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lack of uniformity among the institutions is found in the authorities responsible for receiving and opening the bids.
The governing board is charged with this responsibility in 23, the president in 3, the chief business officer in 5, the head of the agricultural engineering division in 1, the secretary of the institutional board of administration in 1, the State architect and a committee of the governing board in 1, the State department of administration and finance in 1, the State building commission in 1, the State purchasing agent in 1, the State commission of institutions and agencies in 1, and the State board of agriculture in 1.
It is obvious that the State governments have assumed major control of this phase of the physical plant extension in a number of the colleges, a situation that is not altogether advantageous.
While a definite plan of procedure has been adopted in most of the institutions for the development of architectural plans for new buildings, there is considerable disparity in the practices.
Requirements for the buildings are received by the architect from the president at 16 colleges, the governing board at 7, the divisional or academic department heads at 10, the dean of engineering at 1, a building committee at 4, the superintendent of buildings and grounds at 1, the university cabinet at 1, and the chief business officer at 1.
The presumption is that in the drawing up of the plans the architect designated for the work would consult with practically the same officials from whom the requirements were received. The reports of the survey show, however, that in many cases he confers with an entirely different set of officials. The architect consults with the president and the building committee of the governing board in 6 institutions, with the president only in 19, with the chief business officer in 4, with the deans and department heads in 6, with an administrative and faculty committee in 4, and with the superintendent of buildings and grounds in 2. The governing board in all cases finally approves the plans when completed by the architect, but at 11 land-grant colleges they must be submitted to a State agency or official for their approval before actual work on the new construction may be commenced.
Of these institutions, the State architect or engineer must officially approve the plans in 3, the State board of finance and control in 1, the State board of accounts in 1, the State board of examiners in 1, the State commissioner of departments and agencies in 1, the State insurance commissioner in 1, the State director of public works in 1, and the State finance commissioner in 1.
After the bids are received and opened, it is customary to refer them for examination and recommendation for award of contract to specially selected officials or groups of officials. In 28 of the land-grant colleges where control over the procedure for new construction is retained by the institutions, the bids are referred to a variety of governing, executive, and administrative officers.
The returns disclose that they are referred to the board of trustees or a committee of the board in 15; to the architect in 6; to the president and the architect in 2; to the president, architect, and university attorneys in 1; and to a committee composed either of the chief business officer, the superintendent of buildings and grounds, the dean of engineering, or others directly concerned in 4. In the 10 colleges where State agencies exercise jurisdiction, the bids are examined and recommendations for awards made by the State board of public works jointly with the governing board in 1, the State department of administration and finance in 1, the State purchasing agent in 1, the State architect or engineer in conjunction with the university architect in 3, the State board of agriculture in 1, and the State commissioners of finance in 1.
Final awarding of the contract is made by the governing bodies at 31 institutions and by the president after approval by the executive committee of the board of trustees in 1.
In the remainder State control is exercised, the contract being awarded by the State architect on authority of the business and building committee in 1 college, the State business manager in 1, the State board of agriculture in 1, the State building commission in 1, the State purchasing agent with the approval of the governing board in 1, the State commissioner of institutions and agencies in 1, the State commissioner of education in 1, and the State director of public works and the governing board in 1.
In order to make the contracts legal, they must be signed by official representatives of the State governments in 12 of the land-grant colleges.
An examination of the reports shows that the governor, State architect, and chief engineer must affix their signatures in 1 State, the attorney general and territorial auditor in 1, the attorney general in 1, the members of the State building commission in 1, the State board of examiners in 1, the State commissioner of education in 1, the State board of agriculture in 1, the State business manager in 1, the president and secretary of the State commission of institutions and agencies in 1, the president and secretary of the State board of administration in 1, and the director of the State board of public works and the secretary of the governing board in 1. Where the institutions have full authority over the awarding of contracts for new buildings, they are signed by the president of the governing body at 6; the president and secretary of the governing body at 1; the executive committee of the board of trustees at 1; the university president at 3; the president, business agent, and chairman of the executive committee at 1; the chairman of the executive committee at 1; the chairman of the governing board and the university president at 1; the full membership of the board of trustees at 2; and the chief business officer at 3. Upon the question of whether contracts may be awarded if the bids exceed the architect's. estimate of construction costs, it was found that 31 institutions permit the awarding of contracts under such circumstances.
Supervision of the work of construction is an essential part of the administration of building operations. Attention has been given this matter in all the land-grant colleges. In addition, it is found that in 12 cases the State government also supervises the work.
Institutional supervision is conducted by the architect in 22 colleges, by the superintendent of buildings and grounds in 9, by the construction superintendent in 4, by the chief business officer in 3, by a person designated by the governing board in 1, by the dean of the agricultural engineering division in 1, and by a special inspector in 1. The State governments supervise the work through the State architect or a representative at 9 institutions, a special State building inspector at 2, and by the State engineer at 1.
In the case of disputes, provision for arbitration is contained in the building contracts of 27 instances while the contracts of 6 others provide no definite arrangement for their settlement. Information was not supplied on this point by the other institutions.
Chapter VII.—Summary and Conclusions
Reorganization of financial administration, business procedure, and accounting systems is an outstanding need of the land-grant institutions. Business management and finance, as they at present exist in some of the colleges, are inadequately organized and based on unsound principles.
(1) A primary essential is recognition of the fact that in every institution there are two distinct types of activities-educational and business. The business organization should function as a service agency to the educational organization and should be responsible for the handling of all its business and financial affairs. The educational organization should be responsible for the performance of academic and educational functions. The intermingling of these two organizations is found in many of the colleges. Educational officers and members of the teaching staff are frequently charged with duties belonging to the business administration which results in division of responsibilities and in improper functioning of both the educational and business organizations.
(2) The specific functions that should be assigned to the business organization are the receipt of money, handling of expenditures, custodianship of funds, accounting, purchasing, operation of physical plant, financial control of residence and dining halls, management of auxiliary enterprises, and all other services involving the collection and disbursement of funds. These activities should be concentrated in a central business office under the control of a chief business officer. Any plan of distributing part of the business functions to independent agencies, to faculty and administrative committees, and to deans of colleges or department heads—situations that are found in a number of the institutions—can only lead to confusion and to complicated procedures.
(3) The chief business officer should serve directly under the president. He should be selected by the president and his appointment should be recommended by the president to the governing board. The heavy responsibilities involved in the management of the business affairs of a land-grant institution make it essential that the chief business officer be of unquestioned ability and specially trained in business administration. To obtain service of this type
requires the payment of a salary commensurate with the complex duties and large responsibilities of the office.
(4) Notwithstanding that business management and finances constitute a most important phase of the land-grant institutions, no equally important aspect of the institutions has been more neglected. Governing boards and chief executives frequently content themselves with general appraisal of the progress of their institutions. Genuine knowledge, however, is obtainable concerning the exact status of the institutions, the progress that is being made, the nature of the educational program, and the attainment of educational objectives by specific analysis of financial management. A financial report giving detailed items of income and expenditure for a fixed year as compared with previous years, providing such records are kept, reveals information that is fundamental to revision of policies and changes in procedures. The proportion of support received from different sources over a period of years should disclose data of intrinsic value in securing additional revenue. Comparative figures concerning expenditures for various activities from year to year present a valuable basis of judgment with reference to the equitable distribution of support.
(5) The land-grant colleges are State-owned, State-controlled, and State-operated. It is sometimes assumed, therefore, that the major part of their support is derived from State sources. The analysis of income presented by preceding chapters of this report shows that for the land-grant institutions as a whole but 47 per cent of the total gain made in revenues between 1915 and 1928 was actually contributed by the States as compared with 53 per cent from such other sources as Federal funds, private gifts, student fees, endowment yields, and institutional earnings. Moreover, the percentage of increase from each of these sources with the exception of Federal funds was greater than from the State during this period. For the year 1928, State revenues of all the institutions represented but 50 per cent of total receipts while in the case of 22 individual institutions the amount of State support was less than one-half of their; total income.
(6) State governments should furnish funds for the support of the institutions in such form that the governing boards and executive officers intimately acquainted with the needs of the institutions will be free to expend the money to best advantage in accomplishing the educational objectives of the institutions. This can not be accomplished when segregated State appropriations are made limited to specific purposes and for particular branches of the institutions. The most efficacious form of appropriation is that which provides funds in lump sums covering two items only, general operation and maintenance and permanent improvements.
(7) The initial conception of the land-grant institutions was that they should be free public agencies of higher education open to all youthful citizens of the State. That a compromise with this principle has long since been made is indicated by the multitude of fees levied by the different institutions. Since the assessment of fees affects the basic public character of the institutions, final authority in levying them should be rested in the governing boards only except where the State governments through their constitutions and their legislatures have retained jurisdiction. In some of the institutions this power is held by executive, administrative, and educational officers.
(8) The institutional budget systems operated by the land-grant institutions are at wide variance. Budget classifications are not harmonized with accounting systems in many instances. The result is that two systems of handling financial records are maintained in the same institution. Some of the budgets fail also to include all of the activities while others do not follow the lines of institutional organization. These delinquences are largely responsible for the confusion of methods in fiscal administration that at present prevail. Complete reorganization of budget systems is a vital need in many instances. A more uniform plan of budget-making should also be established throughout the entire group of land-grant institutions.
(9) Not only is uniformity generally lacking in the accounting systems of the land-grant institutions but many of the systems in operation are inadequate and incomplete. In a number of cases detailed information regarding income and expenditures can not be supplied. Some of the accounting systems do not permit the compilation of a simple balance sheet showing assets and liabilities. Others use only the most general classifications. No more important problem confronts many of the individual institutions than an entire revision of their bookkeeping methods. No more important problem confronts the land-grant institutions as a group than the adoption of systems of classification that will permit of financial and educational comparisons.
(10) Both internal and external audits of the accounts should be made. The internal audit should consist of a continuous check of all financial transactions. The external audit should include verification of the various items and testing of their accuracy by outside examiners at periodic intervals. Although audits by outside agencies are conducted regularly in the case of all the land-grant institutions, the thoroughness and value of these checks vary greatly among the institutions. Few of the institutions operate effective continuous in