About Us

Reinstitute is a division of Human Capital Research Corporation focusing on organizational strategy, change management, and sustainability. We offer strategic partnerships with colleges and universities by providing data-driven institutional diagnostics, disciplined market analysis and positioning, and integrated solutions for sustainability and success.

Established in 2017 and consisting of an accomplished team of higher educational leaders representing a broad range of experiences and backgrounds in the field, Reinstitute works in close partnership with campus leadership to deepen understanding of the fundamental challenges and transformations facing higher education and to implement action plans in response to them.

The Reinstitute team’s central concerns are principled college and university strategic planning and change management in the areas of finance, governance, program innovation, and institutional repositioning, achieved through engagements at the board and executive level.

In our hands-on engagements with the senior leaders of colleges and universities, we assist them in refocusing their mission and the ways they pursue it by:  

  • Carefully evaluating institutional mission to re-center and repurpose the school’s role and identity in the market by aligning its curriculum and services to more effectively fulfill its mission while meeting industry, occupational, and social needs;


  • Comprehensively assessing and restructuring policies and standards of practice in governance, capitalization, and financial stewardship;


  • Strategically repositioning an institution’s educational offerings and market position within the competitive landscape; and


  • Thoughtfully assisting institutions in creatively advancing integrative learning, greater operating efficiencies, and advanced reporting systems throughout the enterprise.

Why "Reinstitute?"

“Reinstitute” is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a verb meaning “to re-establish, reinstall, reinstate, reintroduce, relaunch, restore, revive, resuscitate, resurrect, breathe new life into.”  The first known use of the word appeared in 1600 in Samuel Lewkenor’sDiscourse on Forraine Cities in a passage that makes reference to a university’s repair, restoration, and restarting:  “An vniuersitie was in this citie instituted about the yeare 1526. which was afterward repayred and reinstituted by Philip the Landgraue in the yeare 1536.” That passage embodies Reinstitute’s ambition and purpose: to “breathe new life” into something in which we all deeply believe--American higher education.

Who We Are

Re-Institute is directed by a team of five leading professionals from diverse disciplines, who together, bring more than 150 years of leadership and analytic experience in the realms of higher education, economic development, business development, and finance. Re-Institute’s leadership includes:

John Nelson: Prior to joining Reinstitute, John served as Managing Director of Moody’s Health Care, Higher Education-Not-for-Profit and Infrastructure rating teams for twenty-five years, conducting research and analysis on more than 1,000 public and not-for-profit enterprises. Under his leadership, Moody’s became the leading authority in capital markets on the topics of financial risk facing colleges, universities and hospitals in the US and other countries. Previously, John managed an executive staff of corporate planners for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, analyzed international lending risk for Republic National Bank, and advised New York’s City Council President on fiscal policy. He received a B.A. in History from Binghamton University in New York in 1976, a Masters of Public Affairs from the Johnson School at the University of Texas at Austin in 1979, and was a research associate at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies in Aspen, Colorado in 1979.  Nelson is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Administration at New York University focusing on financial analysis of universities, hospitals and other not-for-profit organizations, and previously lectured at Columbia University’s Business School.

Ron Thomas: Ron brings to his role at Reinstitute a reputation as a national leader in higher education, serving most recently as the president of the University of Puget Sound from 2003-2016. Ron’s career includes previous faculty and administrative roles at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, and Trinity College (CT), where he served as English department chair, chief of staff, college vice president, and acting president. Ron has published four books and numerous chapters and articles on literary and higher education topics. He was awarded a Mellon Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities at Harvard, Trinity's prize for distinguished teaching achievement, an honorary doctorate from Trinity in 2002, and another from the University of Portland in 2016. Ron has served on the boards of directors of the American Council on Education, the Annapolis Group, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the Chronicle of Higher Education and New York Times Higher Education Cabinet, the Independent Colleges of Washington, and the President's Council for NCAA Division III. He earned a BA magna cum laude from Wheaton College (IL) and an MA and PhD in English and American literature from Brandeis University.

David Kalsbeek: As one of the nation’s leading experts in enrollment management, David has presented over 120 keynotes and lectures at professional gatherings while authoring more than twenty articles and chapters in nine texts on a range of topics (including the recently published Reframing Retention for Institutional Success).  A consultant to dozens of colleges, universities, and associations, David served on the faculty of University of Pennsylvania's executive doctoral program in higher education and at the University of Southern California's certificate program in enrollment management leadership. He has also served on the editorial boards of the Journal of College Student Retention and the College and University Journal. Prior to joining DePaul in 1997 where David is Senior Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing, he served as the senior enrollment management administrator at Xavier University and associate vice president for enrollment management at Saint Louis University. he received a PhD in public policy studies from Saint Louis University in 1992, a master’s degree in higher education administration at Ohio State University, and a BA in philosophy from Muskingum College.

Sharon Herzberger: Sharon recently completed her successful thirteen-year term as President of Whittier College in Whittier, California, leading initiatives to affirm and articulate the values and aspirations of the national liberal arts college with a focus on student success. Following faculty roles at Northwestern University and Trinity College (CT), Sharon served as Trinity’s special assistant to the president for affirmative action, associate vice president for the college's campaign, vice president for student services, vice president for institutional planning and administration, and founded the Consortium on High Achievement and Success (CHAS), a group of 36 selective, private liberal arts colleges and universities dedicated to student success. She has co-authored two books: Affirmative Action: The Pros and Cons of Policy and Practice and Violence within the Family: Social Psychological Perspectives. Sharon has also served on the boards of NAICU (National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, CIC (Council of Independent Colleges), and the president’s council of NCAA Division III. She holds a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University and her master's and doctoral degrees from the University.

Brian Zucker, President: Brian, also the founder and president of HCRC, is a recognized national expert on the financing of college education, enrollment strategy, financial aid, and higher education reform. He has designed and written about valuable analytical tools for understanding and reforming the higher education market, pricing, and financial aid. Brian has previously served as Vice President for Research and Policy Development at the Minnesota Private College Council, Research Foundation and Fund; Senior Economist, Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development; and Special Projects Coordinator for the South Bronx Development Corporation; and Research Fellow for the University of Pennsylvania under contract with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He earned a BA in Anthropology with a minor in Mandarin at University of Wisconsin – Madison; an MA. in Urban Affairs and Policy Analysis at The New School for Social Research; and an MA. Regional Science at University of Pennsylvania.