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Capital projects and college campus impressions as priorities

University Business, January 2018
  • 2018 construction actions anticipated.
  • Survey of campus finance administrators.
  • Campus safety and security plans for 2018.
Campus facilities report card.
Campus facilities report card.

Higher ed leaders love an opportunity to tout the beauty of their campuses, and continuous construction gives them a lot to talk about.

One-third of the 72 presidents, chancellors and provosts surveyed by UB named capital projects as one of their institution’s biggest priorities for 2018. At nearly half of their campuses, ground will break on a new facility this year, and one-third will see completion of a new facility.

They’re also engaged in facilities strategy. About 4 in 10 of those surveyed say their institutions will launch or be engaged in a facilities master planning process in 2018.

Survey Insight: Building on the mind

“Capital projects” is the fourth most popular institutional priority (out of 10 options) for presidents, chancellors and provosts—with one-third of them choosing it as a top area of focus for 2018.

Still, not all buildings maintain the level of grandeur evident in the initial blueprints. One-fifth of campus leaders say a planned construction project will be scaled back or 
deferred this year due to cuts in funding.

This group of executives tends to think more highly of the image of their campus facilities than the 66 finance administrators surveyed.

Eight-five percent of presidents, chancellors and provosts (two-thirds of whom are at institutions with 5,000 or less students) say most people would grade their facilities as an A or a B, whereas just 53 percent of finance administrators (about half of whom are at schools with 5,000 or less students) did the same.

Presidents are also more likely than campus finance leaders to say their facilities are better than they were five years ago.

Top-level leaders are confident their safety and security efforts are getting noticed as well. Eighty-six percent say most people would assign a grade of A or B to these areas. More than one-third believe those grades to be improved over five years ago.

Nearly all presidents, chancellors and provosts report plans to increase security even more in 2018 through biometric access, surveillance cameras and other technology

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