SCUP Links
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SCUP Links
Curated content on higher education presented by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).
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The Unanswered Question: How Will We Pay for Aggressive Higher Ed Attainment Goals?

The Unanswered Question: How Will We Pay for Aggressive Higher Ed Attainment Goals? | SCUP Links |

"Certainly there are limitations to the model described, some of which I have identified and others which I'm sure readers will point out. It is currently being modified to eliminate some of its shortcomings.

But as flawed as it may be, it serves to point out several key points. First, different approaches to attaining goals have different cost consequences.

Second, in almost all scenarios, resources required by community colleges outstrip those that will be required by four-year institutions. This is a direct contradiction to priorities typically assigned in the appropriation process. Institutional costs can be reduced under an assumption of marginal costs being less than average costs, but this doesn't change the need to assign priority to funding for those institutions that will have to do the heavy lifting if attainment goals are to be met.

Third, the largest component of costs in both scenarios is student financial aid. The real-world examples reinforce the point made earlier in this paper that concentrated attention to the design of financial-aid programs is perhaps the key element in the development of cost-effective means of reaching aggressive attainment goals.

Finally, it drives home the point that reaching such goals will take substantial additional resources. Ways can be found to mitigate these costs, but success will be impossible without additional state investments."

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

"Dennis Jones, [a frequent SCUP presenter,] is president of NCHEMS, a nonprofit research-and-development center founded to improve strategic decision making in institutions and agencies of higher education. Jones is widely recognized for his work in such areas as developing public agendas to guide higher-education policymaking; financing, budgeting, and resource allocation; linking higher education with states' workforce and economic-development needs; and developing information to inform policymaking.

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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 |

"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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