Skip to comments.An F for effort on holding down tuition
Posted on 01/08/2013 4:04:01 AM PST by TurboZamboni
At the University of Minnesota, the number of employees with human resources or personnel in their job titles has grown from 180 to 272 since the 2004-05 academic year. Since 2006, the university has spent $10 million on consultants for a vast new housing development that is decades from completion. It employs 139 people for marketing, promotions and communications. Some 81 administrators make $200,000 per year or more.
In the past decade, Minnesotas administrative payroll has gone up three times as fast as the teaching payroll, and twice as fast as student enrollment.
Oh, and tuition more than doubled in that same period, to more than $13,000 per year.
These facts and figures, gleaned from a fascinating article in last weekends Wall Street Journal, are depressingly typical of American higher education, where administrative payrolls and other non-teaching costs have been growing rapidly without any obvious commensurate benefit for students.
(Excerpt) Read more at articles.washingtonpost.com ...
A significant reason for the administrative bloat is that students pay only a small portion of administrative costs. The lion's share of university resources comes from the federal and state governments, as well as private gifts and fees for non-educational services. The large and increasing rate of government subsidy for higher education facilitates administrative bloat by insulating students from the costs. Reducing government subsidies would do much to make universities more efficient.
For public universities the administrative bloat is much worse than at private colleges - administrative positions grew by 39% between 1993 and 2007, almost four times the 9.8% increase for instructional positions. At private universities, without access to the public largess, administrative and instructional positions increased at about the same rate.
Only to point this out....but most of these HR hires...are simply friends-of-the-friends network. So and so is looking for a job in the $80k range, and someone fixes up a new spot in some department with a fake purpose. They hide the person there for several years....then they move onto another university to another fake job.
If you line up all members of a university and look for fake jobs....I’d make a guess that thirty percent of every university staff could be dismissed and you wouldn’t even notice the guy or gal gone. Add to this....each fake job requires another computer, another desk, another office, and another support building.
Universities and colleges around the nation weren’t too interested in holding down tuition as they continued to add thousands of new administrative positions. Many came with tenure as professors are lucky to get.
This is empire building in higher education.
College deans and presidents are like the central socialist government: more bodies give them more personnel to lead.
So long as that "gold-egg-laying goose" called the taxpayer is available, there will be no stopping the rolling up of costs and worse yet, the FUTURE COSTS OF PENSIONS AND BENEFITS for these parasites who can't hold a REAL job in the private sector, at anywhere NEAR the salaries/benefits they get in Taxpayer-funded phony positions.
This is even MORE-PRONOUNCED in Unionized positons in the Public Sector....where contracts reward long-dues-paying Members (Seniority), and protect their lack of skills/production via the Union Contracts, which prevent incompetence testing or removal from a job.
All this will disappear when taxpayer subsidized tenure is completely abolished.
3rd party coverage is much of the problem. The sheeple are completely divorced from the cost.
I objected to my son’s tuition increase last year, and demanded an explanation. I ended up having lunch with the CFO of the University.
He “explained” that students “demand” more stuff - so in an effort to “compete” they “must” have a world-class fitness facility, ever-more opulent dorms, and expensive weekend entertainment. Yet, as he explained, other universities that are ever more opulent are still “kicking our ass”.
I reviewed the financials. It’s amusing how the various fees, tuition, meal plans and everything else simply goes into a single pot of money from which it is drained faster than it accumulates.
He said they are lowering SAT requirements, going to adjunct professors more and more.
So it’s a race to pamper students and lower academic standards and rigor to get as much student loan money in the door as possible.
It was an amusing view, that’s for sure.
I just needed proof of what I knew already - Universities are about loan money flow - and everything else.....EVERYTHING else is secondary to getting a gullible future debt-slave to show up, have a good time for a few years and get spit out penniless and unemployable.
The answer lies within my tagline.
It isn't Democrat or Republican... it is basic, unprincipled thievery.
My mother lost her wallet on Sat. and fortunately, when we returned to get it... it HAD been returned. However it was $120 light. The clerk at the customer service counter where we picked it up would NOT look me in the eye and her face was beet red!!!
Democrats complain about big business, big corporate, etc., but nary a word about big education.
The same people who are unable to hold down tuition are the same so-called intelligentsia that taught and now advise the government on reducing the debt.
“Universities are about loan money flow...”
I just decided to start a semester at the local community college (at 54?). A semester’s tuition will run me about $1,000. If I went to a university, it would be over $5,000, and the class size would go way up.
Community colleges still try to teach. Universities are all about getting cash from student loans, and screw what happens to the students after they leave.
You apparently didn’t read the article. The problem that is driving tuition rises and where the extra tuition money goes is administrative positions: folks in university FR departments and all the administrative assistants to the Dean of Student Life don’t have tenure. Administrators often do, but not as administrators, as faculty in some department they’d have to return to at a hefty pay cut back to a professorial salary if they stopped being administrators. Not that that matters, most administrators wouldn’t mind abolishing tenure — it would give them more power over the faculty and they don’t actually use tenure much since they tend to move to other universities to get fatter pay packages and more powerful positions.
You don’t seem to understand what tenure is. It’s the guardian of the first freedom of expression the Western world ever knew: academic freedom. Free inquiry without your colleagues being able to tell you to stop studying what you’re studying because it’s not fashionable or you’re coming to ideologically unacceptable conclusions is the point. They and the administration are denied
the ultimate leverage of firing a faculty member for studying the wrong thing.
Abolish tenure and the control of the left over the university will be complete: it will be us conservative professors that get the axe without the guardian of academic freedom: tenure.
Tenure is one of the boundary markers our civilization created long ago. Moving the boundary markers of one’s ancestors is hardly a conservative position.
Tuition costs are completely sanctioned by those who pay and those who condone that their children go into debt. grown children are led into this farce by teachers and parentswho simply refuse refuse to condone thought.
A college student at a $40,000 per year (that’s just tuition) school says she cannot do well when her nstructors are bad teachers, often often cannot understand their speaking language, which is not english, it’s a mangling of it, incurs debt while their parents simply shake their heads.
Imagine the debt they rack up while they refuse to demand quality for their investment.
That dowsnt’ even touch on the socialization (brainwashing ) they incur. They are taught to not think for their investment.
Marriage and family for these kids? after all of this, they are strapped to a job which serves to pay the tuition.
the smart kids are looking at what they want to do when they get into the working world and making their education work for them.
Two degrees cost me, with rom, board and a job with life long job options, $8,000 total. at state universities.
Equal to that now would be like at 180 cr or 6 yrs at a state school, what 100 g before room and board?
What in America inflates at that rate?
Kids need to rethink this and their dopey mothers who don’t look at cost per value need to step aside or assist in the decision making process.
just say NO to this.
It is the biggest rip off known, ever.
Tenure is an ancient right? I think not. Folks who disagreed with the king tended to lose their heads, not just their positions.
Nor does tenure do diddly for modern society. The only restriction on expression in a modern university is the restriction on anything conservative, and that is done during the hiring process.
“. . .driving tuition rises and where the extra tuition money goes is administrative positions”
OK, but, people I knew in past generations would not pay for this. They would think it through and say NO.
That would reduce the cost, you know the old supply and demand.
Everyone in my family from two gens past the immigration they made in the late 1800s has gone to college. It is highly valued in my family, its larger community and its ethnicity, statistically speaking.
Spouse and I have 4 degrees between us and we’re never finished with that.
I deter anyone who asks from puring their money into college now.
It has to be re thought. And this didn’t happen suddenly.
Tuition has been rising way past the rate of inflation for a long time.
Parents are stupid, here.
Kids need a lot more guidance and they have to stop incurring debt for this crap they’re getting in return.
“In 1900, the presidents of Harvard University, Columbia University, and the University of Chicago each made clear that no donor could any longer dictate faculty decisions; such a donors contribution would be unwelcome. In 1915, this was followed by the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) declaration of principlesthe traditional justification for academic freedom and tenure.”
As a rule of thumb, something promoted by Harvard after about 1800 is almost always worthless.
“Tuition costs are completely sanctioned by those who pay and those who condone that their children go into debt. grown children are led into this farce by teachers and parentswho simply refuse refuse to condone thought.”
You are of course correct.
It used to be that American Institutions would not take advantage of people just because they are stupid.
This will be a lesson that will be hard for academia to undo. Before it got to this, there was a good reason to go to college - the downside cost was not enough to offset the potential upside of an education. If you ‘lost’ you simply moved on and considered it wasted time.
Now we have institutions upon institutions insisting that “education” is the best investment you can make in “yourself”.
Oh, these kids are getting a life-long education all right. The lessons come right out of their paycheck - nearly for life, if they are lucky enough to have one.
To be fair, you can’t “insist on quality” at a University. That’s something that a University is trusted to provide - it’s an American Institution, afterall. They have to have some accountability for what they fail to provide.
In the end all these kids are going to get the opportunity to discharge the debt in bankruptcy, and that will spell the end for these “Institutions”. There is no other way.
Good succinct argument for the original intent of tenure and the need for academic freedom. However does it really work? Tenure certainly has often resulted in sinecures. Often mediocre or downright poor professors especially at second and third tier state colleges are there for life and young talent simply cannot be hired. Despite tenure academic freedom has become a relative concept in most universities today. Political correctness has replaced free inquiry and has muted open criticism. If universities were not saddled with this concept, they would be more competitive and dynamic. A tenured professor is much more likely to tolerate the squandering of resources than someone who is competing for those resources. There ought to be better ways to guard against academic discrimination and retribution than giving blanket job security. The practice of tenure at the primary and secondary school level has done far more harm than good. Also there is something inherently wrong to ask taxpayers, most of whom have no such job security, to underwrite tenure.