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View Diary: Try running a science class on $2.87/ student/ YEAR (154 comments)

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  •  One thing to keep in mind (1+ / 0-)
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    is that percentage increases can be misleading when the initial population sizes are different.

    That is, if you have 100 teachers and 10 administrators, then hire 1 additional administrator and 5 teachers, you see:

    10% increase in administrators
    5% increase in teachers.

    Also, that non-teaching staff at Stanford most likely includes research assistants and other staff quite far removed from administration. Same with associated professional staff - that's not at all inconsistent with a healthy university with a stable enrollment.

    In general, it's worth noting too that the rules and regulations and administrative-type expectations of universities have increased substantially since 1975.

    It's an interesting study, worthy of attention - is there cost savings to be had? But it's not necessarily indicative of the classic "waste, fraud, and abuse."

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 09:39:10 AM PST

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    •  Hmmm... (1+ / 0-)
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      I don't quite follow how the percentage increases are misleading (except for difficulty in the part-time department where, for example, an increase of 0% could fail to reveal that each part-timer is teaching two classes instead of one).  If a college functions with 100 teachers and 10 administrators and 1000 students, wouldn't it stand to reason that each student needs 1/10 of a teacher and 1/100 of a administrator?  If that college were to increase enrollment by 100, I would need to hire 10 teachers and 1 administrator, right?

      If you were getting at the fact that a smaller initial population of administrators was so small that it caused a disproportional number of admin hires, I think I understand the argument.  (Example: above mentioned school adds 1 student, requiring the need for one teacher [1% increase] and one admin [10% increase])  However, at least according to the Kirch study, this is not the case.  Number of total faculty and number of total admin are not different on that scale. (812 faculty to 535 admin to start, 1135 to 1437 at the end).

      The Kirch study does mention that some of the increase is due to federal regulations, such as ADA and Title IX (compliance officers, coaches, a new facilities supervisor here and there).  He also finds evidence of other factors that seem reasonable.

      The piece from Stanford Review unfortunately cites very limited data, but I think should not be dismissed as anecdotal.  It seems more focused on questioning the expansion of non-academic departments, such as student life, and the creation of redundant dean level positions.

      Although I have not read the Ginsberg book, I am intrigued by his point that the creation of career administrators vs. educators that finish their careers by putting a few admin years is a recent and unfortunate development in the culture of higher ed.  I've no idea if he's on the money or just cranky, but I am interested in hearing what you or others have to say on the topic

      "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

      by netop on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 02:51:50 PM PST

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