering committee (BOARD OF REGENTS' AGENDA 09/06/2 & 09/07/2) Ref. BOR-29c, Page 9 of 3

10 Summary of findings 2.3 Validate Recommendation: Once a recommended alternative has been identified, RNKA will review our findings to date with the NSHE executive sponsors. In particular, we would focus on the recommended alternative and why it was chosen. By reviewing this information with the sponsor and obtaining validation, we ensure that our subsequent work is on track with overall expectations and avoid surprises and rework later in the project. Prepare summary of findings and recommendation for executive sponsors Meet with executive sponsors to validate work to date Summary document 2.4 Develop Detailed Analysis: Once a recommended alternative is identified and validated with executive sponsors, RNKA will focus on developing a more detailed analysis of the recommended model. This analysis will include: Development of a cost model showing how the recommended alternative could generate revenue that could be directed to participating campuses. Investigate how the recommended alternative could be used to mitigate bottleneck courses, facilitate creation of an online general studies degree, and meet Nevada s workforce development needs. Develop analysis Review findings with NSHE steering committee Summary of findings 2.5 Validate Analysis: Once our analysis of the recommended online learning model is completed we again recommend meeting with the project s executive sponsors to review and validate our findings. 2 (BOARD OF REGENTS' AGENDA 09/06/2 & 09/07/2) Ref. BOR-29c, Page 0 of 3

11 Prepare summary of findings for executive sponsors Meet with NSHE executive sponsors to validate analysis Summary document Phase Three Report Development 3.: Develop Draft Report: Once our analysis is complete and our findings have been validated with the executive sponsors, our team will compile our findings into the draft report, described in item 5, page 6. Prepare draft report Draft report document 3.2 Validate Draft Report: Once the draft report is completed, we suggest reviewing it with the NSHE steering committee and/or executive sponsors to get their feedback and suggestions. Send draft report to steering committee members for review Meet with steering committee members to gather feedback Meet with others (within reason) as requested for consultation None 3.3 Finalize Report: Feedback from the steering committee will be incorporated into the report, and any remaining work will be completed. Finalize report 3 (BOARD OF REGENTS' AGENDA 09/06/2 & 09/07/2) Ref. BOR-29c, Page of 3

12 Final report document 3.4 Present Findings to Leadership: Once the final report is completed, RNKA will present our findings to the executive sponsors and other NSHE leadership, as desired. Create summary presentation Present findings to leadership Summary presentation Our Assumptions Richard N. Katz & Associates has made the following assumptions in developing the approach, timing, pricing, and level of effort presented in this proposal. Any changes to these assumptions could result in changes to the timing, fees, and/or resources needed to provide the services described. Sponsorship: The NSHE will assign an executive sponsor or sponsors to lead this project. The sponsor will have responsibility for ensuring the timely and productive participation of University staff and signing off on all deliverables. They will also participate in progress reviews as indicated in our approach. Steering Committee: The NSHE will form a steering committee of officers representing the campuses and the Chancellor s Office, to provide guidance, feedback and insight to the project as it progresses. The steering committee will be available to participate in regular progress reviews as indicated in our approach. The steering committee can meet in person or virtually at the NSHE s discretion. Face to Face Meetings: It is assumed that wherever possible NSHE will work to minimize the number of face to face meetings in favor of teleconferences or videoconferences for meetings related to project governance, status, etc. Project Manager: The NSHE will provide a point person to coordinate the activities of the project, including locating requested documentation, scheduling interactions with NSHE personnel, scheduling workspace, and coordinating deliverable reviews. Workspace and Equipment: The NSHE institutions will provide RNKA with appropriate workspace to work, conduct interviews, and meet with University personnel while on campus. We will require Internet access and use of office equipment such as photocopiers and printers while on-site. If the University would like us to utilize applications such as document repositories or internal , we will be set up with appropriate access privileges to use these systems. If conference calls with more than two NSHE employees are needed, the University will provide access to an appropriate technology to facilitate these calls. 4 (BOARD OF REGENTS' AGENDA 09/06/2 & 09/07/2) Ref. BOR-29c, Page 2 of 3

13 Interview Scheduling: Each NSHE institution and the NSHE office will assign an individual point of contact. The primary roles of the point of contact are: () to schedule and book meeting space for RNKA associates and interviewees; and (2) to organize the interview schedule for that institution and its location(s). Work Location: It is assumed that the majority of the consultant s work on this project will take place off-site. When on site, it is assumed that the work will take place at the NSHE Chancellor s office or at NSHE campuses. Survey: Unless NSHE has an objection, RNKA will use SurveyMonkey to conduct the survey of NSHE internal initiatives. If NSHE prefers that we use an internal tool, they will provide us access to and training on the tool, or provide a skilled support staff member who can serve as the survey administrator. Client Identification: We assume that NSHE will allow us to disclose who we are working for when reaching out to other organizations for information. Availability of Key Personnel: NSHE employees assigned to the steering committee or selected to participate in the survey process will need to make themselves available in a timely manner in order to keep the project on schedule. Status Reports: It is assumed that regular status reporting meetings will be scheduled between RNKA and the NSHE project manager. These meetings are essential for providing feedback, answering questions, and addressing issues. If meetings are not held on at least a bi-monthly basis, the quality of deliverables could suffer. Existing Information: NSHE and its component institutions will share any non-confidential existing information compiled on the topic of online learning with our team at the start of the project. Within reason, NSHE officials will produce reports, such as online course utilization/enrollment/persistence reports that may be requested. Response Time: NSHE will respond to ad hoc requests for clarification or assistance in a timely manner. Change Requests: Any material deviation from the scope, timeline, or deliverables documented in this proposal must be approved in writing by both NSHE and RNKA. Forward Looking Conclusions: To the extent that forward-looking conclusions are made, they will, of course, be based on certain underlying assumptions, which may be beyond the control of the NSHE and/or RNKA. If events prove to be different than has been assumed, material differences may arise between what our findings would indicate and the actual results. RNKA does not represent or assure any specific future results to the NSHE. Best effort: RNKA provides work to its clients under the best effort doctrine. Signoff on Drafts and Reimbursement: Draft documents signal the end of project phases. RNKA agrees to up to two rounds of revisions for each document delivered. NSHE agrees to respond in writing within 2 weeks of receipt of first drafts either approving or indicating recommended changes and within week of receipt of second drafts. Approval of deliverables described on page 6 will trigger invoices. Invoices are to be paid within 30 days of receipt. 5 (BOARD OF REGENTS' AGENDA 09/06/2 & 09/07/2) Ref. BOR-29c, Page 3 of 3

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