Case Study

Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island

Benchmarking Short-Term and Temporary Faculty Housing Practices Exchange, 2016

Demographic Perspectives has been working with Brown University on housing-related projects since 2006. At that time, we were asked to help explore the demand for University-affiliated graduate and professional student housing, and, in 2015, for an Off-Campus Undergraduate Housing Snapshot. Most recently, DP was engaged by the University Real Estate Office to provide data and analysis that would assist them in determining the best strategies for the composition and management of their housing portfolio. To do so, DP conducted a benchmarking and data exchange among urban universities of short-term and temporary faculty housing practices and policies.

Demographic Perspectives assisted Brown Real Estate with an evaluation of their short-term and temporary housing program for faculty, to determine their best strategies for the composition and management of the housing portfolio.  This was done through:


DP identified 13 comparable schools for benchmarking and conducted interviews with senior administrators about mission and goals, policies and priorities toward faculty housing, services offered for faculty seeking housing, and future strategy for their housing portfolio.


DP administered a questionnaire to the 8 schools that had short-term and temporary housing designated for faculty. To craft the questionnaire, which assessed the schools’ housing portfolio composition, DP worked closely with Brown Real Estate to assess topics most important for future planning such as unit inventory (number and type of units), count of visiting faculty, features and amenities of faculty housing (furnishings, housekeeping, etc.), management and maintenance, pricing, and policies.

Case Studies

DP compiled case studies on 3 schools with notable short-term housing for faculty in order to supplement the overview of peer schools. We provided an in-depth look at peer housing, with ample visuals, for a full picture of the decisions made by other institutions.

Actionable Outcomes:

  • Quantified typical sizes of short-term and temporary housing portfolios designated for faculty.
  • Allowed Brown to compare their priorities, policies, and offerings to those of other schools.
  • Identified key factors that determine pricing and types of housing offered, depending on needs of the institution.
  • Highlighted important factors that could make it worthwhile for Brown to change the management or composition of their own housing portfolio.

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