Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Higher Education's Disinvestment in Faculty

The chart above is based on data from a study by the American Federation of Teachers titled "The State of the Higher Education Workforce 1997-2007," released in May 2009, and college enrollment data available here. The report presents a troubling picture of the higher education teaching profession because colleges and universities have been "disinvesting" in full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty while at the same time "investing" in more and more administrators, and hiring more and more part-time faculty.

6 Comments:

At 8/19/2009 3:48 PM, Anonymous John said...

So college administrators have been expanding their ranks faster than student enrollement has increased and much faster than they've been hiring faculty. To what do you attribute this phenomenon?

 
At 8/19/2009 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's because faculty tenure is like a de facto union, artificially restricting supply. TAs, instructors and adjuncts deliver quality education while retaining greater flexibility for deans to control quality, employment, class size, and teaching load.

The vast majority of peer reviewed research is GARBAGE, contributing little to 'science'. This is true in the hard sciences and even more true in the soft sciences and arts. Funny how research determines school and program rankings, not teaching.

The original concept of 'liberal arts' was education for the sake of knowledge, not as a profession. Education now is almost exclusively for career skills development. In the last remnants of true liberal arts, we get graduates who have college degrees but are barely functional to the economy. We subsidize this waste with tax dollars.

Even prestigious schools like Harvard are known for their poor quality of education and highly inflated grades. Nobel Prize winners don't transfer knowledge by osmosis.

 
At 8/19/2009 5:34 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

I'm just gonna copy and past 5:09's first paragraph:

"That's because faculty tenure is like a de facto union, artificially restricting supply. TAs, instructors and adjuncts deliver quality education while retaining greater flexibility for deans to control quality, employment, class size, and teaching load."

Though I do think it's ridiculous that administration has increased as much as it has. I haven't found a single reasonable reason why either.

 
At 8/19/2009 6:31 PM, Anonymous Dr. T said...

"...universities have been "disinvesting" in full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty..."

When you are admitting more and more students with lower and lower qualifications, there's no need to use highly paid full-time faculty to teach them. Just hire part-time lecturers with a newly issued Master's degrees. Universities now are big businesses run by people with business training and attitudes, so this policy seems quite logical.

misterjosh sees no reasonable cause for the expansion of administrative staff. In administrative, bureaucratic systems, one's stature is measured by how many lower-level administrators you oversee. Therefore, administrators work hard to justify additional hires in their sections. To these people, that is reasonable behavior. (It's all about putting #1 first.)

 
At 8/27/2009 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a person such as myself with a BSN, an MSN, a MBA and last, but not least, working on my DNP in Health Care Administration(Doctorate in Nursing Practice), for those with no ability to figure out what a DNP is. It is clear, educators do not pay the bills. If it were the case there would be a trend toward education degrees. ( A bit of biostatistics for those that missed the boat). Until the teaching profession is compensated monitarily like administrators the trend will continue to drop. For those that complain their taxs' are at work, for the record, I have paid for the education myself via grants, student loans, and, lastly, SCHOLARSHIPS. What can I say, I must be special. Only one student in the university I attend receives a SCHOLARSHIP each semester and believe it or not, it's me. It's all about me. Now, eat your heart out, for those that think TAXs' paid for my education. Also, so sorry to those that chose a degree in education because you will always be at the bottom of the pit compared to a administrative degree.

 
At 10/18/2009 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All those administrative degrees and she still cannot properly use an apostrophe.

 

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