Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Least Surprising News of the Week

Administrative expenses at colleges and universities have been going up faster than faculty costs.  I am shocked about as much as if there is gambling at Rick's.
Between 1993 and 2007, the number of full-time administrators per 100 students at America’s leading universities grew by 39 percent, while the number of employees engaged in teaching, research or service only grew by 18 percent. Inflation-adjusted spending on administration per student increased by 61 percent during the same period, while instructional spending per student rose 39 percent.
I wonder what the numbers would be if service was dropped out.  Of course, since this article is from the Goldwater Institute, the focus is on how much states and the federal government are doing to subsidize administrative expenses and perhaps we should let the students feel more of the costs.  That makes me laugh, as we see tuition skyrocketing across the board--as their own charts illustrate quite clearly.

Anyhow, administrative bloat is pretty obvious--there are far more Vice Principals/Chancellors, Assistant Provosts, etc than before and their costs are pretty steep because they not only command higher salaries but also more and more staff.  Nice to know that our anecdotal understanding is supported by the statistics.  If these admin types could figure out how to make university funding sustainable without gutting faculty or accelerating tuition, their growth would be worth the cost.

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