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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

More State Direction Could Increase the Utilization of Higher Education Classrooms, Report No. 09-25, April 2009
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  • Higher education institutions display different classroom utilization trends, but in general, there continues to be underutilization of postsecondary classrooms. Overall, university classrooms were in use approximately half of the time they were available during the week, and state and community college classroom utilization was less than 50%. Since the publication of our 2006 reports, postsecondary institutions have implemented several strategies to increase classroom utilization with mixed results. Some administrators believe that underutilization may be due to the success of distance learning initiatives, and their efforts to use facilities more efficiently and lower operating costs.
  • As recommended in our prior reports, the Board of Governors has taken steps to make efficient use of existing facilities a factor in prioritizing university construction projects. However, the Department of Education does not yet consider utilization of existing facilities when setting construction priorities. Both state entities have made limited progress updating planning formulas for determining future facility needs, thereby potentially inaccurately portraying the need for additional space.
  • Postsecondary institutions continue to construct classrooms within national construction cost norms and have taken steps to contain construction and energy costs.

What were our earlier findings?

Report No. 06-31 Higher Education Facility Construction Costs Are Reasonable; Some Improvements Could Maximize Use of Campus Classroom Space,published in March 2006.
Report No. 06-30 State Higher Education Facility Planning Process Is Designed Reasonably Well; Current Formulas May Inaccurately Portray Projected Needs,published in March 2006.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Educational Facilities
Board of Governors
Florida College System
Education System
State University System

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 17-04 The State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF) Should Be Retained; Some Modifications Could Be Made,published in January 2017.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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