News & Insights

Deferred maintenance dogs many theological schools -- especially those freestanding institutions with beloved old campuses that were built for a bygone era. Surely every administrator knows that when you're creating an annual budget, it's very easy to put off a big capital expenditure for one more year or to balance the accounts by shaving a little off the facilities line.

A recent piece over at the Chronicle of Higher Education is a must-read for presidents, CFOs, and board members who serve on the finance or buildings and grounds committees. It was prompted by a report of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) that documents a sharp decline in capital spending in recent years. The report suggests that either maintenance of college buildings is being deferred at an alarming rate, or those old buildings are painting themselves.

We all know that letting the physical plant slip can present problems with regard to campus safety, regulatory compliance, and liability. But it can also sully a school's curb appeal, which can negatively affect enrollment and donations. When considered more holistically, the impact of deferred maintenance may have far-reaching implications that hurt the bottom line more than it helps balance the budget.

These are tough choices, to be sure. How can you determine what physical improvements are most important? One way to start is by surveying students -- those who matriculate and (perhaps more importantly) those who don't. A couple questions on new-student and admissions questionnaires can help an administration prioritize campus projects that will have the most pay-off in terms of student sentiment. In the hands of a development officer, student survey data may also be helpful in fundraising.

Procrastination has its price, and that is certainly the case with deferred maintenance. But we may not know just how much it costs in the long run.

Top Topics

Roles & Responsibilities

Challenges

Opportunities

Board Essentials

Upcoming Events

The In Trust Center hosts learning community spaces throughout the year. Check out our upcoming events below.

Strategic Partnerhips

COMING SOON

In this on-demand webinar, Rick Staisloff, senior partner of rpk GROUP, will discuss essential aspects of strategic partnerships. He will explore current trends, identify partners, navigate the due diligence process, and addresses common challenges. In addition to technical components of partnerships, he will also examine the intangible – yet critical – elements of partnerships, such as building trust and managing relationships.

Closing the Trust Gap

ON DEMAND

The current and very troubling condition of trust is a clarion call to action. But despite the dismal data showing pervasive organizational distrust, every organization can assess their current level of trust, learn and adopt a proven trust building framework, and then develop a meaningful and long-lasting plan of action. This webinar details the knowledge and practical next steps to strengthen workplace culture as a result of closing the trust gap.

In Trust Center Resource Grants

ON DEMAND

An In Trust Center Resource Grant offers member schools a chance to explore innovation at their institutions through a matching grant opportunity of up to $15,000. Listen to this 30-minute information session, including Q&A, as we provide details on eligibility requirements, funding priorities, application process. Previous grantees are eligible to apply as long as they are not within our current funding cycle.

Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?

In Trust Center provides Resource Consulting to our members at no charge. Contact us today and let us guide you to the most helpful resources for your situation.

Contact Us