Many state universities are the size of small cities and offer numerous services for students and faculty. Like most cities, state universities and colleges can reduce operation costs and enhance the operation of existing facilities by turning to privatization. A 1992 study, for example, by the Privatization for America consulting firm, identified 182 privatization opportunities at the University of Maryland.[40]

In the February 1992 Apogee survey of state governments, 95 percent of higher education agency respondents said they had or plan to privatize some services and facilities.[41] All positive respondents already contract out services, and 15

percent intended to sell university assets and/or facilities to the private sector. Services frequently contracted out by state universities include custodial services, food service, health care, and maintenance (see Table 6). Despite the high percentage of higher education agencies that contract for services, the dollar amount of contracting is fairly low: $10 million or less for over 80 percent of respondents to the Apogee survey.

Table 6

HIGHER EDUCATION

Operations

% Responsible that Privatize

Administration

13%

Book Stores

40%

Custodians

43%

Data Processing

13%

Dormitories

5%

Food Service

80%

Health Care

20%

Maintenance

23%

Security

25%

Stadiums

18%

Transportation

15%

Other

35%

Source: State Government Privatization 1992, Apogee Research, Inc., p. 22.

Other uses of privatization in higher education identified in the Apogee survey included:

  1. Management of restaurants, stadiums, and theaters;

  2. Build/operate arrangements for facilities; and

  3. Private funding for dormitories.