Run your own university in this SimCity-like computer game (fully free download). “Designed to foster better understanding of management practices in American colleges and universities, Virtual U provides students, teachers, and parents the unique opportunity to step into the decision-making shoes of a university president. ‘Players’ are responsible for establishing and monitoring all the major components of an institution, including everything from faculty salaries to campus parking. Players can make decisions such as decreasing faculty-teaching time or increasing athletic scholarships. However, as in a real college or university, the complexity and potential effects of each decision must be carefully considered. And the Virtual U Board of Trustees is monitoring every move.”
Virtual U models the attitudes and behaviors of the academic community in five major areas of higher education management:
- Spending and income decisions such as operating budget, new hires, incoming donations, and management of the endowment;
- Faculty, course, and student scheduling issues;
- Admissions standards, university prestige, and student enrollment;
- Student housing, classrooms, and all other facilities; and
- Performance indicators.
Virtual U players select an institution type and strive for continuous improvement by setting, monitoring, and modifying a variety of institutional parameters and policies. Players are challenged to manage and improve their institution of higher education through techniques such as resource allocation, minority enrollment policies, and policies for promoting faculty, among others. Players watch the results of their decisions unfold in real- time. A letter of review from Virtual U’s board is sent every “year,” informing players of their progress.
With the support of The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for release of 2.11 (May, 2004) Virtual U is now made fully available via free download. Click here to download!