(BLOOMINGTON) - Indiana University is looking into leasing campus parking in hopes of reaping a profit to fund academic initiatives.
The IDS reports that Ohio State University raked in nearly $500 million after agreeing to lease campus parking for the next 50 years to a private Australian company.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Neil Theobald says the university is looking at ways to hold down tuition rates and fund academic programs. One of the ways to do that, he says, is to lease University-owned parking spaces in Bloomington and Indianapolis.
Long-term outsourcing of parking operations would allow University efforts to be focused on academics instead of a non-core service such as parking.
The benefits, if the University decides to follow through with privatized parking, will be similar to the up-front payment received by Ohio State and the privatization would benefit students by creating programs that streamline the degree-seeking process, a long-term area of focus for the University.
Theobald reported that the University would soon be finalizing requests for proposals.
Theobald says it is too early in the process to determine how students will be affected and to determine the exact repercussions outsourcing could have for current Parking Operations employees.
Parking Manager Doug Porter said about 40 individuals are currently listed on the Parking Operations payroll, which includes parking enforcement, staff and hourly employees who operate parking garages and pay-to-park lots.
At this time, IU has not decided which companies will be contenders for the outsourcing if the plan is carried through.
In the meantime, University committees are meeting with constituent groups, including student representatives, and outlining the terms under which IU will agree to the privatization.
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