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Table 14.-Expenditures of land-grant institutions for educational and contributory purposes—Continued
2 Included under “Resident instruction."
The expenditures of 52 institutions for educational and contributory purposes totaled $98,867,945. Amounts expended for each purpose with the proportion of total expenditures are summarized in Table 15. TABLE 15.-Amounts expended for educational and contributory purposes with
proportions for each
Resident instruction, general library, extension, experiment station, and other organized research make up the expenditures for strictly educational purposes. They comprise 82.2 per cent of the total expenditures. Administration and general expenses and physical plant operation and maintenance include expenditures contributory to educational work. The proportion for these items is 17.8 per cent. Such an allotment of expenditures to direct educational services as contrasted with activities contributory to education is representative only of the land-grant colleges as a whole. In order to make a genuine analysis it is necessary to examine the apportionments of expenditures for these items as found in the individual institutions. As increased or decreased expenditures for administration and general expenses and physical plant operations have the direct effect of either reducing or enhancing the expenditures available for educational work, it is deemed advantageous to consider them first.
Expenditures for administrative and general purposes include operating costs of administration, general offices, general departments, and expenses not directly connected with instruction. There are 22 colleges which expend more than the average of 6.8 per cent.
. In several cases the proportions are more than double the average. The range in these institutions is from 7.1 per cent to 30.3 per cent.
According to the tabulation, the percentage in 1 institution was 15.6; in another, 14.9; in a third, 12.9; in 4, from 11.1 to 11.5; in 3, from 10 to 10.4; and in 2, from 9.3 to 9.4.
There were nine colleges with proportions from 1 per cent above the average to percentages only slightly higher than the average. In some of these instances there may be opportunity for readjustment of administrative and general expenses, but in the aggregate the overhead costs may be regarded as not excessive. The proportion was from 8 to 8.5 per cent in two of the institutions and from 7.1 to 7.8 per cent in seven others. Thirty institutions had percentages less than the average, ranging down to 3.4 per cent of the total expenditures.
There was 1 college with a percentage of 3.6, 1 of 3.8, 1 of 4, 2 of 4.1, 1 of 4.3, 1 of 4.4, 1 of 4.6, and 1 of 4.8.
Overhead operating costs in these institutions appear to have been reduced to the minimum, or forms of classification conceal administrative and general expenses under other names.
Among the other colleges with percentages lower than the average are 1 with 5, 1 with 5.1, 1 with 5.2, 2 with 5.3, 1 with 5.4, 3 with 5.5, 3 with 5.6, and 1 with 5.9.
The proportion of expenditures for adminstrative and general purposes varied from 6.1 to 6.6 per cent in six institutions, while the University of Tennessee expended 6.8 per cent for this purpose, the exact average for the whole land-grant college group.
Physical plant operation and maintenance, which includes such items as heat, light, upkeep of buildings and grounds, power, janitor service, supplies and repairs, affords opportunity for economical business management. Small expenditures for this purpose result in the release of additional funds for academic needs and educational expansion. No more important problem confronts the landgrant colleges than the curtailment of the costs of operating and maintaining physical plants to the lowest possible figure consistent with proper and adequate maintenance. Yet from an examination of the tabulation it appears that expenditures for this item in 25 of the colleges, or approximately one-half, exceeded the average of 11 per cent for all the institutions. In 18 instances, the percentage was higher than 12, running to a maximum of 27.1 at Alaska Agricultural College. As some institutions are located in cold sections of the country and the climatic conditions have the effect of increasing their physical plant expenditures, justification may be found for the high proportions. At the same time there are 11 institutions to which this explanation does not wholly apply. A number of these colleges are located in warm southern States, while others are situated in temperate zones. In nine other institutions the expenlitures for physical plant operation and maintenance were slightly in excess of the average, the percentage varying from 11.4 to 11.9.
Twenty-six institutions expended to operate and maintain their plants less than 11 per cent of the total. The lowest proportions are found in the Georgia State College of Agriculture with but 3.7 per cent, West Virginia University with 4.5 per cent and Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College with 5.8 per cent.
Mild climates or cheap fuel no doubt contribute to the decreased costs in the case of the institutions. Expenditures of the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts amounted to 6.4 per cent of the total expenditures and of the North Carolina State College 6.6 per cent, both of which are located in southern regions.
The operation and maintenance costs of the physical plants in 5 other colleges were between 7.3 and 7.6 per cent, in 5 between 8 and 8.8 per cent, and in 6 between 9 and 9.8 per cent.
Since only a limited number are situated in warm climates, it is obvious that the reduced operating expenses are traceable to economical and efficient management rather that climatic conditions. Of the remaining institutions there were five with percentages from 10 to 10.7. One institution was unable to furnish figures on physical plant operation and maintenance costs, its accounting methods evidently not providing for the segregation of expenditures under this item.
Emphasis has already been placed on the vital necessity of the reduction of overhead operating costs so that the highest possible expenditures out of the resources may be made for educational work. For this reason, it is interesting to consider the combined proportions of expenditures for both administration and general expense and of physical plant operation and maintenance in the different institutions. For 1928, an average of 17.8 per cent was expended for these items in all the land-grant colleges. Twenty-eight institutions exceeded this average, which should seem to indicate that in more than the majority of cases, overhead costs are on a higher level than general experience seems to warrant. In seven institutions, administration, general expense, and physical plant operation and maintenance expenditures were in excess of one-fourth of the total expenditures, ranging from 25.1 per cent up to 42.7 per cent. It is difficult to find justification for such heavy costs of overhead operation. At the same time the reasonable possibility of curtailing such costs to a substantial degree is presented in the fact that 23 institutions not only had proportions below the average of 17.8 per cent, but 10 of them ranged down as low as from 10.9 to 14.7 per cent. There were also five cases in which the overhead operating expenses were from 15.5 to 15.9 per cent and five from 16.3 to 16.9 per cent, all below the average. Proportions in the other institutions varied from 17 to 17.8 per cent.
Having considered the relationship of expenditures for overhead operating costs to expenditures for educational purposes, it is now proposed to analyze the educational expenditures. The impression prevails generally that the land-grant colleges are primarily resident teaching institutions concentrating their objectives on the instruction of students within the precincts of their local campus. An examination of the expenditures, however, reveals that the average proportion of expenditures of the 52 land-grant institutions for resident instruction was 50.3 per cent. Only 19 colleges expended in excess of this percentage, indicating that a large proportion of the expenditures of a majority of the colleges was devoted to purposes other than resident teaching. This is substantiated by study of the combined proportions expended for extension experiment station and other organized research. The figures presented show that an average of 29.4 per cent of the total expenditures was for these items. The proportions of 29 institutions were higher than this average. Of the 52 land-grant colleges there were 16 where the expenditures for extension and for the experiment station and other organized research actually exceeded the expenditures for resident instruction. It is evident, therefore, that land-grant college higher education is a distinct type in itself, concerned not only with resident teaching, but also with state-wide education in agriculture, home economics, and other fields together with agricultural experimentation and research of various kinds.
The academic program of every institution pivots arqund expenditures for resident instruction. Including costs of operating the various subject matter departments, the salaries of deans and the teachers of all ranks, the item constitutes a vitally important factor in the distribution of resources. The proportion of expenditures for resident instruction would be expected to be fairly uniform in most of the institutions even though a considerable number of them have concentrated on other educational objectives. Yet the percentages ranged from as high as 75.5 per cent to as low as 17.7 per cent, with an average, as already pointed out, of 50.8 per cent for the entire group. Only 19 colleges expended more than this average, while 33 colleges, or by far the greater majority, expended less. Institutions with very large proportions of their expenditures for resident instruction were the University of Porto Rico with 75.5 per cent, University of Wisconsin with 65.3 per cent, University of Nebraska with 62.5 per cent, and Kansas State Agricultural College with 62.5 per cent. Because of the fact that expenditures for extension were included in resident instruction, the percentage given for Cornell University (65.9) is not comparable. In the other cases with proportions in excess of the average were two with percentages of approximately 58, two 56, three 55, two 54, one 53, and four 51.
An examination of the tabulation indicates that of the 33 institutions with expenditures below the average for resident instruction there were a number where the proportions were extremely small. In the Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College, the percentage was only 17.7, in the Georgia State College of Agriculture 22.1, in the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College 27.9, in the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas 29.9, and in the University of Arkansas 30.7. While the educational expenditures of these institutions are concentrated principally upon either extension or agricultural experimentation and research it would appear that if an adequate resident program of instruction is to be carried out, a larger allotment of funds for this purpose would be essential.