Maintenance Over Management: A Survey of Business Officers

The sky has not fallen — but pieces of it could soon be hitting a campus near you.

That is one way of summing up the findings of Inside Higher Ed’s first-ever Survey of College and University Business Officers, released today in advance of the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

The survey, the second of a series in which Inside Higher Ed is gauging the views of key higher education constituents, reveals a surprisingly upbeat assessment about the financial state of American college campuses (especially private nonprofit ones), as seen through the eyes of their chief finance and business officials, 606 of whom responded to the survey.

About one in six business officers at both public and private nonprofit colleges described the financial health of their respective institutions as “excellent,” and another 57 percent of public-college CFOs and 47 percent of private-college CFOs characterized their respective institutions’ financial health as “good.” Business officers at public and private institutions alike also generally rebuffed the notion that the budget cuts their institutions have suffered so far have damaged the quality of their academic programs or academic support for students — opinions that many other people on their campuses are unlikely to share.

Read the full story at Inside Higher Ed News.