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Finally...A 360° View of Auxiliaries

In a climate of ever growing sensitivity to increased costs, college and university auxiliary and business officers have never faced a greater challenge to reduce their expenses and increase their revenues and contributions. Yet to date, the tools to help them navigate their way to this goal have been limited to home grown spreadsheets, and at best, an occasional share drive. In the 2014 CFO Report, published by The Chronicle of Higher Education, 65 percent of the 400 CFOs surveyed rated the quality of current analytics and systems to help guide decisions as "average to poor".

Let’s explore this a bit further. Most college and university business and auxiliary operations are large, and involve a significant amount of money. On many campuses, this entity is the second largest line item in the budget, only surpassed by academic costs.

Auxiliaries can also be complex and certainly very diverse in their operational and business requirements. Typically, an auxiliary organization will include such entities as dining, bookstore and other retail offerings, vending, pouring rights, mail and print services, and parking and transportation. Often, their purview also includes conferences and summer camps, child development centers, student health centers, leases to banks and ATMs, housing, and even golf courses and hotels. That’s a huge enterprise representing many moving parts and a great deal of money! 

Reprinted with the permission of NACAS and College Services – Fall 2015

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