Feature Article - June 2011
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Colleges & Universities

A Look at Trends in Colleges & Universities

By Emily Tipping

More than half (54.6 percent) of college respondents said that the number of people using their facilities had increased from 2009 to 2010. Even more—57.2 percent—expect to see an increase from 2010 to 2011, and 54.6 percent are projecting an increase from 2011 to 2012. Very few college respondents saw a decrease from 2009 to 2010 (5.1 percent), and even fewer are projecting decreasing usage for 2011 (3.1 percent) and 2012 (3.8 percent). (See Figure 45.)

College respondents were less likely than many other respondents to have taken measure to reduce their operating expenditures. While 90.3 percent of all respondents had taken such measures, 84.7 percent of those from colleges and universities had done so. The most common measure they had taken was to improve energy efficiency. Nearly half (48.3 percent) said they had improved energy efficiency to reduce operating expenditures. Nearly a third (32.7 percent) said they had reduced staff. More than a quarter of college respondents also indicated they had cut programs or services (27 percent), increased fees (26.7 percent), put construction plans on hold (26.4 percent) or cut their hours of operation (25.8 percent).

While staffing cuts had been undertaken by nearly one-third of college respondents as a measure to reduce operating costs, only 4.9 percent said they had plans to reduce staff in 2011. More college respondents this year indicated that they had plans to add staff than last year. Last year, 15.4 percent said they would add staff in 2010. This year, 22.4 percent are planning to add staff in 2011. For the most part, respondents expect staff levels to remain constant, with 72.7 percent indicating there would be neither more staff added or staff reductions.