For most colleges and universities, facilities are not just about providing a place to house programs and services. The physical campus is a large part of the fundamental nature of the institution, embedded in its image for faculty, students, and alumni, as well as for the community and region in which it is located.
A study, "Buildings...The Gifts That Keep On Taking: A Framework for Integrated Decision-Making," conducted by APPA's Center for Facilities Research, explores the need for a comprehensive asset investment strategy on campus. "We call buildings ‘the gifts that keep on taking' because the predominant share of the total cost-of-ownership lies in the recurring costs of maintenance, upkeep, and periodic renewal," said Terry Ruprecht, campus academic facilities officer at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and one of the study's principal investigators. "So while receiving funding to construct a building is always welcome, buildings that are not adequately funded across their estimated lives often cost more to maintain than the initial gift can bear."