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Modifications du financement de certaines universités publiques : The Land-Grant Landscape, Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Education, November 15, 2010

mardi 16 novembre 2010, par Wendy

DALLAS — Leaders of land-grant universities see a slight brightening in their institutions’ immediate economic situations — but increasingly recognize that they must make structural changes to accommodate fundamental, long-term shifts in their funding models.

Those are the key (if preliminary) findings of a survey discussed here Sunday at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, which represents 186 of the country’s largest state-affiliated institutions. The survey, supplemented by a series of interviews with provosts at eight universities, shows that while the short-term impact of the Great Recession has eased slightly, campus leaders fully expect that the financial landscape has changed irrevocably — and are starting to change their behavior (if slowly) in response.

The tendency to view the financial situation less as something to get through by any means necessary right now than as an imperative to make more fundamental, strategic structural changes is a recent development, said Christine Keller, director of research at the land-grant association. "In last year’s survey, people talked about doing strategic planning, but at the same time, they were doing many of the things they’ve always done : freezing travel and salaries, putting off facilities maintenance, etc.," Keller said. "This year they’re still taking some of those steps, but a lot of the provosts seem to be recognizing that they’re going to have to handle things differently in the future."

The basic outlines of the data reported by the 74 public university campuses are unlikely to surprise most people who’ve been paying attention to the financial situation in higher education. Sixty percent of those surveyed reported declines in state appropriations in 2010 (down from 78 percent in 2009), and those dips were smaller on average than they were in 2009 : 6.7 percent vs. 11.4 percent. (Of the rest, 20 percent of institutions received an increase, and funding for the rest was flat.) The vast majority of institutions sought to make up for those lost revenues by raising tuition and fees for in-state and out-of-state students alike (3-6 percent on average) and by increasing the number of students they enrolled (nearly two-thirds had planned to increase the size of their freshman classes and of their graduate student bodies).

Keller cited the gradual shift from state to tuition revenues as one of the overpowering "new" realities evidenced by the survey. But given the downward pressure that politicians and others are putting on public institutions not to raise their tuitions too quickly, the increased tuition revenue the universities in the APLU survey generated did not make up for what they lost in state funds. That reality has both short-term and long-term implications for land-grant and other public institutions.

Pour lire la suite sur le site de Inside Higher Education