Thursday, December 15, 2011

Privatizing dormitories

This week the University of Kentucky announced that it was going to transfer all of its dormitories to a private firm.  Do not be surprised to see other universities (maybe even NC State?) move in this direction soon.  Most dorms were built for the boomer generation in the 1950s and 1960s and let's just say they need some work.  Money for new construction or modernization is scarce, especially in states with significant pension and retiree health care obligations.  Privatization gets UK out of a business that is poorly aligned with its core competencies of teaching and research.  Most universities have exited the bookstore business.  Perhaps privatizing dorms is the first step toward getting out of the property management business altogether.

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