Where does all the money go?

Increasingly in higher education, it goes not to faculty, but to administration and support staff. The following article describes a recent report that found that faculty positions in the past 20 years increased by 50%, while non-faculty positions have doubled.


"Support staff — like budget analysts, computer specialists, and loan counselors — nearly doubled from 1987 to 2007. Meanwhile, jobs for instructors increased by only about 50 percent, according to a report to be released this week by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

Although the report draws no direct link between growth in back-office staff and rising tuition, it does conclude that the scale of the expansion reflects unproductive spending by academe."

The report explains that some positions have arisen due to increases in technology, and others are mandated by government--but that many of the added positions are probably redundant or arbitrary.

Although the report focused on universities, we know that there has been a similar disproportionate increase in non-teaching jobs at two-year colleges.

As the article noted, while much of the economic pressures on community colleges (and all of higher ed) have come from declining state subsidies, the increase in non-teaching jobs has doubtless contributed. Richard K. Vedder, economics professor at Ohio U. and director of the center that released the report, concluded "It's time for higher education to go on a diet."

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