Appalachian honored for spending efficiency


The Appalachian Online

Tommy Culkin

The U.S. World & News Report ranked Appalachian State University as one of the most fiscally efficient schools in the nation and the most efficient school in the southern region.

Appalachian is one of only two North Carolina universities ranked, the other being UNC Wilmington. Appalachian spends approximately $163 per student.

The report looked at schools that scored highly in the publication’s 2015 Best Colleges ranking while spending considerably less money than other universities.

Specifically, the study is based on the money spent per student – for things such as instruction, student services, and research – divided by its 2015 Best Colleges score.

Greg Lovins, the vice chancellor of Business Affairs said Appalachian has traditionally always emphasized academics while determining the budget.

“When we get our funding, the priority is classroom activities,” Lovins said. “We then try to be as efficient as possible with the remaining money. We take a lot of pride in that.”

Tim Burwell, the vice provost for resource management said he believes not every university values the instructional aspect to the degree that Appalachian does.

“In some other institutions, not to say that they don’t value instruction, but research is valued as the important part and receives a higher priority,” Burwell said.

Appalachian’s ability to be efficient with its budget is a skill it was forced to learn, Burwell said.

“Appalachian has really, by necessity, learned to be very efficient with the funding it receives,” Burwell said. “In our case, if you look at numbers across the state, we don’t receive as much per student, so we need to be frugal in our use with these funds.”

The recognition reflects highly on the professors as well as the administration.

“[Appalachian] has always had professors who are accessible to students, and that personal touch,” Burwell said. “We take pride in that personal touch, and that takes a lot more effort from our faculty.”

Lovins said he appreciates the ranking because it exemplifies the success of one of the key goals of the administration.

“This is an honor,” Lovins said. “We always find it important to be as efficient with our funds as possible.”

STORY: Thomas Culkin, News Reporter