The Growing Caste System in Higher Education: Campus Construction Edition


It is hardly surprising that as colleges and universities have struggled to maintain their finances in response to the deep reductions in state support and the sometimes volatile fluctuations in enrollment caused by the Great Recession, those institutions have allocated far fewer resources to maintaining their existing buildings and to the construction of new buildings.

According to a recent article in the Columbus Dispatch, “New construction at campuses across the country has been sliding for much of the past five years, according to market research by McGraw Hill Construction. This year, the total square footage of new campus projects is down 7 percent from last year, when the industry saw a slight uptick.”

In this context, the massive new construction projects at Ohio State University do not simply go against the norm; they stand in stark contrast to the norm.

The university is completing the biggest single building project…

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