Scientific and Engineering Research Facilities at Colleges and Universities: 1998

Chapter 7
Minority-Serving Institutions


Highlights top

Introduction top

Since its inception, the Survey of Scientific and Engineering Research Facilities at Colleges and Universities has included a sample of HBCUs. These institutions have been recognized for their contributions to the education of black students in general and for their role in preparing students for science and engineering careers. NSF has recognized the growth in minority enrollments in higher education overall and, thus, added two other types of minority-serving institutions to the 1998 sample. The inclusion of non-HBCU-Black institutions acknowledges the fact that there are many colleges and universities that enroll large percentages of black students but are not designated as HBCUs. Non-HBCU-Black institutions are defined as colleges and universities whose enrollments are at least 25 percent black. Similarly, as Hispanic enrollments in higher education increase, there is a need to examine institutions serving these students. Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs) are defined as colleges and universities whose enrollments are at least 25 percent Hispanic. The group of minority-serving institutions varies in size and focus; it is composed of both nondoctorate and doctorate-granting institutions, and includes one of the top 100 research-performing institutions.[29]

In prior years, only HBCUs were included in the sample, and trend data were reported for these institutions. Because non-HBCU-black institutions and HSIs are included in the sample for the first time, no trends can be reported for the full group of minority-serving institutions. Trend data are presented for a group of 29 larger HBCUs that have been part of the sample since 1988.

Findings top

S&E Space in Minority-Serving Institutions top

The 80 research-performing, minority-serving institutions had 28 million net assignable square feet of space in all academic fields in 1998; 44 percent of this space (12.4 million NASF) was in science and engineering fields. About 31 percent of the S&E space was research space (3.9 million NASF). Research-performing, minority-serving institutions represent 12 percent of all research-performing institutions and contain 3 percent of all S&E research space (table 7-1):


Table 7-1. Amount of instructional and research space and the percentage of institutions with science and engineering research space by field in minority-serving institutions: 1998
Table 7-1 (Spreadsheet format)

Minority-serving institutions were most likely to have S&E research space in the biological sciences outside medical schools; 93 percent of these colleges and universities reported research space in this field. Eighty-four percent of the minority-serving institutions reported S&E research space in the physical sciences. The percent of minority-serving institutions reporting S&E research space in other fields drops to 50 percent for the computer sciences and 48 percent for psychology.

Although only 40 percent of minority-serving institutions reported S&E research space in engineering, this field contained more space than any other single field, 960 thousand NASF. The agricultural sciences followed with another 710 thousand NASF of research space. It should be noted that engineering and the agricultural sciences are more space intensive than other S&E fields. These fields represent relatively larger proportions of S&E research space in all research-performing institutions.

Adequacy of the Amount of S&E Research Space and its Condition in Minority-Serving Institutions top

At least 60 percent of minority-serving institutions reported that the amount of S&E research space was inadequate for meeting current research commitments in eight fields (table 7-2):


Table 7-2. Adequacy of the amount of science and engineering research space and its condition by field in minority-serving institutions: 1998
Table 7-2 (Spreadsheet format)

Minority-serving institutions reported that 38 percent (1.5 million NASF) of their current research space was suitable for use in the most scientifically sophisticated research and another 44 percent (1.7 million NASF) was effective for most uses, but needs limited repair/renovation. Seventeen percent (0.7 million NASF) of the current S&E research space was rated as requiring either major renovation or replacement (see table 7-1 for amount of current research space).

New S&E Facilities Construction and Repair/Renovation Projects at Minority-Serving Institutions top

In fiscal years 1996 and 1997, almost a quarter (24 percent) of all minority-serving, research-performing institutions initiated new S&E research facilities construction projects costing over $100,000. These construction projects are expected to yield close to 0.5 million NASF of new research space at a cost of $120 million. In terms of space and dollars, the S&E construction activity at minority-serving institutions represents approximately 4 percent of all S&E research construction activity started in 1996 and 1997 (table 7-3).

Table 7-3. Construction and repair/renovation of science and engineering research facilities and sources of funds in minority-serving institutions: 1996-97

Across all minority-serving institutions, State and local governments were the largest source of funds for construction projects. However, this results from the fact that the HBCUs dominate this group in terms of number of institutions, and three quarters (76 percent) of their construction funding came from State and local governments. The one project reported by non-HBCU-black institutions was funded by internal sources (institutional funds in particular) and HSIs funded their S&E research construction primarily with funds from internal sources (63 percent—all of which was derived from other debt financing) and the Federal Government (37 percent).

In fiscal years 1996 and 1997, 30 percent of all research-performing, minority-serving institutions began repair/renovation projects. These projects affect 602 thousand NASF and were expected to cost about $36 million. This repair/renovation activity would thus alter approximately 16 percent of all S&E research space in minority-serving institutions and represents 4 percent of all repair/renovation activity in research-performing institutions (table 7-1).

State and local governments were the primary source of funding for repair/renovation projects for all minority-serving institutions. This results from the fact that this source dominated the funding at both non-HBCU-Black institutions and HSIs. HBCUs funded repair/renovation projects primarily with funds from internal sources; 47 percent of their funding for these projects were derived from this source, institutional funds, in particular.

Minority-Serving Institutions' Need for S&E Research Facilities top

In 1998, minority-serving institutions reported $420 million in combined capital projects (construction and repair/renovation) and central campus infrastructure projects that had to be deferred because of insufficient funds. This represents approximately 3 percent of all deferred projects reported by research-performing institutions. HBCUs accounted for 79 percent of the deferred costs at minority-serving institutions (table 7-4).

Table 7-4. The cost of deferred construction and repair/renovation projects by project type and whether the project is included in institutional plans in minority-serving institutions: 1998
Table 7-4 (Spreadsheet format)

Construction and repair/renovation projects represent 86 percent of the total deferred S&E capital project costs ($363 million). Construction projects account for 71 percent of the total deferred capital project costs (both those in and not in institutional plans).

Central campus infrastructure projects represent 14 percent of the total deferred projects ($57 million). Construction projects account for 24 percent of all deferred central campus infrastructure projects and repair/renovation projects account for 76 percent of these projects.

A Look at HBCUs over Time top

Since the inception of the facilities survey, NSF has collected data from a continuing group of 29 HBCUs that reported separately budgeted research and development expenditures in 1988. In 1992, NSF identified an additional 41 HBCUs that had separately budgeted R&D expenditures. Only those institutions with S&E research space were retained in the sample each year. Since that time, the facilities survey has included both the original group of 29 HBCUs as well as all other HBCUs that report any R&D expenditures.

This section examines changes over time in S&E research facilities for the original group of 29 HBCUs, hereafter called, "the 29 original HBCUs."

Amount and Distribution of S&E Research Space top

The amount of S&E research space in the 29 original HBCUs increased by 70 percent, from 1.1 million NASF in 1988 to 1.9 million NASF in 1998. The amount of space increased the most in absolute terms during this time period in the two fields that also currently have the most S&E research space (table 7-5):


Table 7-5. Trends in the amount of science and engineering research space by field in the 29 original Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): 1988-98
Table 7-5 (Spreadsheet format)

Over the decade, S&E research space also increased in every field except for the computer sciences and the medical sciences in medical schools, which experienced declines in research space as follows:

Between the last survey period (1996) and the current one, the amount of S&E research space at the 29 original HBCUs increased by 5 percent or 88 thousand NASF. While almost half the S&E fields experienced slight increases in research space, only psychology did not experience any growth, and two fields experienced declines:

Construction of S&E Research Space top

In fiscal years 1996 and 1997, 11 of the 29 original HBCUs initiated S&E research facilities construction projects. This is the same number of institutions that reported new construction starts in 1986 and 1987. However, in the intervening years, the number of institutions starting such projects was lower, particularly in the 1992-93 and 1994-95 periods, when 4 of the 29 original HBCUs began new construction projects (table 7-6).

Table 7-6. Science and engineering research facility construction and repair/renovation projects at the 29 original Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) project characteristics: 1986-97
Table 7-6 (Spreadsheet format)

In fiscal years 1996 and 1997, the 29 original HBCUs committed $64.3 million to new construction projects costing over $100,000. These projects will result in 335 thousand NASF of new S&E research space, which is the equivalent of 18 percent of existing research space (see table 7-5). Particularly noteworthy is the increase in construction between the last survey period (fiscal years 1994 and 1995) and the current one (fiscal years 1996 and 1997). While the number of institutions starting new construction projects almost tripled from 4 institutions to 11, the amount of research space under construction increased almost 5-fold (from 68 thousand NASF to 335 thousand NASF) and the amount of funds committed to new construction projects increased 18-fold (from $3.5 million to $64.3 million).

The Repair/Renovation of S&E Research Facilities top

Unlike construction starts, fewer of the 29 original HBCUs began S&E repair/renovation projects costing over $100,000 in 1996 and 1997 than in any other survey period, except for 1990 and 1991. In both of these survey periods, 5 of the 29 original HBCUs reported new S&E repair/renovation projects. The amount of funds these institutions committed to these projects in 1996 and 1997 ($7.6 million) is also less than in any prior survey period.

Almost half (13) of the 29 original HBCUs began S&E repair/renovation projects costing between $5,000 and $100,000 in 1996 and 1997; the same number that began them in 1992 and 1993, but fewer than in 1994 and 1995 (11 institutions). These 13 institutions committed $1.4 million to these types of repair/renovation projects, bringing total repair/renovation commitments in 1996 and 1997 by the 29 original HBCUs to $9.0 million (table 7-6).

Sources of Funds for S&E Construction and Repair/Renovation Projects top

Between 1986-87 and 1992-93, the Federal Government was the largest source of construction funds for the 29 original HBCUs. In 1994-95 and 1996-97, funds from State and local governments exceeded those from the Federal Government. Even though the Federal Government's dollar contribution increased between 1994-95 and 1996-97, its relative contribution in 1996-97 (7 percent) was the smallest it has been since the survey began. By contrast, State and local governments' dollar and relative contributions in 1996-97 were the largest they have been since the survey began-$50.5 million and 79 percent, respectively (table 7-7).

Table 7-7. Sources of funds for science and engineering research facility construction projects at the 29 original Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): 1986-97
Table 7-7 (Spreadsheet format)

The source of funds for S&E repair/renovation projects at the 29 original HBCUs has varied more over time than funds for construction projects. The Federal Government was the largest source of funds for these projects in 4 out of 6 survey periods, and its relative contribution has been in decline since 1992-93 (from 57 percent of all repair/renovation funds in 1992-93 to 29 percent in 1996-97). The continuous increase in the relative contribution from internal sources over the last three survey periods, despite fluctuations in the dollar contribution from this source of funds, parallels a decline in the relative contribution of Federal funds to repair/renovate S&E facilities. In 1988-89, institutions contributed 1 percent of all repair/ renovation funds from internal sources; by 1996-97 their relative contribution had risen to 47 percent-and this was the largest source of funds for repair/renovation projects during this time period (table 7-8).

Table 7-8. Sources of funds for science and engineering research facility repair/renovation projects at the 29 original Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): 1986-97
Table 7-8 (Spreadsheet format)



Footnotes

[29] Although the importance of institutions that serve Asian-American students as well as institutions that serve students from more than one ethnic ground is recognized (see Merisotis and O'Brien, Minority Serving Institutions: Distinct Purposes, Common Goals, 1998), this chapter only examines minority-serving institutions that enroll large percentages of specific groups of students, black or Hispanic.


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