Address: 525 N. Sixth St., Milwaukee, WI 53203
Year founded: 1965
Product or service offered: Milwaukee-based Herzing University offers certificates through master’s degrees in technology, business, health care and design and public safety.
Projected 2012 revenue: $120 million
Leadership: Renee Herzing, president and chief executive officer; Henry Herzing, chancellor
Target clientele: Traditional high school students attending college, and the non-traditional adult learners going back to school.
Business organization memberships: Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, TEMPO Milwaukee, National Association of Professional Women, YPO.
What has fueled your company’s growth? “In part, the recession, as out-of-work individuals often return to school to gain new job skills. The growing health care industry and its need for qualified workers has added many students to nursing and allied health programs. Four new campus locations in Wisconsin and Ohio have also added growth to the system.”
What is the biggest obstacle to your company’s growth? “Government regulations. The Department of Education has issued what some call ‘a lifetime of regulation’ over the past few years for educational institutions, especially those that pay taxes. These regulations will inhibit innovation and educational choice for students, and end up encouraging progressive institutions to consider international (rather than domestic) expansion. That will be a loss for our workforce development and economy. The heavy regulatory environment has added the need for additional personnel. It is difficult to keep tuition at thresholds that attract students when the additional regulations drive the internal cost structure higher.”
Do you plan any changes in your company in the upcoming months? “The university is well positioned to continue into next year. Any changes will be minimal at this time.”
Who are the business people, locally or nationally, whom you admire? And what traits do those people exhibit that make you admire them? “It takes tremendous entrepreneurial spirit to step out and take risks, especially in this environment. Those that have the fortitude and resources to do so are greatly admired.”
What is the outlook for the business conditions of your industry over the next several months? “There will be continued shake-out in the industry, as the government is looking at nearly every facet of what is being done, and how it is being accomplished. The focus will shift to outcomes. Herzing will be well positioned as the focus changes.”
What is your company’s key strategy for rising out of the recession? “We have to continue to look long-term. We will continue to provide excellent value to the students attending our university. Prudent investments to maintain and sustain these advantages are in order.”