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  • Author or Editor: Kennedy Mayfield-Smith x
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Greenhouse and growth chamber operating and maintenance costs continue to escalate while budgets remain stagnant. As a result, many universities struggle to find the necessary funds for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of basic research infrastructure needs. A survey was conducted to develop an understanding of how user fee systems contribute to funding stability, and how they are designed and managed in support of greenhouse and growth chamber facilities at colleges of agriculture throughout the United States. Where user fees have been implemented, the majority of greenhouse and growth chamber facilities are managed centrally, and are administered by agricultural experiment station (AES) directors or facility managers. Regardless of the administrative authority, most systems use an advisory committee to set fee schedules and determine policies. The majority of user fees are allocated back to the specific facility, with the majority of funds in general used to help pay for indirect expenses. The findings also indicate that user fees make more efficient use of space by providing faculty with a financial incentive to minimize their project area and to conduct experiments quickly.

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