Public universities in the United States have experienced continual state budget reductions since 2008. These cuts have forced public universities to defer maintenance on existing facilities and delay new facility construction. Consequently, public university administrators have sought alternative financing approaches to meet their facility needs. Several public universities have turned to social infrastructure public-private partnerships (P3s). Using a multiple case study approach, this exploratory, descriptive research study examines the use of social infrastructure P3 projects by public universities to determine: (1) what public university facility needs are being addressed, (2) what types of P3s are being utilized, and (3) what role private sector financing has in public university social infrastructure P3 projects. The cases within this study aligned with popular media sources that highlight public university use of social infrastructure P3s to meet facility needs beyond student housing. Of the twenty cases examined, sixteen included a private financing component. Among these cases, the social infrastructure P3 projects were most often financed through tax-exempt bonds provided by state economic development agencies and private partner equity. These financing approaches differ from traditional P3 models. The creative financing methods employed by public universities may have implications for other types of social infrastructure.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Public Administration
Public Affairs; Public Administration
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Connors, Ashley, "An Exploratory Study of the Use of Social Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) for Public University Facilities" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 584.