The majority of non-athletic auxiliary units generate enough revenue to cover their own costs and debt service. And many of these units return a portion of surplus revenue to central administration, though the budgeting mechanism varies. Absent specific state restrictions, auxiliary revenue returned to central administration is highly fungible and can be used to fund other priorities. One of the best opportunities for institutions to improve auxiliary contributions to the institution, without passing costs onto students, is to increase auxiliary efficiency.
Our efficiency “cheat sheets”—a supplement to our study Increasing Central Fungible Dollars—are designed to help business executives identify opportunities for improvement and cost savings. We focus on four units: the bookstore, dining, housing, and parking.