Feature Article - June 2007
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Campus Recreation

Despite the increasing usage of their facilities, substantially fewer colleges and universities are experiencing increases in revenues, when compared with the rest of the survey respondents. From 2005 to 2006, just 41.7 percent of college and university respondents reported an increase in revenues, compared with 54.3 percent of all survey respondents. By 2007 to 2008, just over 50 percent of colleges and universities are projecting increases in their revenues. (See Figure 37.)

Of course, the funding wheels often spin slowly on campuses, with many committees and people to approve budgets and student fee increases. However, the slower increases in revenues among these facilities surely contributes to the large number of respondents (73.5 percent) who named budgets as a primary concern.

One Texas-based respondent said an increase in the student fee for recreational sports was an imperative. "If we do not receive it in the next three years, we will be forced to cut programming."

Another respondent summed up the way budget issues have a ripple effect across the board: "Budgetary concerns are always an issue for public institutions of higher learning.

This impacts staffing, equipment purchases, maintenance, programming and marketing!"

Colleges and universities also reported significantly lower-than-average operating expenditures for their facilities, For fiscal 2006, the average operating expenditure for these facilities was $967,396—18.1 percent lower than the average for all types of facilities. That said, operating expenditures for college and university recreation facilities are projected to increase at a slightly faster rate than those of other survey respondents. By 2008, college and university respondents projected an average operating expenditure of $1,058,723, a 9.4 percent increase over the average for fiscal 2006.

This compares to the average 8.2 percent increase expected for facilities of all types.