Many organizations (like NACUBO, ACUHO-I and APPA) routinely discuss public-private partnerships (“P3s”) in higher ed. We simply couldn’t link to all of the incredible work and research they’re putting out. We recommend them as important sources of impartial information. Additionally, the below list will be continually updated to share individual pieces put out by the industry that shed light on what P3s are, and how the experience goes.
Constructive Dive’s Kim Slowey wrote “5 elements of a successful P3.” This article addresses the importance of picking the right model, building a solid team, advocating for transparency in bidding, soliciting public approval, and finding a champion. While the article talks about infrastructure projects, the advice translates over well to the world of higher ed. (Aug. 2017)
New York Times’ Lauren Herstik wrote “U.S.C. Expands in a ‘Neglected’ Neighborhood, Promising Jobs and More—an article that looks “an ambitious test of a public-private partnership hoping to remake a historically underserved neighborhood” (Aug. 2017)
ACUHO-I released a report titled “Forging Partnerships and Avoiding Pitfalls: Evidence-Based Insights for Establishing Effective Public-Private Partnerships.” The report (free for ACUHO-I members) dives into several longer-term experiences with P3s, including more difficult experiences, and offers some lessons learned. The same research appears in a different form in ACUHO-I’s Journal of College and University Student Housing as the article “Public-Private Partnerships in College Student Housing: Lessons from Three Institutions.” (Aug. 2017)
Student Housing Business’s Randall Shearin wrote “Making Changes Up North: Northern Michigan University is adding 1,228 new beds over the next year in a new P3 that brings its housing closer to its academics and creates a more enticing environment for students” (p.36–38). The article features an interview with two education administrators detailing experience and expectations. (Jul./Aug. 2017)
McKinsey & Company’s Michael Della Rocca wrote “The rising advantage of public-private partnerships”—an article that looks at “why the benefits of P3 project delivery, not just financing, will continue to shift the market in this direction.” Rocca identifies eight recurring challenges that institutions (note: not specifically higher ed institutions) face, and illustrates how P3s can address each one. (Jul. 2017)
The Bipartisan Policy Center published the report “Public-Private Partnership (P3) Model State Legislation.” According to the report, most states lack legislation that enables P3s. The report offers model legislation that incorporates best practices from around the country; it’s meant as a tool for states considering adopting P3-enabling legislation, and is also very informative for other readers. (Dec. 2015)
Student Housing Business’s “P3s – Not a Fad and here to Stay” is a moderated conversation between five professionals—including both education administrators and developers. The panel is asked questions like which financial models they see most, if certain models are more flexible than others, and how amenities factor into decision-making. (Dec. 2015)
In ACUHO-I’s Talking Stick, Emily Rudduck wrote “Web of Support: Public-private partnerships look very different from campus to campus, but staff on both sides embrace their work together.” This article speaks with multiple education administrators to offer their experience and guidance. (Jun./Jul. 2015)
Skanska USA created a video about how P3s work and why some entities turn to them. The video offers a comprehensive, easy-to-follow introduction to the world of P3s. It’s not about higher ed P3s, specifically, but serves as an effective 101. (Feb. 2015)
In APPA’s Facilities Manager, Mark Crawford wrote “Public Private Partnerships in Education: Shared Risk, Mutual Reward.” The article seeks to answer the question, “Are PPPs as good as they sound?” It looks at the stories of five education administrators, gives overviews of four P3 structures, and speaks with developers. (Jan./Feb. 2015)
The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships published “Testing Tradition: Assessing the Added Value of Public-Private Partnerships.” The comprehensive white paper looks at history, advantages, disadvantages, misperceptions, and recommendations. (2012)
The Bay Area Council Economic Institute published “Public-Private Partnerships: Alternative Procurement Methods for Campus Development in the University of California System.” The white paper evaluates the merits of P3s for long-term projects within the University of California system.