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Business Officer Magazine

In Your Words

Peers sharing ideas that motivate and inspire

Quick Tip

Brigham Young University broadcast building
Brigham Young University's broadcast building in Provo, Utah, was completed in May 2011 within budget and on time.

"Institutions invest a lot of time and money to create a design for a new building. The construction of a building costs around 30 percent of the total cost of ownership. The cost of maintenance and operations, and recapitalization needs is about 70 percent. If you get the design/build wrong, you may get past the dollar audit, but the expenses to recover from an incomplete design/build will cost the institution much more over time. To ensure that this does not happen, use 3-D tools to audit the design/build of a new building for completeness. You will save much more in the long run. Don't be dollarwise and design/build foolish. "

DOUGLAS CHRISTENSEN, former director, office of administrative solutions and compliance, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

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You Said It ... 6 Years Ago

What were business officers talking about in 2005? In a Business Officer article on sustainability initiatives...

"Sustainability as an ethic and as a business practice has clearly matured in recent years. Sustainability historically was pitched as a moral responsibility to be wise stewards of the planet. Yet, as sustainability practitioners note, a motivation of responsibility propels an organization only so far toward creating value. Motivated solely by responsibility, organizations may dutifully minimize wastes and use resources more efficiently, but this is akin to eliminating organizational activities that don't create value in the first place. "

DAVE NEWPORT, director of the Office of Sustainability for the University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning, Gainesville, and LARRY LITTEN, director of institutional research, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

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You Read It

"In their book, Why Does College Cost So Much? (Oxford University Press, 2010), economists Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman have developed a valuable framework for understanding and explaining how higher education costs compare to other industries that exceed general inflation rates. Law, medicine, and dentistry-just like higher education-rely upon highly educated people and technology to enhance learning and provide essential services through investments (costs) that may improve productivity. Archibald and Feldman suggest a provocative alternative for financing higher education that bears careful scrutiny. The book will change the nature of the debate about college costs and their relationship to tuition levels. "

BRIAN L. BENZEL, vice president for finance and administration, Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington

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We'd Like to Hear Your Words

All Business Officer readers from higher education institutions are invited to contribute to "In Your Words." Please include name, title, institution name, city, state, telephone number, and e-mail address with submissions and send to

  • What is one thing you like most about your institution? Tell us in 25 to 50 words and include a photo (at 300 dpi resolution or greater) for illustration.
  • Do you have a tip for quickly and easily addressing a challenge on campus? Share your suggestion, along with relevant examples, in approximately 50 words.
  • Have you read a thought-provoking book or article lately? Recount what you read and why it stands out for you, in up to 50 words.
  • What strategies do you use to stay current on issues and trends? Let us know by December 15, and we'll include your response in an upcoming issue.

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