Reliable sources, including the Chroncicle of Higher Education, have reported that now administrators in higher education in the USA outnumber full-time faculty. I thought it would be interesting to track that trend here during the tenure of our current president--especially since the recent draft copy of our systems portfolio report to the Higher Learning Commission gave concise totals for 2009. It might provide some context for my earlier blog post about the internet parable of the canoe race.
So to get some points of comparison, I selected 4 college catalogues from previous years: 1987-88 (the year prior to Dr. Yowell's arrival), 1993-94 (the first year of the semester calendar), 1998-99, and 2003-04. That's around five year's separation between each catalogue. Finally, I took the figures from the systems portfolio draft report.
Now, it's not easy to tease out precise figures because Edison's catalogue does not clearly differentiate between administrators and administrative support staff. My count here is based on job titles. I counted as administrators anyone whose job title was president, vice-president, dean, coordinator, manager, or director. Faculty, of course, are easier to identify since our titles are always instructor or professor.
1987-88: 35 faculty 29 administrators
1993-94: 40 faculty 38 administrators
1998-99: 36 faculty 36 administrators
2003-04: 40 faculty 43 administrators
2009.....: 50 faculty 67 administrators
So the full-time faculty of the college has increased by 43% in those 22 years, most of the increase recently and mostly due to certification requirements for new health care programs.
Meanwhile, administrators have increased by 131%. Some increase would be expected due to growth in enrollment and programs, increased use of technology, and government mandates. But we may well wonder at the rationale for this degree of top-heaviness.