Wednesday, June 08, 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).  

9 Comments:

At 6/09/2011 2:47 AM, Blogger Fotima Business School said...

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Almost the entire core, visiting and guest faculty at FOSTIIMA are IIM graduates. Most of them have spent several years in the corporate world holding diverse portfolios and responsibilities.
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At 6/09/2011 3:54 AM, Blogger sfw said...

I'm sure you are aware of C Northcote Parkinsons Law. The book itself is a great read, what is relevant is his law of growth inside bureaucracy, he noted that the total of those employed inside a bureaucracy rose by 5-7% per year "irrespective of any variation in the amount of work (if any) to be done." For more see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson's_Law or buy the book http://www.amazon.com/Parkinsons-Law-Cyril-Northcote-Parkinson/dp/1568490151

 
At 6/09/2011 6:02 AM, Blogger geoih said...

The caveats in your data statement sounds like you're cherry picking. How many lecturers/professors are there in total (not just "tenure" and "full time")? Better yet, how many annual instructor hours are there versus how many annual admin/professional staff hours?

 
At 6/09/2011 6:10 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

I think the growth rate of part-time faculty could be part of the change. We are hiring three part-time instructors to replace one full-time faculty member who is retiring. I am not aware of any administration positions being repopulated the same way.

The distinction between faculty and administration is also changing. I am 1/3 instructor and 2/3 adminstrator and all part-time.

I think we will see much more change in the next few years as the educational delivery methods change with technology led by online classes. Maybe we will even see mobile education delivery the same way we see mobile food delivery. Can brick-and-mortar colleges compete in the new marketplace without changing the way they operate?

 
At 6/09/2011 1:16 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

"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."

Why have the board of regents allowed this and why are they not demanding action to stop and reverse the situation?

 
At 6/09/2011 1:57 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

You can't assume that the increase in administration is not partially for student instruction. Online classes generally have curriculum writers and Web designers that perform the jobs done by onsite instructors. I write curriculum and design the Website component for my own classes under a separate contract.

The decrease in people required for manufacturing is not unique. I don’t think colleges in the 21st century are going to be like they used to be, so they cannot be compared on historical trendlines.

 
At 6/09/2011 5:07 PM, Blogger Walt M said...

Walt G., you've got it. The gap in the classroom is filled by the Adjuncts. At my school (I'm at will, so I won't name), no matter how many courses you teach, you are still counted as part time.

 
At 6/10/2011 8:08 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Yes. Lower-paid adjuncts and the move to online courses that require standardized curriculum designed by administrators will change the composition of full-time administrators to full-time instructors. People who work in education will not be immune to changes in the marketplace.

There will always be someone willing to work for less pay. Whether there is a loss in the quality of the education received by the student will have to be determined by applying the proper metrics and addressing any deficiencies that are found.

 
At 6/12/2011 8:26 AM, Blogger A Conservative Teacher said...

I suppose if you added in all the administration- principles, vice-principles, social workers, consulers, district administration people, various union bureaucrats, etc- I wouldn't be surprised if they outnumber teachers at the secondary and primary levels too.

 

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