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Curated content on higher education presented by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).
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Deferred Maintenance at Canadian Universities: An Update

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

This report, published by the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO), is worthy of a look.


"In spite of the concerns raised the conclusions of the report may be seen as positive. While there has never been and will never be sufficient funding available to instantly eliminate the problem, strategies are indeed available to proactively manage it.


While five specific strategies are enumerated, they can be summarized in a single, overarching consideration" ... .


Too long to post the entire list here.

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Another Brick in the Wall? Increased Challenges Face the Physical Campus

Another Brick in the Wall? Increased Challenges Face the Physical Campus | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"The problem is that we are entering an unprecedented period when two historic waves of building construction demand capital renewal investments even as resources available for capital are limited by reductions in state funding, decreases in research and philanthropy and debt limits set by trustees. New England campuses built more space from 1960 to 1975 than over the previous 80 years combined. Then many campuses followed with a second construction boom from 1995 until the Great Recession slowed building.


Now, faced with having to do 'catch-up' renovation on the first wave of buildings that are reaching 50 years old and “keep-up” or stewardship on the second wave of buildings, campus administrators are finding there is just not enough money to do both. It is starting to show to even the casual observer."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Good question by the author: "How could we have spent billions of dollars on new construction and renovation over the past 25 years and still see a doubling of the amount of deferred maintenance?"

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University of Chicago Is Outlier With Growing Debt Load

University of Chicago Is Outlier With Growing Debt Load | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
The University of Chicago has been trying to stand out from its elite rivals and is doing so in one category: amassing debt. That’s put its credit rating at risk.
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

“Their view is that this is a time for us to make a lot more headway than we would during the regular arms race,” said Fred Prager, founding partner of San Francisco-based investment bank Prager & Co., the university’s financial adviser. “The money is going to the programmatic strengths.”

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Ouch. Capital Funding and Development Isn’t Always Fun.

Ouch. Capital Funding and Development Isn’t Always Fun. | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"Like a good neighbor TU is there, here, there, over here, over there, next to here, there, next to there and of course they are here as well. At what point does the University recognize that infinite growth in a finite location is not going to work. Too much of a good thing is just too much." - project neighbor

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Ouch. Capital Funding and Development Isn’t Always Fun— Read the quote, above, and empathize with Towson U’s Kris Phillips, who like many planners has to manage a great deal of distrust. SCUP’s Mid-Atlantic region is holding a symposium at Towson State University about “Alternative Financing and Delivery of College and University Facilities,” you can sympathize with Phillips, on campus, face to face, on October 13. He's a SCUP member and also on the program. [ma]


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'I don't see how we can survive if we continue to duplicate multimillion-dollar capital projects when they can be scaled to another location'

'I don't see how we can survive if we continue to duplicate multimillion-dollar capital projects when they can be scaled to another location' | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

""'f I had a crystal ball and could look 10 years down the road, I would say that many small- and medium-sized universities will move their computer centers to the cloud, allowing vendors to perform basic operations, including disaster recovery, security, backup, patches, fixes, and updates,' predicts Roger V. Bruszewski, vice president for finance and administration, Millersville University, Millersville, Pennsylvania. 'The universities will focus attention and resources on providing services to the front-end user.'


He explains that his institution's financial and HR systems are already housed in a private cloud with 13 other institutions and that student and advancement systems will soon join them. 'I see us slowly scaling down our back-office operations,' he says. 'The economics of higher education are driving us to a lower common denominator. I don't see how we can survive if we continue to duplicate multimillion-dollar capital projects when they can be scaled to another location.'"

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Preserving construction site funds

Preserving construction site funds | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

A Midwestern state university budgeted about $12 million for a major addition to its library several years ago. At the time, there was not a tightly controlled project planning process at the institution and the library’s plaza—already a major central gathering space on campus—was not included in the project budget.

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

SCUPer Phillip S. Waite of Utah State University is a major source for this excellent article. His book, A Non-Architect's Guide to Major Capital Projects, is published by SCUP.


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