Monday, June 16, 2014

Administrative Bloat and Inequality in Academia

Reason.com's blog Hit and Run has an excellent article out currently talking about a recent research paper showing that administrative bloat -- excessive, overpaid, under-worked bureaucrats in academic administration -- leads to "inequality" on college campuses.  The poster child university of administrative bloat is Ohio State University, whose former President, Gordon Gee, was a real beauty (see here for a previous OLS post on him).  Via the Hit and Run post, here an excerpt from the Institute for Policy Studies report:
The "most unequal" public university in America, according to the report, is Ohio State. Between 2010 and 2012 it paid its president, Gordon Gee, a total of almost $6 million, while raising tuition and fees so much that student debt grew 23 percent faster than the national average.
....
At the same time that the regular faculty has been shrinking, the number of administrators has been growing. During the period when OSU hired forty-five permanent faculty members, it hired 670 new administrators. A similar pattern is found throughout American universities.
Here's the article's take on the situation:
 It's telling that so much of the money is going toward administrative jobs and pay. If universities were hiring more faculty, retaining excellent educators, and keeping class sizes low, then at least they might be able to argue that students were getting more for their buck. But no—students are borrowing hideous amounts of money so that campuses can vastly expand their administrative, non-teaching services.
Definitely an interesting article, worth the read.
[ht: Mark Perry]