Planning for Higher Education Journal

Managing the College’s Real Estate

Journal Cover
From Volume 19 Number 1 | Fall 1990
By C. Anthony Junker

Colleges and universities must search for new sources of revenue as the cost of running and maintaining these institutions continues to skyrocket. Many institutions are now discovering that they are land rich and have many untapped opportunities. The development of income-producing campus property can improve the aesthetic character of the area surrounding an institution as well as provide an important source of income. For successful real estate development, vacant land is necessary. Many colleges and universities have open space surrounding the central campus, close to downtown, or in the country. Second, adminstrators must plan for total resource mangement for peak performance. A third requisite of successful development is "good market research and financial planning." The institution must determine demand for the use of its property. Finally, colleges and universities must have one real estate planner to guide real estate development. The institution should assess development possiblities. Either a team of adminstrators, trustees, and business school experts can adopt a master plan for long-term use of university property, or land use and development consultants can be employed to devise a plan for real estate dvelopment. Three important issues are (1) taxes--while universities are exempt, business property is not, (2) communication with students and alumni regarding the institution's continued goal of maintaining campus beauty, and (3) cooperation between the real estate development planner and administrators and faculty. Thus, planning for toal resource management, with real estate development as a primary element, will provide a wise source of institutional finance.

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