Runaway administrative costs are major reason that higher ed costs are increasing without let-up, concludes a new report by the Goldwater Institute. States the report:
Enrollment at America’s leading universities has been increasing dramatically, rising nearly 15 percent between 1993 and 2007. But unlike almost every other growing industry, higher education has not become more efficient. Instead, universities now have more administrative employees and spend more on administration to educate each student. In short, universities are suffering from “administrative bloat,” expanding the resources devoted to administration significantly faster than spending on instruction, research and service.
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.
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) experienced a 75 percent decline in administrative employees per student. … In 1993, the university had an above-average rate of 12.0 full-time administrators per 100 students, but by 2007 that number had dropped to 3.0. … This decline was achieved in part because VCU increased its enrollment by 45.1 percent between 1993 and 2007, much faster than the average enrollment increase of 14.5 percent. But unlike other institutions, VCU spread its fixed cost of administration over a larger base as it gained more students.
Give credit to former VCU President Eugene Trani, who presided over the university during its period of unprecedented growth. Kudos, too, to former UVa President John Casteen, who retired last month.
On the other hand, the leadership at George Mason University and the College of William & Mary have some ‘splaining to do. There may be legitimate reasons for the apparent bureaucratic bloat, but I would like to know what they are.There are currently no comments highlighted.