February 16, 2014

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: University Administrative Glut Worse Than We Thought.

Over the last 25 years the number of administrative employees at U.S. colleges and universities more than doubled, according to a joint study by the New England Center of Investigative Reporting and the American Institutes for Research. The ratio of nonacademic positions to faculty positions doubled at both public and private institutions. Overall, the industry has added an average of 87 administrative positions per day, a rate has scarcely slowed since the economic downturn, despite tuition increases. Even more surprising, academic institutions have added more administrative employees despite part-time faculty taking on more teaching duties than full-time professors. . . .

Administrative hiring shouldn’t come at the cost of delivering quality, cost-effective college educations. The more evidence we see, the worse the problem looks.

Public choice theory says that institutions are run for the benefit of the people who run them. Universities are run by administrators.