Federal Support Declines For University R&D Facilities

October 28, 1996

The nation's top universities are postponing construction of new science and engineering (S&E) research facilities. Instead they are spending funds to shore up existing facilities -- even as they report decreasing S&E building space on their campuses.

These are among overall findings in a new National Science Foundation report, Scientific and Engineering Facilities at Universities and Colleges, 1996. The biennial report synthesizes data on space available for S&E research in U.S. colleges and universities, adequacy and condition of this space, construction and repair, funding sources and S&E research facility needs.

Federal contributions to S&E facility construction declined in constant dollars from $541 million in 1990-91 to $207 million in 1994-95. In this same period, funding from state governments and contributions from the institutions themselves remained steady, but private-sector support declined.

"This large decline in Federal support for construction should be watched over the coming years to see if it is a trend," cautions Ann Lanier, the report's project director.

Among the findings in the NSF report:
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National Science Foundation

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