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aries, other operation expense, and additions to equipment for each instructional department; for the operation of and current additions of books to the library which serves the departments; for the operation and maintenance of the physical plant; for administrative and general expenses of the departments and colleges; for services other than instruction, such as research; for self-supporting service enterprises and for capital additions to the physical plant. Only with an extensive classification of expenditures is it possible to make a computation of unit expense on a satisfactory basis.
Proper statistics on enrollment of students are required for the purpose of ascertaining whether service is actually rendered. For instance, no student should be included who withdraws after the first few days of instruction. Short courses, extension, and correspondence students should be eliminated and included under a separate unit-cost analysis. The basis of the computation should be the number of students actually attending each college or school, the number of students enrolled in each course, and the distribution of enrollment of regular students in contra distinction to correspondence or night-school students. Records must likewise be maintained with accuracy on the distribution of the time and work of the members of the faculty and the staff. Information must be available upon the amount of time devoted by every teacher to administration, to teaching, to research, and other duties. In computation of unit costs, the time and costs of the services of each member must be allocated to the department for which the work is performed. Data on the use of the building space are also necessary. There must be complete records on the number of square feet of floor space in each building, the number of square feet occupied exclusively by each department, the number of hours and amount of space utilized by each department during each semester or quarter, the purpose for which the space is used, and the costs of operation of the buildings figured on a basis of the amount of space.
With such classifications of expenditures, statistical records, and methods of classifying accounts, unit or per capita costs may be obtained for practically every activity of the institution. Such computations may be made on a basis of the student credit hour representing one credit earned by one student in a department for a fixed period, of the semester or quarter credit hour comprising the amount of instruction given for each credit hour, or of the student or per capita which represents one person enrolled as a regular student in a college or curriculum. The expense of each course, of each curriculum, of each department, of each college, the per capita expense of each student in each department or college may also be calculated.
The land-grant colleges were requested to submit information on the methods employed in the determination of unit or per capita costs. Only 15 institutions made returns. The remainder apparently have not attempted to prepare in a systematic manner figures and data on instructional cost accounting. According to reports received, the systems adopted are fairly satisfactory at 12 institutions, while only partial cost computations are made in 3 other instances. The unit used was the student credit hour in 6, the clock hour in 6, and both the student credit hour and the clock hour in 3. The inability of nine of the institutions to analyze in detail unit costs is due to their failure to keep statistical records of service of their staff members in instruction, research, and extension. According to the returns, but 9 of the 15 institutions included institutional overhead in calculating unit or per capita expenses. The most complete systems for the determination of unit costs have been developed by the Pennsylvania State College, Iowa State College, and the University of Illinois.
A division of opinion exists as to the soundness of compilations on unit or per capita costs in institutions of higher learning. The undertaking is involved in complexity and the results should not, under present conditions, be utilized for making comparisons between different institutions. Little doubt exists, however, that comparisons on the basis of unit costs between similar departments in the same institution and between different years for the same department are of special significance. The figures are of particular value also in budget making. In the smaller colleges where widely diverse and complex educational activities have not been established the compilation of unit or per capita costs is greatly simplified providing essential records are maintained. Yet it is in the case of these very institutions that no systems whatever have been adopted.
Chapter V.-Auxiliary Enterprises and Service Departments
The modern land-grant institution is no longer a small isolated educational unit. With the establishment of a variety of colleges and schools of instruction, with the expansion of curricula and subject-matter fields, with the growth of enrollments and the upbuilding of a large plant, it has become a teeming community presenting social, human, and physical needs that must be met. As a result the necessity has arisen for the operation of diverse auxiliary enterprises, service departments, and supervised organizations supplementary to the regular educational organization. Residence and dining halls for the housing and feeding of students, laundries to provide a regular laundry service, bookstores where school supplies may be purchased, and post offices for the handling of the mail of the students and faculty have been established and are operated on the campus.
To carry out the expanding educational program effectively has required the maintenance of stenographic bureaus to accommodate the faculty, of photographic establishments, of radio stations, and of publicity and news services. Printing and binding have become important requirements, making it advisable for some institutions to operate their own printing plants. The purchase of immense amounts of supplies necessitating storage facilities has resulted in the establishment of stores and receiving stations for their receipt and distribution. Due to the emphasis placed on the teaching of science, finely equipped laboratories have been installed in the different institutions. Shops for the repair of scientific equipment must therefore be maintained.
Social life of both students and faculty is a significant phase of campus activities. For its promotion student unions, faculty clubs, fraternities, publications, dramatic, musical, class and athletic organizations have been formed. Capital investments of considerable size have been made in these enterprises and the annual operating receipts and disbursements reach large figures. While the organizations are in a sense separate from the educational activities of the institutions, they are important elements of the educational life and are or should be under the direct and immediate supervision of institutional authorities.
It is not proposed in this chapter to deal with general policies relative to auxiliary enterprises, service departments, and extracurricular organizations in the land-grant colleges. Another part of the report will discuss these problems. This chapter will be confined to a discussion of their business administration and supervision, methods of control, handling of accounts, operating costs, and the financing of capital investments made for their benefit.
In a number of institutions it has been found that an unsatisfactory system of financial supervision and administration of these enterprises and services has been adopted. Control has been vested in officers or committees engaged with other duties, who have neither the time, training, nor inclination to perform such assignments, and also in private or semiprivate managements with unrestricted authority. A more or less chaotic condition, therefore, exists. In other institutions failure to proceed upon sound business principles in the handling of these enterprises results in wasteful administration.
On the other hand the highest efficiency prevails in the financial administration of these projects in the case of some institutions. Fiscal control and supervision have been lodged in the business officer. The collection of bills and disbursement of income is concentrated in a central agency. There is centralized purchasing so that supplies may be bought in bulk and pooled with the other purchases of the university. Audits of accounts are made at regular intervals. Adequate measures have likewise been taken for the financing of improvements, replacements, and new construction with provisions for the proper liquidation of indebtedness, if any. Sound business methods have been installed. A modern business organization has been created. It is the purpose of this portion of the survey report to discuss separately each of the different types of auxiliary enterprises, service departments, and supervised organizations.
Residence and Dining Halls Residence and dining halls in public higher educational institutions should not be operated for profit. They should not be operated at a loss. Nor should it be necessary usually for the institutions to subsidize them. They should be self-sustaining and conducted on such a business basis that the regular annual income will cover the cost of operation, maintenance, interest charges, and at the same time provide a sinking fund for the gradual repayment of the capital investment or replacement of facilities as that becomes necessary.
The failure in the past to adopt definite policies for financial administration and fiscal supervision may be in part responsible for the shortage of residence halls in the land-grant colleges of the United States. Of the 44 institutions reporting on this subject, 2 institutions have no residence halls of any type, and in the case of 4 institutions the number of students accommodated is so small as to be practically negligible. There are 32 institutions with residence halls for men and 33 for women.
The total enrollment in the 44 land-grant colleges for 1927–28 was 136,657 students. The total housed in residence halls was 21,794, or only 15.9 per cent. An examination of the returns of the individual colleges shows that but 7 colleges are able to accommodate in excess of 50 per cent of their student body in residence halls, while 15 institutions have campus house facilities for less than 10 per cent of their students. In Table 22 is presented the total enrollment, number of students by sex housed in residence halls, with percentages for the different land-grant institutions reporting. TABLE 22.-Number of students housed in residence halls in land-grant
Alabama Polytechnic Institute.
1, 431 4, 780 1, 011 6, 957 1, 658
8.0 26. 1
1 Not divided as to sex.