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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Higher Ed Spending On IT

How Much Does Higher Ed Spend on IT?

Joshua Kim | August 8, 2016

Do you know what percentage of your institutions budget goes for central IT spending?
My guess is that very few of us on campus can reel off this figure.
How might we enlarge discussions of academic IT spending outside of campus technology professionals?
What steps can we take so that more of us in higher ed have a common understanding of technology spending, and indeed total institutional spending, so that we can have conversations about appropriately investing our ever scarcer resources?
What resources can you point us towards that put academic IT spending in context to other types of higher ed budget allocations?

According to the latest CDS Benchmarking report (2015), an average of 4.2 percent of institutional spending goes to IT (averaged across all institution types).
It is important, of course, to understand not just the proportion of spending that goes to IT - but the absolute size of these investments. Institutions with larger budget may still spend less on IT as a percentage, but more in absolute dollars.
According to the CDS data, this is indeed the case.  For instance, private doctoral granting research universities spend only 3.6 percent of their total budget on IT, but this adds up to $1,620 per institutional FTE (students, faculty, and staff).
In contrast, master’s granting private schools spend 4.5 percent of their budget on central IT, but only $987 per institutional FTE.  The numbers for public doctoral institutions are 3.3 percent and $968, where primarily undergraduate (BA) schools spend 4.4 percent of their budgets ($1,281) on central IT.
On average (across institutions) about 80 percent of the IT budget is spent on operations (run), about 13 percent on incremental changes (grow), and around 5 percent on non-incremental changes (transform).

(Dahlstrom, Eden. Educational Technology and Faculty Development in Higher Education. Research report. Louisville, CO: ECAR, June 2015.) Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Core Data Service) and (Benchmarking to Inform Planning: The EDUCAUSE Core Data Service. April 27, 2015)>

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