Wednesday, April 27, 2011

University Administrators Will Outnumber College Faculty by 2014; It's Already A Reality at UM-Flint

According to Malcom Harris writing in n+1:

"And while the proportion of tenure-track teaching faculty has dwindled, the number of managers has skyrocketed in both relative and absolute terms. If current trends continue, the Department of Education estimates that by 2014 there will be more administrators than instructors at American four-year nonprofit colleges. A bigger administration also consumes a larger portion of available funds, so it’s unsurprising that budget shares for instruction and student services have dipped over the past fifteen years."

MP: Hey, where I teach (University of Michigan-Flint), we're way ahead of the national trend - the administrative/professional ranks outnumbered the full-time faculty (tenured, tenure-track and full-time instructors/lecturers) years ago, starting in 2005 (see chart above).  

8 Comments:

At 4/27/2011 11:23 PM, Blogger Max said...

Pell grants are a type of financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid, even if you don’t get your college degree. The amount of the grant is a minimum of $500, and a maximum of $5,500 per student. Students receiving the grant will notice that the money is split between the spring and fall semesters, with disbursement being right around the beginning of each semester. Some colleges require you begin and attend classes before disbursement, while others offer early disbursement before classes begin. More can be learned here http://www.pell-grant-eligibility.com/ Pell Grant was created in 1972 and originally named the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant (BEOG). In 1980, the grant was renamed to the Pell Grant thanks to Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI) who was the pioneer of the entire concept. Pell Grants are awarded to low income undergraduate college or university students who are citizens or eligible non-citizens of America. Students can use their Pell grant funding at approximately 6,000 post-secondary institutions across America.

 
At 4/27/2011 11:48 PM, Blogger Chris Burrows said...

Dr. Perry,

Has your work load gone up or down as a result of the increased proportion of administrators?

I expect you just have to fill out more forms to more administrators.

 
At 4/28/2011 6:56 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

A lot of colleges are eliminating full-time faculty and going to part-time faculty. I am one myself.

The quality of education with part-time faculty could be debated but the focus here seems to be that the growth in administrative headcount is pulling money away from student learning. Wouldn't an analysis of the amount of money spent on administration and instruction over time be more valid than counting full-time positions? If that is not possible, at least all the part-time administration and part-time faculty should be equated to full-time equivalents and then compared.

Part of the increase in administration could be because the educational delivery model is changing. As more classes use technology, many of the tasks that were performed by faculty are now being performed by administrators. I spend 1/3 of my time contracted as teaching faculty and 2/3 of my time as contracted administration writing curriculum and setting up online class Websites. We can’t automatically assume that administrators are not performing duties that directly relate to student leaning unless we examine what tasks the administrators are performing.

I think we will continue to see a shift to alternative educational delivery models that utilize fewer brick and mortar buildings as well as more part-time and contracted teaching and administrative positions. Maybe our beautiful college buildings will sit empty next to the empty restaurants as we shift more to online classes and mobile food service delivery. You could get your food from a mobile food vendor, sit on a park bench, and take a test for your online college class using you laptop or other wireless electronic delivery device. Who needs buildings? Who needs full-time tenured professors?

 
At 4/28/2011 8:19 AM, Blogger Glen said...

This is a great example of Pournelle's Law.

 
At 4/28/2011 9:51 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Walt G. makes some very good points. I'd want to see a more detailed breakdown of what the support staff are hired to do.

There is a logic to having more and cheaper support staff doing all the non-professorial duties, so the professors can focus exclusively on what they're really being paid to do (much like having several unskilled laborers supporting the skilled and highly paid carpenter and mason).

I wouldn't be surprised if this ISN'T the case, but I don't think we should jump to that conclusion.

 
At 4/28/2011 11:16 AM, Blogger Rand said...

Bureaucrats exist for the propagation of bureaucracy.

 
At 4/28/2011 11:41 AM, Blogger Michael E. Marotta said...

If you saw "Round 2: Hayek v Keynes" then you can appreciate the fact that this in not a mechanism that can be fixed with wrenches.

I first enrolled as a freshman in 1967. Over the years, I paid for my own eduction as needed for professional development - robotics; accounting; Japanese; etc. - by 2005, so few jobs were open to applicants without four-year degrees that I returned to school to complete mine. I added a master's. I owe Sallie Mae $78,000. Now, I can look for work again, competitive against the other 28% of adults who have bachelor degrees.

These are not the days of Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Edison. If all that mattered were achievement and ethics, then experience proved by deliverables would be enough to find a job or make your own market. The consequences of collectivism are old and deep. Adjusting the number of college administrators - even if possible - would change little.

 
At 7/21/2011 7:04 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Michael Barone: "Take the California State University system, the second tier in that state's public higher education. Between 1975 and 2008, the number of faculty rose by 3 percent, to 12,019 positions. During those same years, the number of administrators rose 221 percent, to 12,183. That's right: There are more administrators than teachers at Cal State now."

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/michael-barone/2011/07/21/will-college-bubble-burst-from-public-subsidies/

Enough. Wipe it out and start over.

 

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