Webcredible.com recently ran a survey canvassing opinion on which industry sector has the most difficult to use websites.
Local government came top. Universities weren't on the list of results. I'm presuming that this is because they weren't an option in the survey - higher education is not really a sector that a full cross section of the population accesses.
Having managed a local government website though, I can say that for me, the challenges are exactly the same as for universities - devolved publishing, insufficient time, resource and expertise, too much content, captive audiences, information driven content with few direct calls to action (so harder to focus and measure)...
So for my money, where Webcredible says 'local government', they may as well be saying 'university'.
The overview article links through to their report on the usability of 20 local government sites. Makes for interesting reading, with most of the things they rate the sites upon equatable to our sector.
Which industry sector has the most difficult to use websites? - article by Jon White for Webcredible.com