New Regents Report Focuses on Higher Education Infrastructure
Ohio faces "block obsolescence" - the simultaneous aging of a large portion of campus facilities. Block obsolescence will challenge campus and state budgets in the future. - Ohio Board of Regents
Can Ohio's public higher education facility and technology infrastructure meet the state's goal for educating another 230,000 students annually? Not without new thinking, according to the Ohio Board of Regents.
On March 18th, the Regents issued their second report on the condition of higher education in Ohio. Meeting the State's Future Needs through a Competitive Higher Education Facility and Technology Infrastructure (PDF 1.6 MB)* reaches several key conclusions:
While focus in recent years has been on renewing Ohio's K-12 education facilities, the report makes it clear that substantial needs also exist in higher education. One finding may point to a short-term solution.
- Ohio's substantial facility and technological assets must be utilized to a greater extent and in different ways than in the past.
- Larger investments by trustees are needed to address deferred maintenance, technology upgrades, building retrofits, and new facilities needed to accommodate program expansions for science, technology, engineering, math and health professions.
- Debt levels are a concern for some institutions, and current trends cannot continue. Ohio must explore new funding streams and strategies to support its debt issuance.
Colleges and universities should explore new strategies to accommodate more students, including using community space, public school space, and space available in government and business facilities.
*Meeting the State's Future Needs through a Competitive Higher Education Facility and Technology Infrastructure may be downloaded at the Regents web site: http://regents.ohio.gov/