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CFO June Klein participates in Silicon Valley Business Journal Panel

Monday, December 12, 2016

Palo Alto University’s VP for Business Affairs and CFO, Dr. June Klein was invited by Silicon Valley Business Journal to be part of the panel to discuss "“The Economic Outlook and Innovation" at their respective companies during this year’s CFO of the Year Awards in December 2016.  Dr. Klein was part of this distinguished panel since she was selected as the CFO of the Year Award in Year 2015 – Non Profit category, Silicon Valley Business Journal, for her work at Palo Alto University. 

The Panel was asked a series of questions and below were Dr. Klein’s responses. 

* How did you get to where you are today?

  •  It's a Journey - for me that meant focusing on the big rocks in my life:
    my education and lifelong learning, family, and community
  • In my career, my passions and strengths have been in business modeling (it's all about the context - being a lifelong learner), mission driven leadership - making the world a better place, and change management - not shying away from the very important but hard topics like interfaith dialogue OR taking on a turnaround situation.

* How will the Trump administration affect the global and US economies? Silicon Valley?

  •  Higher education is counter to high tech:  when the US has a recession, people go back to universities to get professional degrees or finish their degrees.  The opposite it true when business is booming - students will put off their education because they have a good job.

* How confident are you about the economic outlook in Silicon Valley for 2017?

  • The International economy is in a slow growth period, but Silicon Valley has always been different than other parts of the country.  I think the relationship between academic research, entrepreneurship, innovation and communities that support and attract those workers and families is unique, so I am bullish on Silicon Valley.

* For many Silicon Valley leaders disruption is their #1 concern:

How are you embracing the opportunities in your industry, as well as your biggest disruption fear? How are you seizing the opportunity to disrupt within your industry? 

  • We continue to grow our online and hybrid programs.  This supports the preference for on demand anytime access that many millennials appreciate as well as lowering the cost of education by reducing the need for residential classrooms.

  • We are also looking into mobile communications and upgrading our ERP systems and marketing to better communicate with millennials and others who prefer everything online and real time.

Do you worry about being disrupted? 

  • Always - that’s why I do a lot of reading regarding innovation and go to education conferences

  • We continue to look at the ways we can lower the cost of education while keeping our quality high

*How important is inorganic growth to your strategy? 

  • Some of our competitors have pursued mergers and acquisitions as a way to grow

  • Our board has not pursued that as a way to grow to date but that may change in the future

*How do you see the transaction market?

  • NA for PAU

* Tell us a neat way you are using big data in your business today?

  • We continue to use institutional research to study how best to help struggling students earlier with services and to analyze our admissions outreach and success.

* If you could meet anyone in Silicon Valley who would it be and why?

  • David Packard – he and Bill Hewlett built a great company and he was also very involved in government (which I consider a volunteer job for someone who does not need to work) and then later in philanthropy. The research going on today at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is amazing.

Read more here

For more on the panel disscussion, click here

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