CFO survey reveals negative outlook on financials

July 15, 2013

A new survey has found that many chief financial officers of universities and colleges are doubtful about the financial sustainability of their institutions. Only 27% of CFOs express strong confidence in the viability of their institution's financial model over 5 years, and that number drops in half to 13% when they are asked to look further over a 10-year period. Also, more than 6 in 10 CFOs surveyed disagree or strongly disagree with the statement that "reports that a significant number of higher education institutions are facing existential financial crisis are overblown." The online survey was completed by a total of 457 campus and system chief business and financial officers. The survey also found that: health care costs are weighing increasingly heavily on the minds of CFOs, retention is displacing recruitment as institutions' top priority, CFOs want better-use data to evaluate programs and identify potential problems or solutions, many CFOs believe that new spending at their institutions will come from re-allocated funds rather than new dollars, and nearly half of CFOs say their institution has increased its dependence on debt to finance projects. Inside Higher Ed