The higher education industry faces an infrastructure backlog of $112.3 billion, according to a study by Gordian Partners and APPA, an association of educational facilities professionals.
Public institutions have a backlog of $76.1 billion, and their private counterparts face a $36.2 billion backlog. Broken down by type, the backlog is as follows:
· Research/Doctoral institutions: $40.8 billion
· Masters institutions: $29.5 billion
· Baccalaureate institutions: $14.3 billion
· Associates institutions (2-year/Community Colleges): $27.7 billion
“The findings of our partnership with Gordian this year continue to validate the need for a shift to integrated strategic planning designed to proactively drive institutional decision-making,” said E. Lander Medlin, executive vice president for APPA. “Without strategic investments or divestments, these numbers will continue to grow. Hence, it is critical we change the very way we do business.”
Colleges and universities should undertake “a reconsideration of the physical footprint and current space utilization, a realignment of renewal investments, and an effort to connect building health with smart technologies, and reimagination of the organizations used to serve higher education,” according to a news release.