Growth in Administrators Outstrips Growth in Faculty Members

Posted: November 6, 2011 in Commentary, Context, News, Quotes
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Growth in Administrators Outstrips Growth in Faculty Members – The Ticker – The Chronicle of Higher.

A report issued today says that the number of administrators for every 100 college students increased by 39 percent from 1993 to 2007, while the number of professors and researchers rose by 18 percent during that period. The study of 198 public and private universities was released by the nonprofit …

According to a report issued in August of 2010, one of the major crises facing education is "Administrative bloat." The study, reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education, covered the period of 1993 to 2007. During that time, the 198 public and private universities surveyed (which included SIUC) had an average increase in faculty of 18% per 100 college students, while the average increase for administrators was 39%. (View the Chronicle story)

SIUC’s Numbers
SIUC’s own numbers, according to the report, were even more dramatic. Our faculty increased only 14.3% (3.7% LESS than the national average), whereas our administration increased 54.7% (an astonishing 15.7% MORE than the national average). In other words, our own trends are worse than the national averages on both parts of this issue. Clearly, the last four years, with various hiring freezes and faculty attrition of other sorts alongside upper administration seizure of more and more control over faculty lines, have seen the steady expansion of this grave inequity.

The study, issued by the nonprofit Goldwater Institute (View the Goldwater Institute study) does have detractors. Some argue that, because it includes counselors and accountants, for example, it may not accurately reflect a rise in administration per se. But, according to The Chronicle, the study’s lead investigator, Jay P. Greene, "said the point was to account for staff not directly involved in instruction or research. His report blames this ‘bloat’ for the increase in college costs."

Given our current situation in bargaining for a fair contract and the tendency to equate a faculty strike with a demand for increased salary that will drive up tuition costs, it seems important to remember that our own FA has offered to decline even small raises if it would lead to an increase in tuition.

Distance Learning
Additionally, one of the issues on the bargaining table is how on-line students will be counted. On the one hand, the administration doesn’t want them included in the faculty-student ratio for contract purposes. On the other hand, the administration also wants to be able to force faculty to teach on-line students. Clearly, this absurd contradiction would only worsen the problems outlined in the Goldwater Institute’s study.

Besides, who wants to be the one to tell the on-line students that they don’t count?

Union-Busting Agenda
The administration has often disguised its own union-busting agenda behind the opportunistic alibi of being realistic in the face of national trends. It’s time for them to recognize the real trends driving up education costs and diminishing the quality of the college experience. The culprit isn’t faculty greed—particularly where this faculty is concerned. We don’t want students to suffer. The administration wants fewer faculty to be responsible for an increasing number of students we don’t even get credit for teaching from accountants keeping track of faculty-student ratios.

Just how "realistic" is that?

  1. Laughing says:

    Good job twisting that “report” to meet your own agenda!

  2. Bob says:

    Not quite sure there was much twisting. The numbers were created by an objective third party…faculty has increased by 14% while administration has increased by over 50%. Hard to spin it any other way.

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