Case Study

Massachusetts State College Building Authority
Boston, Massachusetts


Strategic Plan Updates, 2014, 2016, 2018

Demographic Perspectives has worked with the Massachusetts State College Building Authority (MSCBA), the Boston-based authority overseeing the nine State Universities, since 2014 preparing biennial Strategic Plan Updates to inform the MSCBA’s strategic decision-making.

DP finalized comprehensive Strategic Plan Updates in 2014, 2016, and 2018. Each 300-page report, including around 200 figures, provided an in-depth view of each of the State Universities plus a system-wide analysis.

Stakeholder Input

DP corresponded with the Offices of Institutional Research and Housing at the nine State Universities and conducted interviews with the Presidents and other officials at each of the State Universities. We heard from leadership at each school about goals for metrics including diversity and increasing retention rate of freshmen, and the impact of housing and residential life programs. This provided quantitative and qualitative data on housing and residential life at each school.

Housing Inventory Analysis

The Strategic Plan Updates focus on the strategic direction for housing and other student activity projects at each school, as informed by their academic agendas, enrollment patterns, and campus layout and building portfolios. The report also provides a description of recent, current, and anticipated MSCBA projects for each school.

Demographic Analysis

DP analyzed demographic trends in the Northeast and in Massachusetts (from sources including the Massachusetts Department of Education and Department of Higher Education, and the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute), including high school graduation levels, plans for college, and population level trends,

Market Research

In order to project demand for MSCBA housing into the next decade and to determine whether the MSCBA was meeting its goals of housing UG students on campus, DP compared MSCBA rates for on-campus housing for each school to a wide range of peer school campus housing rates, and to the local private residential rental market.

Actionable Outcomes

  • Provided the MSCBA with a comprehensive overview of housing, both current and planned, on each of the nine campuses.
  • To inform strategic decision-making, described how institutional mission and academic goals of each school could be met through housing.
  • To assist the MSCBA in setting housing rates, measured each university’s housing rental rates against local private market rentals.
  • To show that the MSCBA was on track to meet its housing goals for full-time undergraduate students, modeled varying population levels in future years.
  • Using analysis and projections, concluded that MSCBA should plan to provide housing for a specific enrollment level that would significantly exceed the 2005 level used for goal-setting.

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