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Chapter V.-Financing

Objectives maintained as ideals may be ever so carefully worked out and enthusiastically championed but practical realization will depend upon the adequacy of resources devoted to provision of a competent staff and suitable physical facilities. On the other hand, financial resources that should be adequate in amount may fail to serve the needs of the home economics units if poor management results in expenditures that are poorly directed to accomplishment of definite objectives. When objectives themselves are vague, confused, and contradictory no consistent basis or principle of economical financial expenditure is possible and the tendency is to confuse economy with parsimony. Financing the home economics work of an institution has, therefore, two rather distinct aspects, the phase that concerns institutional fiscal policies as they relate to home economics, and the phase that relates to the responsibility of the home economics unit itself for expenditures that are within the control of the head of this unit. Presentation of the facts about fiscal matters can not be separated upon this basis, but the interpretation of any factual situation must usually consider the implication that may be drawn both from the standpoint of institutional policy and from the standpoint of internal administration of the home economics unit. It is the purpose of this examination of home economics financing to present facts concerning budget making, the size of home economics budgets, sources of income, cost accounting, and expenditures that may be significant from the standpoints indicated. A budget plan for expenditures is used by the majority of home economics departments in land-grant colleges. Forty-two institutions give detailed information concerning budget initiation and approval, adjustments within the budget, the checking of bills, and keeping of cost records. In 40 of the 42 institutions reporting, the director of home economics is directly responsible for the initiation of the budget for home economics undergraduate instruction. Three institutions, the University of Missouri, the University of Delaware, and the University of Maryland, report budget committees, composed of members of the home economics staff, cooperating 111490°-30_59


with the director in budget planning. Sixteen institutions among the 40, report that the heads of various subject matter divisions within the home economics unit assist by presenting statements of the needs of their departments to the director.

In 21 of the 40, the dean of the college in which the department or division of home economics is situated cooperates in the initiation of the home economics budget. In 22 the president of the institution is also a cooperator. In 11 institutions four different administrative heads are reported to have a part in the initiation of a plan for home economics expenditures. In but two institutions are first plans for a home economics budget made without consulting the department.

The home economics budget is considered by a committee in 29 institutions. In 12 home economics has representation on the committee; in 17 no member of its staff is a member of the committee.

The foregoing data present a picture of complex relationships and responsibilities. The director of home economics and members of her staff serving as department heads within the home economics unit know well the needs of the department. She is or should be in close touch with the financial situation, not only in her department and college, but in the institution as a whole, and should have an important share in shaping the home economics budget with regard to the general development of education within the institution and with regard to development of a unit best qualified to accomplish accepted home economics objectives.

Fifteen of the thirty-nine institutions reporting show the following progression in the approval of the home economics budget. Members of the home economics staff heading subject-matter departments, as clothing and textiles, foods and nutrition, home management, and others, present the financial needs of their several departments to the director, who in turn presents a combined budgetary plan to the dean of the college in which the department or division of home economics is situated. The dean then presents it to the president of the institution. In nine other institutions the director of home economics submits her budget directly to the president. Reports from 15 other institutions present varied steps in budget procedure. In 5 of the 15 the business manager is concerned; in 1 the director of home economics and the dean of the college where the de partment is situated jointly submit the home economics budget to the dean of the faculty, who then presents it to the president.

One institution reports a conference of deans or directors of all the divisions, previous to the planning of the budget. This would make for understanding of the general financial situation as well as plans of development in different departments. Such a plan lends itself well to small institutions, but might be unwieldy in larger colleges.

Twenty-three institutions report the home economics budget planned for one year only; 20, for two years; 2 for a longer period. A budget planned for more than one year in advance has many


advantages. A budget should do more than present a picture of money needs of the immediate future. To be of larger use, it should show a clear and well-developed plan of educational service. Developed in this way, it will not only act as a guide in the wise use of money by the department, avoiding wasteful expenditures, but will show to the public supporting the institution, the purposes of the various units. In other words, a budget should be a means of avoiding a hand-to-mouth existence. The director of home economics and her staff, because of their close acquaintance with the details of home economics, should be able to interpret its needs in budgetary form more practically than any other agency in the institution.

Amount of Budget The total budget for home economics work in 22 land-grant institutions in 1915–16 was $343,125. The maximum budget at that time in any one institution was $45,000; the minimum $184. This shows a very great range in amounts of money available for home economics instruction. The same sort of situation is shown in the reports for 1927–28, for which year the total home economics budget for 37 institutions is shown to be $1,625,183. The maximum budget for an institution is $324,695; the minimum, $1,249.

In 1915–16, six, or more than one-fourth of the institutions reporting, were working on budgets of less than $5,000; four, or about one-fifth of those reporting, had budgets ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. But two report between $25,000 and $35,000; and but three show budgets of between $35,000 and $50,000; three institutions report between $10,000 to $15,000.

Among the 35 institutions giving figures on budgets 10 years later, or in 1925–26, only one reports a budget of less than $5,000. Three, or 12 per cent of those reporting, as against 20 per cent 10 years before, show budgets of more than $5,000 but less than $10,000. However, 19 institutions, or approxi. mately 50 per cent, show annual budgets of less than $25,000. Nine institutions report budgets ranging between $25.000 and $50,000; four between $50,000 and $75,000; one between $75,000 and $100,000; and two have budgets of more than $100,000. The maximum home economics budget among institutions in 1925–26 is reported to be $202,883.

In 1927–28, two years later, the maximum home economics budget is shown to be $324,695. One institution, however, is shown still to be working on a budget of less than $5,000. Two, or 8 per cent of the 37 institutions, show for 1927-28 budgets between $5,000 and $10,000; eighteen, or about one-half, show budgets of less than $25,000. The number having larger budgets shows an increase. Eleven now report budgets of more than $50,000, while only seven were in this class for 1925–26. Six of the eleven show budgets ranging from $50,000 to $75,000; two from $75,000 to $100,000; and three, above this figure.

Sources of Income

Because of insufficient data, the facts concerning sources of income could not be studied for the entire group of home economics units. However, 16 institutions were able to furnish information that appears to be fairly reliable. (See Table 12.)

TABLE 12.-Receipts for home economics undergraduate instruction in 16 land

grant institutions

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1 $23,000 to Cornell from Laura Spellman Memorial Fund of Rockefeller Foundation, 2 $30,000 to Cornell from Laura Spellman Memorial Fund of Rockefeller Foundation.

Slightly more than 92 per cent of the income for home economics instruction in these institutions was received from State and Fed. eral appropriations in 1915–16; 91 per cent from the same sources in 1920-21; 77 per cent in 1925–26; and 78 per cent in 1927–28. Home economics undergraduate instruction is financed to a greater extent by public funds than is instruction in the land-grant colleges generally. The financial report for 1927–28 covering 52 land-grant colleges shows 59.5 per cent of the cost of undergraduate instruction in these institutions met by income from State and Federal appropriations. Seventy-eight per cent of the cost of undergraduate in. struction in home economics in 16 land-grant institutions was provided for by income from these sources. The per cent cost of undergraduate instruction met by both Federal and State appropriations is decreasing.

Among the 22 institutions reporting for 1915-16, but one shows any income from private sources, a sum of $250. Four of the 35 reporting show a total of $24,792; the maximum $23,000, the minimum $250. In 1927–28 among 37 institutions reporting, three show receipts from private funds totaling $41,558. Twenty-three thousand dollars in 1925–26 and $30,000 in 1927–28 represent grants from the Laura Spellman Memorial Fund of the Rockefeller Foundation to the College of Home Economics at Cornell University for research in child development.

The income from sales and services presented by Table 12 for 16 institutions shows considerable increase of income from this item doubtless due to establishment of cafeteria and similar dining service by home economics departments in connection with instruction in institutional management. Incomplete reports of other groups of institutions confirm the fact of increase of this item of income and are accounted for upon the same grounds.

Student fees constitute a very small percentage of the total income for home economics undergraduate instruction. Among 16 landgrant colleges in the year 1915-16, but 4.5 per cent was from this source; in 1920-21, 4.9 per cent; in 1925–26, 6 per cent; in 1927-28, 5.2 per cent. Although low cost to the student is to be expected and is desirable in public higher institutions it is desirable that considerable uniformity of such expense be maintained as between the different units within a single institution. When institutional cost accounting has reached the point where it is able to determine with considerable accuracy the relationships between the actual expense involved in providing education for a single student in each of the specific curricula offered, it may be possible to adjust student fees in different curricula upon some basis proportioned to such cost. This refinement of accounting has not yet been attained with reference to undergraduate work and uniformity of fees within a rather restricted range seems desirable even though the percentage of total cost contributed by the student may thus vary considerably between the different curricula and units.

To carry on an education business as well as other businesses, cost accounts are necessary. In the handling of both bills and cost accounts striking evidence is shown of lack of clerical assistance for home economics or poor organization within the department.

Reports from 41 institutions show that in 31 the heads of home economics units are directly responsible for checking bills. In 4 of these, no assistance is given; in 3 others, the directors are assisted by secretaries and in 18 by other members of the staff. Keeping of cost records for the home economics unit is a much more important matter, one in which the head of home economics should be vitally interested. It is important, therefore, that 24 institutions report that she is responsible for this work. In only three institutions, however, she is assisted by a secretary. In eight institutions, the University of Illinois, Iowa State College, Kansas State Agricultural College, University of Nebraska, Michigan State College, Ohio State University, Oregon Agricultural College, and the University of Wisconsin, a secretary is in charge of this work which permits the head of home economics to devote her attention to interpretation and use of the information thus obtained.

Expenditures for undergraduate instruction in home economics were under two headings: (1) Operation and maintenance showing (a) salaries and wages, (6) materials and supplies; and (2) capital outlay showing (a) equipment and apparatus, and (6) replacement of equipment.

Table 13 shows expenditures for these items in 17 land-grant institutions for which complete records are available for the period between 1915–16 and 1927-28.

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