Back to the Future

June 1, 2003
This issue marks a milestone--AS&U's 75th anniversary.

This issue marks a milestone — American School & University's 75th year of service to the nation's school and university administrators.

The education landscape has changed dramatically over the past 75 years. The impact of technology; advancements in teaching; more efficient methods of operating; and innovative developments in the planning, design and construction of facilities have influenced the way schools are built and managed.

But while myriad advancements have been made, numerous issues and concerns that affected schools and universities 75 years ago continue to permeate education facilities and business today. Beginning on p. 20, a special retrospective examines the trends and developments that have shaped today's schools — and explores what the future may have in store for education officials.

Just as schools and universities have evolved over the past three-quarters-of-a-century, so has American School & University's role as the information source. Among AS&U's contributions to the education facilities and business landscape, as well as its special accomplishments over this time:

  • The first and longest-running publication to focus exclusively on education facilities and business.

  • First to collect data on the amount of new, modernization and addition construction put in place by the nation's schools and universities (Data first collected for the 1949 year).

  • Created the first competition and sourcebook of award-winning and other outstanding school and university projects (1983 — Architectural Portfolio; 1991 — Educational Interiors Showcase).

  • Has provided school and university administrators with benchmark data on maintenance and operations costs for the past 32 years (Maintenance and Operations Cost Study, April).

  • Published the groundbreaking “Facilities Impact on Learning” series, which brought the poor condition of the nation's school buildings to national prominence (1992).

  • Was an instrumental contributor to the proposed and eventual passage of the Education Infrastructure Act of 1995.

  • The most recognized and award-winning education facilities and business publication, including being a finalist for two recent Jesse H. Neal Awards — the Pulitzer Prize of business journalism.

As we venture into a new era, emerging issues are sure to challenge even the most experienced administrators. You can be sure that AS&U will be there to continue providing the valuable information, research and insight you have come to expect.


The birth of what is now the oldest and most influential education facilities and business publication: American School & University.


Amount spent on new education buildings in 2002, a total that dwarfs the approximately $500 million spent on new facilities in 1928.


Current enrollment in the nation's K-12 schools — almost twice the 28.1 million students attending elementary and secondary institutions in 1928.


Current enrollment in the nation's colleges and universities — a significant increase from the 1.1 million students attending post-secondary institutions in 1928.


Number of school buildings in the United States — an amount far fewer than the 247,000 in 1928.


Number of colleges and universities in the United States — up considerably from the 1,410 in 1928.

About the Author

Joe Agron | Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher

Joe Agron is the editor-in-chief/associate publisher of American School & University magazine. Joe has overseen AS&U's editorial direction for more than 25 years, and has helped influence and shape national school infrastructure issues. He has been sought out for comments by publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, ABC News and CNN, and assisted with the introduction of the Education Infrastructure Act of 1994.

Joe also authors a number of industry-exclusive reports. His "Facilities Impact on Learning" series of special reports won national acclaim and helped bring the poor condition of the nation's schools to the attention of many in the U.S. Congress, U.S. Department of Education and the White House.

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