ERIC Number: ED446726
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Outsourcing in Higher Education. ERIC Digest.
Wood, Patricia A.
Higher education has increasingly turned to outsourcing to improve service in the face of declining resources. Outsourcing has traditionally been used to operate campus bookstores and dining services and has more recently become a legitimate option for additional campus functions, such as facilities operation, computer services, security, child care, and remedial classes. Advocates argue that the private sector provides service more efficiently and at lower cost than the public sector, which is unmotivated by profit. Critics of outsourcing point out its human resource consequences. Jobs may be shifted from the college or university to the contractor performing the outsourced function, resulting in decreased salaries or benefits. Contract staff may have less loyalty to the university than university employees. While research about outsourcing is scanty, anecdotal evidence shows that many institutions find outsourcing an effective means of reducing costs, upgrading program quality, and increasing customer satisfaction. A 1996 survey found that colleges and universities are increasingly turning to outsourcing, with more than one-half expecting to contract for more services in the coming years. Only 5.9% of colleges and universities surveyed produced all services in-house; the most popular outsourced services were food (74.3%), vending (65.3%), and bookstore operations (33.7%). (SLD)
ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, One Dupont Circle, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20036-1183. Tel: 800-956-7739 (Toll Free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, Washington, DC.; George Washington Univ., Washington, DC. Graduate School of Education and Human Development.