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Large Share of Higher-Ed Business Officers Plan to Retire Soon

About 40 percent of chief business officers at colleges and universities plan to make retirement their next career move, and more than a third expect to retire within four years, according to the results of a survey released on Thursday by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

The turnover is due largely to age. The typical chief business officer at a college is a married white man, 56 years old, who has worked at his institution for about eight years, according to the survey results. The share of those older than 65 has more than doubled, to 11 percent, since the last survey was conducted, in 2010.

The new survey also found that business officers’ duties continue to expand into areas not typically considered as among their responsibilities.

Although business officers might be perceived as mainly concerned with accounting and budgeting, the job has grown into a multifaceted role on campuses, the survey found. “More than half of chief business officers also oversee human resources, public safety, facilities, and other vital functions,” the association reported.

The survey was based on responses from nearly 800 people, about half of whom work at private nonprofit colleges that enroll fewer than 4,000 students. Full results of the survey are available, for sale, on the association’s Web site.

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