Five Recession-Driven Strategies for Planning and Managing Campus Facilities: Facing Significant Fiscal Challenges, Colleges and Universities Are Pursuing Creative and Innovative Facilities Planning and Management Strategies

By Rudden, Michael S. | Planning for Higher Education, October-December 2010 | Go to article overview

Five Recession-Driven Strategies for Planning and Managing Campus Facilities: Facing Significant Fiscal Challenges, Colleges and Universities Are Pursuing Creative and Innovative Facilities Planning and Management Strategies


Rudden, Michael S., Planning for Higher Education


Whether an institution is a highly ranked Research I public university, a relatively well-endowed private liberal arts college, or an expanding community college, the current recession has negatively affected revenues. While Moody's Investors Service (1) noted in January 2010 that some of the most urgent financial pressures facing private and public colleges have receded as their investment income improved during the latter part of 2009 (Inside Higher Ed 2010), significant and fundamental challenges remain, including uncertainty over future state funding, enrollments, and net tuition revenue; liquidity to institutional debt ratios; and levels of endowment returns (2) and private donations. (3)

In response to revenue shortfalls, private and public colleges and universities of all sizes are actively pursuing short-term strategies with the goals of enhancing revenues and reducing facilities operating costs. These strategies include deferring or downsizing planned construction projects, using existing instructional space more intensively, reducing facilities operating costs by closing facilities, improving campus sustainability, and reducing information technology (IT) expenses. Another economic-driven initiative involves the recent increase in the acquisition of distressed properties by colleges and universities. Additionally, institutional mergers and partnerships are being developed to expand academic program offerings, extend geographic reach, improve diversity, improve student services, and reduce overhead costs. (4)

A review of ongoing campus facilities planning projects, coupled with a review of more than 30 recent campus master planning requests for proposals and the relevant literature, indicates that colleges and universities are finding innovative ways to do more with less in response to this challenging economic environment. The following discussion focuses on five economic-driven facilities planning and management strategies that have emerged in the current recession (see figure 1).

I. Defer Capital Expenditures and Reduce Facilities Operating Costs

Colleges and universities have revisited their campus capital improvement and facilities operating budgets during the recession to realign them with reduced funding resources. While new construction costs have been declining (5) for those institutions able to fund "shovel-ready" projects, others have experienced tighter credit markets and lower debt ceilings for their new projects. The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (2009b) survey (6) of 284 member institutions revealed that over 50 percent had slowed down or stopped construction/ renovation projects. According to the February 2010 national survey conducted by the journal College Planning & Management, the total reported U.S. higher education renovation/new construction volume completed in 2009 fell almost 30 percent from the 2006 peak of $15 billion to $10.7 billion, the lowest since 2001 (Abramson 2009). Projected 2010 and 2011 completed projects are anticipated to be significantly lower still due to the prolonged financial crisis that has diminished the number of campus projects in the construction pipeline.

Colleges and universities are finding viable ways to address pressing program needs despite postponing, or even avoiding, new construction altogether. For example, focusing resources on less costly renewal and renovation projects or phasing construction of new buildings over time reduces annual capital expenditures while still addressing pressing program and facilities renewal needs.

Institutions with current and flexible campus master plans are using them to re-evaluate and navigate alternative campus development scenarios. Several examples recently seen by this campus planner illustrate how institutions are exploring new planning approaches in response to recent economic challenges and, in the process, discovering opportunities. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Five Recession-Driven Strategies for Planning and Managing Campus Facilities: Facing Significant Fiscal Challenges, Colleges and Universities Are Pursuing Creative and Innovative Facilities Planning and Management Strategies
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.