One Source of College Costs: Administrators!

A friend sent me an article this week regarding some of College Advisor Julie’s comments about the rise in college administrators.

The article, linked to here, presents the following dramatic assertions:

1. Non-academic administrative positions at Universities have doubled in the last 25 years, without a proportionate increase in students served.

2. During that same time period, part-time and teaching-assistants (lower-cost labor) have increased from 1/3 to 1/2 of all teaching assignments at colleges and universities.

3. Inflation-adjusted tuition (meaning: real-term dollars) has doubled at private colleges and universities, and tripled at public colleges and universities in 25 years.

Ohio State has the Highest Paid Public University President

The article has a colorful quote from economist Richard Vedder, responding to the claim by university administrators that they are doing everything to cut costs:

“It’s a lie. It’s a lie. It’s a lie,” said Richard Vedder, an economist and director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

“I wouldn’t buy a used car from a university president,” said Vedder. “They’ll say, ‘We’re making moves to cut costs,’ and mention something about energy-efficient lightbulbs, and ignore the new assistant to the assistant to the associate vice provost they just hired.”

That’s pretty mean, but also funny.

At this point I need to apologize to my close family members currently serving in university administration.  Hey, at least you’re not a (ex-)banker!


Interview with College Advisor Part I – The insanely rising cost of college

Interview with College Advisor Part II – is the 4-year college financial model broken?

Post read (3337) times.

One Reply to “One Source of College Costs: Administrators!”

  1. In a cursory examination of university operating expenses, it occurs to me that there aren’t any downward market forces that adequately encourage university cost centers to self-regulate. As long as customers willfully take on non-dischargable debt to finance their purchase the cost will continue to rise. The school gets paid by the lender and in some cases by Uncle Sam.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Complete * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Public Speaking


I founded Bankers Anonymous because, as a recovering banker, I believe that the gap between the financial world as I know it and the public discourse about finance is more than just a problem for a family trying to balance their checkbook, or politicians trying to score points over next year’s budget – it is a weakness of our civil society. For reals. It’s also really fun for me.

Michael C Taylor's books on Goodreads


The Financial Rules for New College Graduates: Invest Before Paying Off Debt--And Other Tips Your Professors Didn't Teach You


Most Viewed Posts