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UK looking to privatize student housing

Dr. Eli Capilouto and the University of Kentucky are looking to turn over control of student housing to a private company. The university is in negotiations to transfer control of all campus lodging to Education Realty Trust. The company would be in charge of redeveloping dorms and over 2,500 beds over the next 5-7 years.

The transfer would mean that the university would get lease payments for the land but the realty company would collect rent payments from students for housing. Education Realty would spend as much as $500 million on upgrades and renovations.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Universities have traditionally operated student housing on their own. But they’ve been loosening their grip in recent years as they find themselves saddled with aging and outdated housing that they can’t afford to redevelop. In Lexington, the average age of the university’s buildings is 44 years.

Most of the nation’s dormitories were built to accommodate Baby Boomers, who didn’t mind living in blocky towers with minimalist wooden furniture and communal bathrooms. Universities say these buildings are now woefully outdated and a turn-off to a generation of students who grew up pampered with their own bedrooms and bathrooms in homes wired for the latest technology. And living accommodations are becoming a more important factor that students consider when selecting a school to attend.

Read more here.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

28 Comments for UK looking to privatize student housing



  1. Bruce Jenner
    11:22 am December 13, 2011 Permalink

    I am Khloe’s father. Lamar is her daddy.



  2. Sports
    11:24 am December 13, 2011 Permalink

    Uh, who cares? Isn’t this blog supposed to be a sports site? Guess I found a place to visit for my campus news. Ugh.



  3. aka
    11:27 am December 13, 2011 Permalink

    kids now need to get over it, wimps. part of the college experience is living in those dorms. i loved them.



  4. GoBlue
    11:33 am December 13, 2011 Permalink

    This is a direct result of the state refusing to give UK its own bonding authority for self-sufficient projects (like dorms) that create their own revenue. If the state won’t let UK issue its own bonds, and won’t issue bonds/fund dorm directly, then this is the only reasonable way for UK to meet its construction needs.



  5. Nerd
    11:34 am December 13, 2011 Permalink

    3. Exactly. A few mold spores never hurt anybody.



  6. tfordstyle
    11:46 am December 13, 2011 Permalink

    anyone still have the link drew posted a few weeks back where the guy is posting his cousins’ text messages?
    it was pure comedy and I’ve lost the link



  7. Threadee McThreadThread
    11:47 am December 13, 2011 Permalink

    Who gives a sh-t!?



  8. stevem
    11:47 am December 13, 2011 Permalink

    This was one reason the UK Presidency was not a very desirable position when it recently became available. No money from the state means little capital improvement.



  9. Zach
    11:49 am December 13, 2011 Permalink

    #3 hit it right on the head.



  10. JMan
    11:54 am December 13, 2011 Permalink

    Maybe if they lived in a crappy dorm room for four years like I did, your expectatinos might be a little more realistic when you graduate. My first apartment was crap but still a step up and I was proud to have it.



  11. stevem
    11:58 am December 13, 2011 Permalink

    Corresponding article today in the WSJ about big rise in depression and anxiety with college kids and how their asking for more time to prepare for tests, papers, etc. One case described a student who became so stressed about exams she attempted suicide. Wonder how these folks will do in the real world?



  12. BBN
    12:04 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    If the university is comfortable with this arrangement, then why the hell did they refuse the $500 millin IMG deal??? The would have built a new arena and an upgraded football stadium. The yokels on the UK Board of Trustees and in the executive administration could mess up a wet dream.



  13. GoCats2
    12:05 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    I didnt care if it was small and outdated as long as it was Coed! Thanks for the memories Keeneland Hall!



  14. saki7
    12:05 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    Isn’t the reality check supposed to be part of the college experience, and not a continuation of an indulgent childhood?



  15. KYStout
    12:14 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    You wouldn’t believe the student housing being built these days! I know because I bid these jobs for a living. My company has already worked on student housing at Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia Tech and Alabama. We are about to begin working on an amazing student housing project for LSU. The project at LSU (Woodlands of Baton Rouge) resembles a posh country club. Our millwork package alone in Baton Rouge is over a million bucks!



  16. walter sobchak
    12:24 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    I’m curious to see what happens when the student doesn’t pay rent….(or will it all be paid in lump sum like it is paid the University now)?



  17. Huff
    12:26 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    It’s amazing how the sense of entitlement keeps getting coddled further and further into life. Come on people. Going to college and learning to live in dorms is not only part of the experience, it’s also one of those teaching elements to prepare you for the real world. You don’t exit college living in a house like your parents built after years and years of hard work where everyone gets a bathroom and everything is cutting edge because mommy & daddy just can’t have their kid with something that’s a step below one of their friends’ newest toy! What happens when they graduate college and come to an immediate reality check that life is competetive and you have to work your way up to EARN luxuries? Do the Occupy protests expand, at that point, to also demand a McMansion for everyone immediately just because they deserve it?



  18. Old Guy in Lower Arena
    12:30 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    Well, this means that the students will end up getting screwed. These types of privatization deals never end well for the consumers.

    And, #17 – don’t blame the students. Colleges and universities all around the country think they are real-estate companies (hey, look at our new building/lab/arena!) rather than institutions of higher learning.



  19. Pup, MD
    12:32 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    Do you mean to tell me that a website whose comment section is dominated by conservatives gets annoyed because UK wants to PRIVATIVE something? Because you’re irritated that the MARKET for housing that is better than the fire trap dorms has become ENTIRELY INEFFICIENT because of governmental policies?

    Seriously? How do you people even figure out how to find Fox News on the cable box?



  20. BBN
    12:34 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    #14: I agree. But I also think American parents should contribute more to their kids educations. The problem is Americans refuse to sacrifice to save money for educational expenses. They live for today which is irresponsible.



  21. etwnappel
    12:40 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    This is the same modelthe Army has gone to in privatising all of its housing. It has worked out for the better by far.



  22. HicksPickSix
    12:42 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    Privatization is the only realistic option UK has if the university wants long-term student housing to work. UK students get more for their money living in off-campus housing, and through the years fewer kids find campus living desireable. While I loved living in Haggin Hall as a student, I had more room while paying less in rent living off of UK.



  23. Whatever folks
    2:14 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    #12. The IMG deal was killed not by the board but because of the financial pymt structure an that it would have completely priced out the fans and made it unaffordable for many to attend basketball and/or football. Just because someone had money to loan doesn’t mean you jump at it bc 1. You have to pay it back and 2. What is the real cost f the repayment not just to UK but to the fans.



  24. big tim
    2:27 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    didnt that the reason they said they wasnt going to build a new arena was cause they had to fix dorms well if another companys take it over well i guess you dont got to fix them right?



  25. hy
    3:18 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    Privatization = student mistreatment



  26. Stupid
    5:39 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    yeah lets give another non governmentally accountable entity a monopoly…again. boys the robber barons are back.



  27. Catsfando
    6:20 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    Can i ask why privatization leads automatically to student mistreatment? Would it not be better for someone other than the University to pay the freight on refurbishing the housing? I have always thought it more cost efficient that professionals in a particular field handling things that they do every day as opposed to UK housing department attempting a 40 some year make over has got to be a better way to go. I believe the job will get done quicker and probably at less cost than if UK attemted to hire it done. I don’t see where this will have any bearing on the students who live there either way. If costs are passed along to students by the new management company, would not the same be true if UK was paying the bill on the make over. Seems to me the University is just ridding itself of a financial hardship while still collecting fees from a lease. I’ll be the first to admit I am not well informed on the matter, only what I have read, which is very little. I am just talking common sense. I’m sure the University if it is looking in the students best intrests would have some say on rent, or rent increases,



  28. Catsfando
    6:21 pm December 13, 2011 Permalink

    Can i ask why privatization leads automatically to student mistreatment? Would it not be better for someone other than the University to pay the freight on refurbishing the housing? I have always thought it more cost efficient that professionals in a particular field handling things that they do every day as opposed to UK housing department attempting a 40 some year make over has got to be a better way to go. I believe the job will get done quicker and probably at less cost than if UK attemted to hire it done. I don’t see where this will have any bearing on the students who live there either way. If costs are passed along to students by the new management company, would not the same be true if UK was paying the bill on the make over. Seems to me the University is just ridding itself of a financial hardship while still collecting fees from a lease. I’ll be the first to admit I am not well informed on the matter, only what I have read, which is very little. I am just talking common sense. I’m sure the University if it is looking in the students best interests would have some say on rent, or rent increases,