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