Lower teaching loads have benefits, especially the increased time that faculty could theoretically devote to preparing for and planning classes. However, they also have costs. In practice, the increased discretionary time of faculty is used for non-educational purposes, primarily research.
Many universities have been busily constructing new buildings, in spite of the fact that most do not make efficient use of the space they do have. Some are even unable to pay to maintain their existing buildings.
Colleges procure a wide range of goods and services, including office supplies, information technology, research materials, food and related services, waste management, employee benefits, marketing services, construction and repairs, and more.
Professors today are required to perform many different types of duties, including instruction, student advisement, service on various committees, and speaking engagements. In addition, faculties face mounting pressure to conduct more research and publish more scholarly pieces.
A substantial opportunity for cost saving in higher education is in cutting unnecessary or tangential programs. While academic programs provide many benefits in addition to attracting tuition-paying students, nearly all operate at a loss and require additional subsidization.