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Growth at the top while the bottom suffers is a common affliction in American society, and it's hit higher education with a vengeance:
Across U.S. higher education, nonclassroom costs have ballooned, administrative payrolls being a prime example. The number of employees hired by colleges and universities to manage or administer people, programs and regulations increased 50% faster than the number of instructors between 2001 and 2011, the U.S. Department of Education says. It's part of the reason that tuition, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has risen even faster than health-care costs.
More administrators, higher-paid administrators, and higher tuition for students even as investment in classroom teaching lags. This trend is especially pronounced at the University of Minnesota:
A Wall Street Journal analysis of University of Minnesota salary and employment records from 2001 through last spring shows that the system added more than 1,000 administrators over that period. Their ranks grew 37%, more than twice as fast as the teaching corps and nearly twice as fast as the student body. [...]

Administrative employees make up an increasing share of the university's higher-paid people. The school employs 353 people earning more than $200,000 a year. That is up 57% from the inflation-adjusted pay equivalent in 2001. Among this $200,000-plus group, 81 today have administrative titles, versus 39 in 2001.

Administrators making over $300,000 in inflation-adjusted terms rose to 17 from seven.

The Wall Street Journal notes that some of the growing administrative costs are for things like managing accommodations for students with disabilities. But then again, the University of Minnesota also has 139 people in promotions, marketing, and communications departments. And university president pay across the nation has soared in recent years. And schools like the University of Massachusetts and many others are putting millions of dollars into having losing teams in the top tier of college football instead of winning ones in lower tiers. Similarly, university administrators insist that ever-fancier buildings are needed to attract students, putting students in debt for those nice buildings.

It seems like everything on college campuses but the teaching is worth pouring money into, according to the (increasing numbers of) college administrators of today, at whatever cost to the students whose adult lives will be defined by their tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Teachers are lazy and pricey. Ipads4all, yo! n/t (6+ / 0-)
    •  fallow the money /nt (0+ / 0-)

      yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

      by annieli on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:57:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the fallacy of the article is that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Minnesota has an associated Med School on the same campus one of the largest single physical campuses in the US and much of the article is related to the costs of non-undergraduate education e.g. School of Public Health. Universities that have contiguous med school faculties have inflated salaries and costs

        Several years ago, Russell Luepker, a professor of epidemiology at the school of public health, sought reimbursement for a $12 parking bill. The form went from a secretary to the head of his department to an accountant who entered it in a computer to a senior accountant responsible for approving it. Richard Portnoy, chief administrative officer in the epidemiology department, estimates it cost $75 to move the paperwork. When Dr. Luepker heard of it, he stopped filing for parking reimbursements.....Caution fed bureaucratic growth after the school agreed to pay the federal government $32 million in 1998 to settle allegations relating to sales of an unlicensed transplant drug. The school acknowledged mismanagement of grant funds, and the National Institutes of Health put its grant applications under special scrutiny, creating research delays and faculty departures.

        yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

        by annieli on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:02:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is what caused the Vilificartion of NYC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    james321, annieli

    School system 40+ years ago. The Central Bureaucracy headquartered  at 110 Livingston street.

    110 Livingston Street is a Beaux Arts-style building located in Downtown Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States.

    The building was designed by the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, and was built in 1926 to serve as the headquarters for the Elks organization, including amenities such as a pool, banquet hall, and bowling alleys.[1] The building has a limestone and terra cotta facade, with Renaissance-revival style features including balustrades, egg-and-dart ornamentation, and Corinthian columns.[2]

    In 1940, the building was converted to serve as the New York City Board of Education headquarters. Over decades of use by the Board of Education, the building became known for the entrenched bureaucracy and dysfunction of its occupants, and Michael Cooper of The New York Times stated that the building's name eventually came to symbolize the failings of the New York City school system, as "more than a location or a shorthand name for the institution it housed, the city's Board of Education. It symbolized a state of mind, a failed system that was at once imperious and impervious."[1]

    In 2003, the City of New York sold the building to Two Trees Management, a primary developer of the DUMBO neighborhood, for development as luxury residential apartments, as part of development efforts taking place throughout Downtown Brooklyn. Several floors were added to the structure, and the courtyard was decorated with a trompe-l'œil mural of architectural features by muralist Richard Haas.[3] The interior lobby space, including a coffered ceiling, has been restored by the architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle, and a historic theater space on the ground floor is intended to be used by ISSUE Project Room, a local arts organization.

    As the Elites Come Together to Rise Above to Find a Third Way to do Rude things to the 99%

    by JML9999 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:05:33 PM PST

  •  This is NOT news to those of us at universities! (42+ / 0-)

    At the university where I used to teach we have had a proliferation of deans, deanlets, vice presidents and loads of money going into sports, especially football!

    Students? Faculty? Research? Not so much!  I don't know where this is leading, but I don't like it much! Thank God I'm retired!

    •  Sports should be abolished (22+ / 0-)

      Spectator sports, that is. The two dozen or so schools across the country that make money on big-time sports should spin them off into a separate entity. All the others should redirect that money into lifetime fitness sports that promote general health — swimming pools, tennis courts, etc.

      I am feuding with my undergraduate alma mater, That Which Must Not Be Named, over their starting a football time five or six years ago. A tiny liberal arts college with slightly more than 1,000 students cannot justify this every pricey sport on ANY grounds.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:17:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  really--just what IS it with sports in this (7+ / 0-)

        country?  I just don't understand why this seems to take precedence over so many things.  

        If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

        by livjack on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:23:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Panem et circenses. (10+ / 0-)

          Only the Republicans want to take the bread out of the mouths of as many Americans as possible.

        •  We are about the only country which melds (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, rbird, cyncynical, TKO333, tb mare

          big  time,sports with colleges. Even in such sports crazy places as OZ sports are not embedded in the university system, but rather independent clubs based in the community. Keeps the costs down for all and provides more opportunity for both groups. I.e. athletes don't have to pretend they are students and students don't have to support athletics.

          But the answer to why is money. So many Podunk towns such as State College and Manhattan, KS would be nothing without the bucks athulediks brings in.

          If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

          by shigeru on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:31:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  not about sports, it's TV contracts /nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

          by annieli on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:58:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Most colleges get no TV contracts (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            and no money from this source. As I said, you're talking about a few dozen schools. What about the rest?

            Jon Husted is a dick.

            by anastasia p on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:00:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  more than a few dozen and it's about conferences (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JohnnySacks, AoT

              of D-I schools that are also big land-grant research schools  operating as cartels facilitated by the NCAA

              yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

              by annieli on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:08:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Colleges are no longer (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annieli, AoT

            institutes of learning, they are money generating corporations.

            There are no jobs for professors because of cuts, and adjunct professors make less than McDonald's manager.

            Tenure and the 'ivory tower' gave us the technology for the internet, the cure for polio, the transistor, and endless things that make our lives better.

            But that takes thinking and a willingness to make mistakes on the path to success.

            The business model does not work for not-for-profit institutions like government, school and hospitals.  

            They are core functions that are critical to national survival.

            The drive to piratize those and other government functions are a large part of what destroyed the middle class. There are things which should not be judged by how much money they make.  

            Our children will envy the rest of the world, because we sold our heritage for a few grubby dollars and a sports team.

            Jesus died to save you from Yahweh.

            by nolagrl on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 12:52:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  as in all things it's about leadership writ large (0+ / 0-)

              yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

              by annieli on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:00:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  what is it with sports? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Desert Scientist


      •  Yes. Anything you dislike must be aboloished. (0+ / 0-)

        Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

        by FrankRose on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:25:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not abolished, just not subsidized with ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          teaching and research funds and not used as a farm system by the pros unless THEY pay for it!

          •  Universirty and college deans and boards (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            all seem to think that they do.

            Colleges aren't maintaining, adding and expanding their football programs out of the goodness of their hearts.

            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

            by FrankRose on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:58:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I had not seen any of that money at ... (0+ / 0-)

              our institution. Nor have I seen such a lot of money for the athletic program from the alumni, except to build fancy centers with alcohol privileges on top of the stadium at $1 million a pop.  Otherwise why would we be paying $4 million into the program from academic funds?

              •  Those in the position to make that call sees it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                differently. Not just at your university (what university are you at, out of curiosity), but at many universities.
                There must be a pursuasive and practical reason for doing so. Ignoring the reasons why they choose to do so isn't helpful.

                Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                by FrankRose on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:24:09 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  agreed, they're just "playing the float" anyway nt (0+ / 0-)

                  yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

                  by annieli on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 12:59:42 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Seriously? When people complain your response (0+ / 0-)

                  Is that it must have been the right choice because the administration thought it was the right choice.  This is the antithesis of citizen action and frankly what's wrong with this country.

                  The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:29:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Simplistic response. (0+ / 0-)

                    "citizen action" has nothing to do with this subject.

                    "Being right" is a simplistic assessment. There is a reason why many Universities are expanding their athletic programs, simply ignoring the reasons why they are choosing this route, or simply saying they are wrong....or, bizarrely, blaming it on 'what is wrong with this country'  is useless.

                    Some reasons (just off the top of my head) why they are choosing expanding athletics is....Athletics provide exposure that would cost far more (and be far less effective) than traditional advertising.
                    Alumni is far more likely to donate if they have something to rally around.
                    Having something to rally around improves the community, gives prospective students something to cheer for and gives a sense of competition....

                    Feel free to add your own.

                    Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                    by FrankRose on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:16:16 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry about your university (0+ / 0-)

      Not all of them are like this, yet we all get painted with the same brush.

      •  Our now past president.... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rbird, cyncynical, IreGyre, TKO333

        agreed to giving the football program $4 million/year out of teaching and research funds until their debt of over $10 million is paid. And we did not even have a winning football team!  The coach had the 2nd highest salary in the whole county (the president had the highest!)  No wonder that the locals think of us as super privileged, although the fact is that the staff especially is not so well paid and the faculty is way behind peer level universities.

        Where are the athletics bucks? You have to have a winning team!!  Athletics should be subsidized by the professional leagues like in baseball.  Why should the universities subsidize essentially football farm teams?

        Still they had a very good retirement plan and a number of us took advantage of it before they decided to alter it!

      •  They're all like this... (4+ / 0-)


        The reality of academic labor at this point is that the generation that currently has tenure is probably the last which will have much of it, while the overall mass of teaching is done by people forced into increasingly precarious and disempowered positions.

        Meanwhile, administrators, boards, and various contractors make a mint off debt which students are taking on with government guarantees that really amount to forbidding them from discharging it in bankruptcy.

        Don't be surprised if the entire university system is on the verge of collapse before the end of the decade.

        •  No they are not (0+ / 0-)

          You really do not know what you are talking about if you can say that with a straight face.

          •  Given that I've worked in these institutions... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...with my eyes open for more than two decades, I'd dispute that.

            I've seen the same pattern at virtually every institution, ranging from small liberal arts colleges to medium sized catholic universities to large public institutions. I've watched everyone I know find it increasingly difficult to secure decent employment, regardless of scholarly and pedagogical achievement, on an ever more difficult job market.  I've watched class sizes grow, workloads increase, the proportion of courses being taught by contingent faculty explode while senior faculty and faculty unions blithely ignore the reality of what's going on. Often, heads are so buried in the sand that people really have no earthly idea how little many of their colleagues are being paid, how tenuous their situations are, or how utterly the academic labor market has ceased to resemble any sort of meritocracy.

            Without engaging in a personal debate that's going to go nowhere in this forum, I will strongly insist that 1) the structural trends affect more or less all institutions at this point; 2) that many faculty at many institutions, even those who are being most seriously harmed by a lot of this, are clueless -- often willfully -- about the nature and extent of the problem; and 3) that the broader, extra-institutional reality as it depends on decreases in state funding, shifts in 'management' practices, changes in curricular standards that are being pushed by accrediting agencies (vis., for instance, the move from 'core' to gened') all combine to produce a set of forces that affect virtually every institution, of any size, elite or not -- and never, ever, to the benefit faculty or students.

            Moreover, there's a ton of solid, well founded research to back up everything I said. This piece is the tip of the fucking iceberg there.

            So really, if we want to get in a game of 'don't know what I'm talking about,' I'd suggest that you're the one who's very poorly informed.

          •  To add: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sillia, nolagrl, AoT

            One of the biggest problems in this entire debate is that far too many faculty seem to have this almost reflexive need to defend 'their' institutions, and the managers at those institutions, rather than one another, or to see how their interests, collectively, do not align with those of the management tier.  Thus they allow themselves to get badly used in labor negotiations and institutional power struggles...

            ...and the net result of this has not been an improvement in the way the institution as a whole is serving students.

            I'll agree that most claims that the university is in crisis from the point of view of student services are imaginary bullshit made up by management looking for an excuse to extract further concessions out of faculty, but the net result of many of the concessions they've already won -- especially changes to workload, a de-emphasis on service in hiring and promotion, a general shift of advising functions away from faculty and toward professionalized 'advisors,' and the never sufficiently emphasized explosion among the ranks of contingent faculty working under terrible and poorly supported conditions -- isn't helping things, at all.

            As for the tenure thing, just pay a little attention to the job market in the past five years. It's not hard. You just have to look.

            •  To get an overview of these problems (0+ / 0-)

              a person should read "The Chronicle of Higher Ed." My husband gets a paper subscription; I'm not sure how much of their content is available online. Anyway, for an educator this has to be the single most depressing publication in the country.

              Faculty unions were mentioned above--hahahahahahaha.  Not unionized here, so faculty have exactly zero input on anything, although they are required to go to meetings where they discuss things, but these are a waste of time. Decisions are all made from above for reasons that do not involve students or faculty.

              Anybody who does have a union at your university should support it and hang onto it as best you can--without it you are doomed.

              I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

              by sillia on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 12:11:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Chronicle... unfortunately... (0+ / 0-)

                ...isn't the best source.  It's become something of a rag, and it tends to represent the views and interests of a very narrow swath of the profession as if it were the whole thing.  

                Inside Higher Ed does considerably better, as a rule; but the one thing about all of this is that the data have been remarkably consistent across many, many studies over the years.  That, and, they've often been arranged and reported in such a way as to minimize some aspects of the problem -- you have to be especially careful with salary and hiring data to see how it's being broken down.  Part-time / contingent faculty, for instance, have a tendency to get dropped from many statistics, which has the effect of greatly inflating 'average salary per credit hour' numbers, etc.

                You're right to call out the limited union penetration, but it's also worth noting that where they exist -- and in some cases have historically been fairly effective -- they've become substantially less so in recent years, and have done a very poor job overall of representing the interests of the fastest growing groups of academic workers, part time and contingent faculty.  This has become so bad that there's a non-trivial movement among 'adjunct' faculty to form their own union independent of the AFT and the AAUP (the two major unions representing HE faculty).  I really wish this weren't true, but the two institutions where I've been that have established unions have both seen those unions become largely moribund institutions that take a substantially cooperative posture toward the administration and tend to encourage participation only from the upper ranks of permanent faculty and to represent those folks. Essentially, given the way the number of people in those job categories has been shrinking at an increasing rate, this really does amount to fiddling while Rome burns.

                So yeah, good unions are great. Unfortunately, they're rare, and it's unclear to me whether either the AFT or the AAUP at the national levels are doing much more than offering some pious words in terms of providing real organizing support to their locals.

                •  It's depressing all right. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  What else to say. My husband is horribly depressed about his dept and univ., corruption seems to win the day, yet other comparable places have similar problems.

                  I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

                  by sillia on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:50:24 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Administration screams for consolidation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Desert Scientist, nolagrl

      By trying to do everything, other than educating, themselves, admins control sheltered fiefdoms. They run their dorms and cafeteria's, have their own police force, their own I.T. departments, civil engineers etc. Even different campuses in the same system are like this.

      Universities have Vice Chancellors and CIO's who would be redundant if all these non-core competencies were consolidated .

    •  I had seven bosses at my last teaching gig... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shigeru, IreGyre, TKO333, Desert Scientist

      ...of course, they covered different aspects of my teaching, since I taught online courses, a telecourse, and conventional courses at the same time.  But  Yes, really.

      I gave up reading their notices and bulletins after a while and ignored them.  Nothing happened.  I continued to teach, I got paid, and the bulletins kept rolling in.  I finally quit teaching to take care of my mom after my dad died.  That was years ago, and a part of me believes that they never noticed that I had left.  So my mail box is probably filled to maximum compression with those useless bulletins.

      Tell me what to write. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

      by rbird on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:30:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's a waste of money at Ohio State (6+ / 0-)

      They paid Kasich, then a former congressman and a shill for an about-to-collapse financial firm (Lehman Brothers) $50,000 a year, PLUS money for an assistant to deliver about 36 hours of lecture a year. Both then future Senator Rob Portman and former Senator John Glenn did the gig for free. And Glenn in particular has a lot more interesting things to share than Kasich.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:23:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it becomes a way to subsidize RW operatives (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        moving up the Conservative machine career ladder... mixed in with think tanks, staff of conservative officials, elected office, lobby group, university boards or admin... a great way to help pay the way for these operatives to carry out the agenda across many areas and get paid for it... plumb jobs for enablers and tools of the plutonomy.

        Jobs where they are free to do other things most of the year are best... or perk jobs on top of several other earners... it becomes almost a mafia of mutual greasing and back scratching on a nationwide scale... to diffuse to get into focus until the money trails begin to uncover all the winks and nods, glad-handing, understandings and even outright quid pro quo.... and even then were there the will to see what laws might be used to break this up a bit those who direct it and profit from it all from a distance would never be forced to stop let alone be punished in some way.

        The only way to deal with it is to change the environment that allows all this corruption to prosper so that it is less likely and less profitable... close loopholes and even rethink the whole way we educate people and how we administer it and pay for it. Like single payer for health care... free education for all like many European countries have would cut out most of the current form of leeching and be more efficient and democratic.

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:26:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The highest paid Public Employee... (5+ / 0-) many states is the Head Coach of one of the "Powerhouse" football programs.

      Full disclosure: I have a childhood friend who is a former standout player and is currently a Athletic Department Fund "facilitator" at Alabama (he is on hand press the flesh with donors at a dozen events each year). When pressed, even he'll admit shit is out of hand.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:35:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Diversity Training (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sucks the life out of our office expenses also.  But we're gov't so taxpayers get to pay for it.  Entire sub-depts set up to develop classes and presentations on how to behave like adults.  What a f-ing joke!

  •  Don't forget (11+ / 0-)

    Governor's who will sue the NCAA to defend a public university football program.

  •  One of my pet peeves too (17+ / 0-)

    Unless sports teams - football - baseball - swimming -- whatever starts paying universities/colleges for being their farm teams --

    I say - take the whole sport teams issue out of colleges.

    And yes -- I am ready for the barrage ..

    (but unless sports are such an integral part -- why do we not have sport teams that corporations pay for us to play in - just asking)

    "Proud to proclaim: I am a Bleeding Heart Liberal"

    by sara seattle on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:07:01 PM PST

      •  I agree too.. (4+ / 0-)

        The people who like sports always claim that things like expensive football programs pay for themselves and provide revenue to the school as a whole, but they can never produce any evidence of this.  But the costs for the stadiums and coaches are out there for all to see.

        When I first started college in 1976, the total fees were 4900$ a year at a liberal arts school.   When I was back for a reunion, the fees were up over 40K$/year.  Nearly a 10-fold increase.  I can guarantee that wages for people didn't go up by that amount over the same period.  Even that school didn't make any attempt to seriously compete in any sports, but they built all kinds of buildings in the intervening years..

        •  and these are Division 3 schools--not even on the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IreGyre, phrogge prince, AoT

          radar of "college football."  In addition, they are pushing more "Parent Funds" that ask for even more from you than the ridiculously overinflated tuition.  

          You can't help but feel like your kid is being put on certain lists based on what you "donate" and what you don't.

          If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

          by livjack on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:27:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, plenty of evidence is available (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alden, TKO333, IreGyre, phrogge prince, AoT

          proving the reverse. It's not even in dispute: football makes NO money for anyone other than a handful of the top schools. Even some schools you think of as powerhouses don't make money. NO small school does —  and football costs a lot of money.

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:02:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A loss leader to somehow get alums to donate (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            or attract students... a losing proposition all around... it might get fancy new buildings with the billionaire's name on it or a lot of proteges and hangers-on of the patron in more and more administrative leech jobs ... and not a whole lot to assist the supposed main purpose of an institution of learning.

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

            by IreGyre on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:35:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yup, it's about the alums (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              IreGyre, AoT

              Years ago I was grad student rep on the chancellor's budget advisory committee of a growing urban university whose students were primarily commuters.  

              The budget committee spent a lot of time selecting just the right sport for the university to subsidize.  The committee's specific, stated purpose for this subsidy was to maintain alumni interest and allegiance and thereby direct alumni money to the university.  

    •  I agree completely! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sara seattle, tennman, Lily O Lady

      It's the same way I feel about high school football programs as well. These institutions weren't established for students to play sports.

      •  I don't agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calprof, FrankRose

        Well, I agree that these institutions weren't established FOR students to play sports. But team sports are a valuable part of education. Students learn in many different ways. High school kids who don't excel in the classroom might nevertheless be given a valuable foundation for the rest of their lives through the lessons and skills acquired in team sports.

        This is coming from a person who was not a jock and never played a team sport in school.

        •  But why at college? (5+ / 0-)

          There are many things one can learn on a sports team.  There are also many things that one can learn through an apprenticeship or by going on a family vacation.  You can learn things by hiking or by meditating.  The issue is, What kinds of learning are appropriate for an university?"  It seems to me that there is a tension between those who go to a college for classroom learning and those who go to a college to play football.  Both students and athletes would be better served if they were separate institutions.

        •  Big-time college team sports (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sara seattle, Cyndiannp, sillia

          have nada to do with teaching team work or anything like that. They AREN'T a part of education on this level — they're kind of outside it. Unfortunately, they are NOT a way for kids who don't excel in the classrooms to acquire a "valuable foundation" yada yada yada. They are offered as the way to youthful stardom, placed way above more mundane things like classwork — and star-type sports do not prepare 99% of the participants for anything they can use in really life but leaves them hanging high and dry, perhaps wishing they had spent more time TRYING to excel in at least one of their classrooms.

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:05:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  However -- take countries where children (0+ / 0-)

          excel - where learning is superior --

          those countries do not waste the education of the children by the focus on sports.  

          There academic progress is what is important - not who makes the football team.

          And again -- if the lessons and skills acquired by team sports where so valuable -- Do you know any corporation that have their own football team - any corporations that would pay us to play team sports.

          They of course know that it is a waste of time and way too costly.  

          "Proud to proclaim: I am a Bleeding Heart Liberal"

          by sara seattle on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:35:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Almost no schools make money on sports (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, atana

      And some sports are very expensive — like football. There's no excuse for a small college to have a football team. I believe the only school here in Ohio where inter-scholastic sports make money is THE Ohio State University. For the rest, it's a waste, siphoning money from academics.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:20:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  not to mention (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nespolo, 417els, Cyndiannp, AoT

        football is not the greatest sport for the health of the brain - concussions. Not really what a university should be associated with, or promoting, or profiting from.

        There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

        by taonow on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:29:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The farm leagues (5+ / 0-)

       I've contended for years that the NFL and NBA are using universities as their free farm leagues, and ought to be paying the universities or set up there own.

      Baseball is a different system.  If a young guy wants to go play baseball, but not go to school, they can get into the baseball minor leagues and work hard.  If they want to go to school and also play baseball, they can do both.

      But a kid who doesn't want to be in school but wants to play football or basketball for money has to go to school, whether they want to or fit in is irrelevant.  So fine, if the pro sports want to pay for the farm clubs, like baseball pays for theirs.

      "We borrow this Earth from our Grandchildren."

      by Arizona Mike on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:24:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  At (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady, drsampson, ChuckInReno

    At my brother''s school, a doubling of students and a halving of profs. Not a recipe for a great educational experience.

    That is why alternatives like Coursera and Udacity will continue to gather steam. I have done one Udacity course and it was great. My first Coursera course starts next week.
    Hard to compete with free. - especially when the costs of the other stuff goes up and the quality down. The post secondary education bubble is about to burst.

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:12:38 PM PST

    •  It's sad, because sites like those (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nespolo, 417els

      Are the plan for the future, facilitated by all the cutting of taxes and funding to established schools. Sites like those will never replace instruction in a classroom, although it's looking more and more like they might stand in for them, but you lose a lot with just online classes for the majority of subjects.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:31:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure (0+ / 0-)

        Love the flexibility, the ability to go over lectures again and again, the chat rooms, the online assignments ... and the not having to leave my living room ... and the cost.

        There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

        by taonow on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:41:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They aren't going to teach classical languages (6+ / 0-)

        or philosophy at Online University Inc, just whatever is selling in the job market at the moment: "Master of Homeland Security Drone Operations".

        •  Not that U's do a good job of teaching languages (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          417els, annetteboardman, AoT, sillia

          But I didn't miss that you said "classical languages," and it's true there's essentially no other game in town for that kind of education.

          Whatever a person's academic orientation, even those who just want to get through with B's and C's and football weekends, it's a damn shame the four-year campus experience is becoming so inaccessible.  And equally so that the traditional excesses are going hyperbolic and turning campus life into a sick caricature of its worst self.

          The degree and the experience behind it mean less and less while costing more and more.  I look at a school like Emory (to choose a local example) and I am just shocked as hell at some of the graduates coming out of of this elite institution who can't seem to do even basic writing or -- I won't even call it research, but -- finding stuff out for themselves.  If a school like that can't ensure a certain level for its graduates, what are the others producing?  Or maybe the problem is at its worst precisely in the elite universities?

          I can't see what is coming next but it's clear the current trend is unsustainable.  Something is going to collapse and I fear the change will be precipitous and chaotic, leading to something vastly inferior to what we had only a few decades ago.

          Ideology is when you have the answers before you know the questions.
          It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

          by Alden on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 12:16:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Something is certainly collapsing: (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            417els, Desert Scientist, Alden, AoT

            education -- as opposed to training in trade skills -- for the 99% in the US.  If you want to study Pindar or Wittgenstein, you had better be born to very wealthy American parents -- or else born in Europe.

            •  Even in Europe (0+ / 0-)

              There is a surge in "applied universities" -- something more than the schools that advertize on late-night U.S. television but decidedly less than real universities or institutes of technology.

              But yes, your point about affordability remains correct across all categories.

              Ideology is when you have the answers before you know the questions.
              It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

              by Alden on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:40:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then again (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                A university-track high school diploma in many European countries is already the equivalent of the first couple of years of American university.

                Ideology is when you have the answers before you know the questions.
                It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

                by Alden on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:41:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Not everything can be taught through lectures (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beauchapeau, 417els, Desert Scientist, AoT

      While there are some things that can be taught through a lecture format, there are many things that can't.  If college education was simply a matter of gathering information, you could do just as well sitting in a library reading.  However, there are higher order skills and these cannot be effectively learned through lecture.  You need an actual human being to provide guidance.

      •  In addition to actual human beings for guidance (4+ / 0-)

        college students need - benefit from - interaction with peers in the classrooms/labs/campus.

        One of the most important things I learned while I was away at school was how to appreciate people entirely different from myself...people I would never have been exposed to except in a college campus setting.

        It's also where I learned that my own life experiences, up to that time, were not unique....that my peers had the same worries, joys and daydreams that I had.  And also that they had thoughts and idea I had never dreamed of.  

        "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

        by 417els on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:19:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They are a good option for some (0+ / 0-)

      but not for everyone. I took an online course and you do have to have self-discipline. If you lack self-discipline how will you learn it in an strictly on-line setting? Also I remember learning a lot in my study groups with other students which would be harder in an online setting.

      One thing that is good is that they provide competition for universities and if students start opting for these programs (particularly the self-disciplined ones) over overpriced universities and colleges than eventually things may change.

    •  diploma mills (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Schools that are diploma mills cannot compete with free.  Urban schools where most of the population commute and lectures are the norm cannot compete with free.  Schools that are focused on profit cannot compete with free.

      Real schools are going to have no problem competing with free, because the product they are selling is not scribbles on a screen with a droning voice.  No one learns that way.  Lecture, when I was in school, was no more than 30% of the learning time.  Most of it was spent working with my peers to learn, internalize, and master the subject.  Even my non core subject the time outside the classroom was more valuable than the time inside.  And this is college, where the student has time to learn.  Not like high school where learning is structured and there is no time to expand.  Not like correspondence courses where there is little social element, and one works so much there is no time to explore.  But to learn.

      As far as the increase in administration, I would want to know how many of those publish papers.  When I was in school I knew many high level researchers who no longer taught, were managers, but still published papers.  On thing that separates a real university from a diploma mill is the existence of research that can inspire the students.  This was certainly a critical part of my education.

  •  Is there a way to read the linked article? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It goes to a video that works but the article is behind a paywall. Is there a way around it...? I know the NY Times paywall can be circumvented by cutting and pasting the URL into Google. But it didn't work for this one.

    Anyway, this story (the snippets I could read) is hardly surprising. I teach at a small liberal arts college with pretty small overhead - we had to trim down in recent years as enrollment suffered with the recession. But U of Tennessee down the road has gone through tons of Deans, paying them tons, and jacking up tuition for students. And building lots of hideous buildings on an already hideous campus. And the athletic department there is in shambles. Glad I'm at a D-III school.

  •  Say what you want about Lenin, but he was correct: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, annieli

    "The Universities are not the brains of a nation, rather, their shit".

    He was clearly a prophet. ;)

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:13:13 PM PST

  •  As others have pointed out elsewhere (11+ / 0-)

    this story has been posted, the focus on numerous and pricey administrators is misleading and gives the anti-education crew one more excuse to babble about "cutting waste." The real culprit in the skyrocketing of college costs at public colleges and universities is decreased government support for them, which throws more of the burden on students.

    Jon Husted is a dick.

    by anastasia p on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:14:08 PM PST

    •  How is that focus misleading? (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, ManhattanMan, AoT, Calprof, sdf, 417els

      There's no question that decreased government support for public colleges throws more of the burden on the students, but to say that and to decry the increase in numerous and pricey administrators and the ridiculous amounts of money thrown at sports teams, both at the expense of the supposed educational foundation of higher education, are not mutually exclusive.  One has to do with where the revenue comes from and the other has to do with what's done with the revenue.

    •  The cost of educating a student has not risen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peregrine kate

      it is the price of tuition that has risen.  And the reason there are so many damn administrators is that the government is trying to "work smarter not harder", which realy means paying teachers less and having more paper pushers that spend most of their time justifying their existence.

      The real culprit in the skyrocketing of college costs at public colleges and universities is decreased government support for them, which throws more of the burden on students.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:34:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The states are transferring (0+ / 0-)

        higher ed funding to the community colleges. They are cheaper to run-- with underpaid faculty and poorer facilities. The have dramatically cut funding to the public 4-year colleges and universities. State legislatures are challenging tenure and require assessment for every aspect of learning on all levels of public education. Everything must be measureable -- including the arts and critical thinking. State legislators and governors believe they are the experts when it comes to education.

        •  No, they're not (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annetteboardman, AoT

          They are slashing community college funding at the same time those community colleges are being swamped with an explosion of students who are looking for education they can still afford.

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:09:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm a community college professor (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fuzzyguy, AoT, sillia

            ADJUNCT. This means, I'm basically a part timer, hired on a semester by semester basis, with no benefits (although that's changing a little). And classes can be taken away from me at the last minute if a full timer decides he or she wants my slot (it's happened).

            I have a Masters Degree. Excellent observation reports (done by faculty). Stellar SOR's (done by students). I've put in for a  full time position time after time but they're either not hiring OR they always magically find "another candidate" (if they bother to post a full time opening at all).

            Case in point: the English department (my discipline) at one of my colleges (I teach at several) has 70 professors. Only 10 of them are full timers. The rest are all adjuncts. I wonder how parents would feel if they knew they were paying all this money to have their kids taught by part-timers? Don't get me wrong, we adjuncts work just as hard (even harder IMO) than full timers, and we are just as qualified, but to a parent who doesn't know any better, it may not appear that way.

            However, there's always PLENTY of money for multiple deans and VP's and administrators. Hell, those jobs are ALWAYS posted.

            A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

            by METAL TREK on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:51:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  And students have to borrow from the 1% (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fuzzyguy, AoT

      to pay for this expensive tuition.

      And then they are indentured to the lenders for the next 10 years (or more).

      Many universities are quite complicit in helping students (and their parents) load up on debt.  I have two in college right now and at one of the schools (which, ironically, I work for) I think you have to opt out of loans.

      It is becoming quite a racket -- and yet another way that the 1% are using our shared institutions to suck wealth out of the rest of us.  They get the rest of us to pay (and continue to pay) them for services that should be heavily subsidized / socialized (i.e., paid for by the 1%).

    •  I disagree. It shows that universities are now (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      METAL TREK, fuzzyguy

      following a corporate model. Higher administrator wages, lower professor wages, and lay offs for the staff.

      Universities are cutting any programs that lose money, even if they have outstanding educational benefits.

      They are expected to make money, not educate students. Hence the focus on online courses.

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:32:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No Fun for Ordinary Support Staff Either. (13+ / 0-)

    In the service of advancing major administrators, coaches and such, opportunity for rank & file staff was compressed to a flat sheet of paper at my state university.

    Shortly before my tech support job was outsourced, I noticed that an intelligent secretary who might want to switch to something like computer network admin working for that university, would probably never be able to repay the cost of the training from increased earnings.

    And just before the end I was offered a 50% raise if I'd quit to join a private contractor working nearby. That's how excessive my drain on the state taxpayer was.

    Faculty was never my enemy, nor was research.

    I worked for a time in research contract administration, and saw the move to the university setting up officially non-university facilities so that sponsors wouldn't need to pay the full overhead needed by a university, and could further underpay all the support staff.

    Oh and of course lock up the results they got from the public university research as proprietary.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:19:42 PM PST

    •  You will start to see the poaching of public (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Desert Scientist, AoT

      school employees to private concerns with the bait of more $$$.

      Many in public education will have to face the decision of whether to cross over to the "dark side."  

      That is, of course, if something isn't done to derail the corporate raid on public education.

      If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

      by livjack on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:33:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You see that pretty often (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Desert Scientist

        in the biotech research fields. Lots of folks wonder why the hell they are going to deal with $38K a year at best with lousy benefits as a post doc in your early 30's even at Tier 1 schools and a decade of student loan debt and interest. Go work in industry and make $80k instead. Some of that is due to mandated salaries from government grants too. Can make no more than "X" as your starting salary.

  •  People mess everything up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Alden

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:23:04 PM PST

  •  Same thing as everything else in this (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, atana, METAL TREK, sillia, AoT

    goddamn country anymore. The people who actually know stuff and do stuff are screwed and the know nothing, do nothing folks like HR, PR, athletic, marketing, financial maven and assorted other flacks get all the money and credit. No wonder we now are resorting to eating our own on the SocSec and Medicare issues.

    If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

    by shigeru on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:24:30 PM PST

    •  Do nothing folks? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annetteboardman, Nespolo, Outtascope

      Come on. How about you ask Kos whether those who wrote the code for this site and handle the back-end information architecture are do-nothing folks? They don't write the content, but they perform valuable tasks that help keep the organization running.

      I'm tired of the bashing of the non-teaching staff who are integral in the functioning of colleges and universities. It's just about as tiresome as the bashing of public employees for being lazy, trough-feeding parasites.

      •  It's not the integral non-teaching staff that are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shigeru, AoT

        getting bashed. It's the dramatic rise in the number of non-teaching staff, and the rise in salaries to pay for them.

        Are they all integral employees? If so, how did the colleges ever manage without them in the past? Is the number of students dramatically on the rise as well? If so, why is the number of teaching staff not holding pace?

        I guess it could be all part of an evil plot to get liberals squabbling amongst themselves as to how to get their fair share of an ever-decreasing pie, so that they fail to recognize the actual danger, but I strongly suspect it is just more of the privatization movement at work.

        Lots of money in education, folks. No need to worry about education! Especially since that might enable people to figure out how badly they're being screwed!

      •  uhm (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peregrine kate, shigeru

        353 folks making more than $200,000 a year for roughly 70,000 students? That is a minimum of $1,000 a student a year just for the high priced folks.

        +$200k a year is an awfully good gig for an administrator in a not so tense an environment (unlike the real world where companies can go out of business if misrun).

        There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

        by taonow on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:46:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm curious what jobs those are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          At the place where I work--private, liberal-arts--only top-level administrators make that kind of money. And those salaries do make me wince.

        •  Given that the average management salary is well (0+ / 0-)

          under 120 k it is hard to see how 350 folks make over 200k at one university. They must be marketeers or brand managers. Or something else equally valuable. That is my point most of the high priced jobs now are for those who talk about the work of others.
          Hell the football team has a brand manager. As does the AD!
          Guess who,pays for all that crap? UM has not had a profitable sports year in eons!

          If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

          by shigeru on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:43:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Programmers have skills and do something. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Btw don't know about where you have worked but developers VERY rarely make the big bucks. At universities lots is done for free too. Also you did not address the central thesis namely that those who do are usually paid less than those who live off their efforts.

        Btw median developer salary in MN - 62k.

        If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

        by shigeru on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:37:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's all about the brand and the commercialization (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Mike Taylor, AoT

    of education.  Competing for the student-consumer means you need shiny things to attract them.  Teachers and classrooms are not shiny.

    Speak softly and carry a big can of tuna.

    by Cat Whisperer on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:24:35 PM PST

    •  It is true.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cat Whisperer

      I heard the term "amenities war" being used - schools needed to build all kinds of nice things to attract students, so they spend more and more just to stay even.

      I think the other side of it is that there was cheap and easy credit that allowed students to pay the higher fees, so for a while there wasn't all that much push-back on the increasing fees.

      And when the economy was booming, students could find jobs that allowed many of them to at least make the payments on the debt, so it all appeared as if things were working.

      But cheap and easy credit is over with, and kids getting out of college are having a hard time finding jobs.  But schools are just as expensive as ever...

  •  Funny, isn't it? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It seems to be endemic to the manager class these days; a kind of self aggrandizement at the expense of the institutions they are supposed to serve. We simply fail to appreciate just how important they are in the larger scheme of things.

    I wonder if it's something in the curricula of those MBA mills out there.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:25:43 PM PST

  •  Before you pass along a hit piece... (8+ / 0-)

    Laura Clawson

    Before you pass along a hit piece on the University of Minnesota or any other college, perhaps you should educate yourself.  Many of those "administrators" (a word that I don't know how the WSJ defined since I can't read the article) are research people.  They are not paid by the dime of taxpayers and they do not subtract from the education experience.  

    In case you are unaware, the states have been starving higher education over the past decade.  Many research institutions have turned to private money to make up for what the states have cut.  The University of Minnesota has people in marketing who recruit students and solicit donations from alumni -- they are beggars trying to make up the difference.

    Furthermore, those "fancy buildings" you speak of, at least at Minnesota, are paid for mainly by the State through bonding, NOT tuition.

    There are two sides to every story.  Should I expect better from Daily Kos?  I honestly don't know anymore.  This site has become little more than a place to bitch.  I certainly expected your snide little headline.

    •  Like I said upthread (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The bashing of higher-education staff and administration from the left is VERY similar to the right's bashing of public employees. Bashing people who are trying to make a decent living is NOT what I expect from a Democratic site.

      •   Not staff, administration. It IS a problem that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        417els, fuzzyguy, AoT

        Chancellors and Presidents are making so much, while new asst. professors are making less and less, and staff are being laid off.

        "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

        by ranger995 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:34:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is no doubt some administrative bloat; (5+ / 0-)

      I've seen it first hand.

      But, the lion's share of the problem of skyrocketing tuition and decreases in the quality of the education and the amount of research have a heck of a lot more to do with the loss of state funding most of these universities have lost.

    •  sorry - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peregrine kate, AoT

      I finished my BS there not too long ago. It took 8 years part time so I got to see the double-digit annual increases in tuition and fees  ($25 per student per semester to pay for the stadium I will never step foot in).
      In the meantime the college and department I was in was wasted away to nothing. When I began there were a full bench of professors, by the time I left there were only 4 remaining - TAs and recent grads filling in the holes. It was shameful and a massive waste of money. Now I realize the state has been hacking away at the U for many years, but that alone does not explain everything.

    •  Oh bullshit. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alden, METAL TREK

      Having worked in a number of these institutions as a faculty member for the past nearly two decades, this is laughable and misleading.

      The basic situation, and the structural trend, is exactly as described, and it has been exactly as described for some time, and there are about a thousand studies that show this conclusively.

      The only administrators getting hired in these scenarios are people who are being brought on to administer corporate grants which pay for 'research' that corporations own, which doesn't contribute to the teaching work of the institution or the basic scholarly work of faculty, and which are regularly funded without accounting for those administrative costs, so that universities -- and by extension students and more regular academic faculty -- are squeezed in the process of being co-opted into becoming the R&D departments of major corporations.  Please let me play a thousand tiny violins while I weep angels tears for the poor 'administrators' -- read grifters -- who are working in those positions while more and more faculty are being forced into adjunct positions without benefits, basic research support, compensation for any service, etc.  Oh please, I feel so bad for those administrators.  

      Fuck that shit.

  •  "It is sufficient if they learn (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    enough arithmetic to make change, and can read street signs for making deliveries."

    Can't remember who said that.

    Of course today icons on the register and google maps can get rid of the "need arithmetic/reading" part of that.

    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

    by Jim P on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:27:05 PM PST

  •  I'm a college administrator (8+ / 0-)

    I'm a communications guy in a small liberal arts school. I do okay, but I'm not breaking the bank. I do make less than tuition--whether that is more a commentary on my salary or on tuition, I cannot say.

    The publications I design and manage help recruit students to the school; encourage alumni to volunteer for the school; whether as alumni council members or extern sponsors or admissions volunteers or whatever; and help solicit the donations that supplement the college's budget and help fund the scholarships that help students who cannot pay full tuition to attend.

    I am paid much less than my peers in for-profit organizations and in communications and design firms. I've seen the invoices for the jobs I don't handle in-house, and I will say that I'm a bargain. I deliver quality work for a decent price. And while I'm not overpaid, I enjoy good benefits and a good work environment.

    I won't apologize for being an administrator in higher education. The work I do has a positive return and helps keep the doors open.

  •  Something Weird Happened at My Alma Mater (7+ / 0-)

    Between when I left in 1995 and when I returned in 2009 to complete my degree.

    I observed a couple of things:

    1) Tuition was 400%+ what it was 15 years before.
    2) Workload in classes was absolutely intense. Professors were assigning insane amounts of reading. For a full but normal course load one quarter, I calculated that if I read textbooks 18 hours a day, 7 days a week for the entire term, I could only spend 90 minutes on each page.
    3) Student morale was deadly low and there was no sign of extra-curricular activities or student life.
    4) Student graduation rates had plummeted to a level so low that it was threatening the viability of the institution.

    Meanwhile, tuition continued to rise, new buildings continued to be built -- including a new rec center -- and a university president was installed at nearly a half-million a year salary.

    The university was/is in a state of philosophical, spiritual and existential crisis.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:27:55 PM PST

  •  More important than administrators (11+ / 0-)

    and their costs is the way major universities are cutting their tenure track faculty and using adjuncts to do the teaching of undergraduates. The use of graduate students at least has the relation with learning the subject and how to teach it and there is some supervision. Many adjuncts teach without any supervision or support. Before anyone jumps on me about adjuncts, let me say that in English, many of the adjuncts have never taken a course in or had training in how to teach writing. They are for the most part former literature students. Many adjuncts work like crazy but universities should have full time staff for teaching.

    The other major problem also more important than administrative salaries is the withdrawal of state support for higher education. My institution lost 60% of its state funding in 3 years. Yes the student tuition went up because it was replacing the state tax money that had been supporting the university.

    Not that there isn't a proliferation of administrators--that's not good--but the other two problems are more significant.

    Compass -7.63, -7.49

    by cinnamon68 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:28:11 PM PST

    •  This (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nespolo, cinnamon68, AoT

      is a much more important argument. My partner once taught a course as an adjunct faculty member at a local--what should we call it--junior college? His pay for the entire quarter was less than what I charged for one freelance publication design job that was finished in about two weeks. And I charged well under market rate for my work.

      •  crazy times. I think the idea that the US is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        somehow "different" than other countries as they age is unrealistic.  We will go through horrible shifts in the wrong direction and then work our way back.  And sometimes we won't work our way back.  Things will change.

        We're a young country, and who knows what we'll look like in another hundred years or so?

        If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

        by livjack on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:46:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Many English profs have never taken a course (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, METAL TREK, fuzzyguy

      in or had training on how to teach writing. They're Ph.Ds in Literature primarily. This is changing now because Rhet and Composition have become the English department's bread, butter, and justification for existence.

      IMHO, the problem is not that the adjuncts haven't had training because most of this type of training happens on the job anyway. The problem is that adjuncts are exploited labor. They carry a heavier teaching load than tenure track and get rock bottom pay and no or minimal benefits. They don't have a clear path. It's a way for universities to cut labor costs, and both students and adjuncts lose. Because the pay is so crappy, there's a high turnover rate so students have fewer professors available for mentoring, recommendations, etc. and more of their teachers are newer to their course.

  •  A Disgusting Display Of Misguided Priorities (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    See the  movie Head Games for an education on concussion  sports injuries to the head.  And women in certain sports are prone to this stuff, too.  No one escapes if you are doing sports which injure the head.  The consequences are deadly, I will never view football the same after seeing, Head Games, the movie: a docudrama on concussion.   What says the sainted university about this?

    •  Modern day gladiators. Entertainers. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      How many gridiron football players go on to be high paid professionals?  How many are lost in the dust, starting their transition from being kids to grown-ups in 'the real world' with permanent brain injuries and a past of 'faded glory'?

      "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

      by 417els on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:57:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  buildings? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm not sure why that is questionable.
    Overpaid administrators, and football? There is a lot to pick over on those bones.
    Shoddy construction is always bad, but the brick and stone structures built at my college back in the 30's are still standing. And the numerous renovations made good union jobs, so what's the problem?

    •  uhm (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The assumption is a continued rapid growth in enrollment to fill the buildings. I don't see it in the numbers. Most of the steady increase in enrollment the last 30 years has been from more women going to university. That trend has now seemingly peaked, with women in my area now making up 65% of undergrads.

      With costs skyrocketing you are also going to eventually see a decline in applications (this is happening in the UK already). Long term we are also seeing declining birth rates. Of course a big jump in immigration, or foreign students might help. An increase and improvement in the quality of online instruction may too impact student numbers on campus.

      The joke in my town (we have two good sized universities in a relatively small two) is that all the new student accommodation will, in 10 years or so, will have to be transformed into old aged housing.

      There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

      by taonow on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:38:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The UC System in CA is shooting itself in the foot (0+ / 0-)

    I love it how universities continue to cut enrollment yet increase tuition costs.  Seriously, doesn't enrollment increase revenue from tuition?  ?????????????????

    Seriously, those bozos at the UC system really just don't get it.  The students have been fighting for years.

    One wonders if the UC system will turn into the CSU system in California.  I hope not.

    •  Some of us went to Cal State schools (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We didn't want to go to a UC.

      And I have some land in Florida to sell you.

      •  I wanted to go to a UC BADLY (0+ / 0-)

        I was a Cal State school guy myself.  I graduated from SFSU but experiences in the CSUs are worse than in the UC because you feel budget cuts ALL the frickin time.  Literally, in my last semester of my senior year in college (in Spring 2002), I had to deal with possible elimination of printed out syllabi.  Maybe SFSU President Robert Corrigan screwed up things.  I don't know.  I know SFSU has a new president and he seems really awesome.

        That being said, I applied for UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara.  I didn't get accepted into any of them.  Dealing with Cal State Schools is like a downgrade in education in my view.  I thought when I was going to college, at least based on being an honors student in high school, that I'd be competing with students.  At CSUs, I'm dealing with pretty much standard students although a number of them are very intelligent.

        I'm a competitive guy.  I like really competitive schools because I don't like settling for anything less.  My folks say feel grateful I should have a college degree.  Yeah but that doesn't mean that much for me.

        Now being I'm an MBA student, I'm dealing with a whole load of crap at Golden Gate University because even while it's not a public university (it's private, non-profit) and it appears to have a good reputation in the busines community, it has even worse problems than CSUs.  Literally, most clubs on campus are non-existent or have little members.  I try setting up a club on campus and it's like pulling teeth.  That's why I'm working on transferring to the University of San Francisco because at least the school communicates like hell and has tons of resources.  And it doesn't even cost that much.

        •  I graduated from SF State and it is a great (0+ / 0-)

          school.  It's on the level of many Universities in many aspects.  I got my degree in Philosophy and the professors there were the sort you'd find at far more prestigious universities.

          The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:42:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have a lot of respect for SFSU (0+ / 0-)

            You're right.  A lot of very good professors go there.  Among my favorite is Joseph Tuman, who taught the class "Issues in Free Speech."  He's a regular political commentator for KRON and other local news stations.  

            Tuman also ran in the Oakland Mayoral Race, which Jean Quan won and to be frank, Tuman should have been elected Mayor.  I don't think Quan is a great Mayor to be honest.  Oakland seems to be shooting itself in the foot a lot by electing substandard mayors.  If Tuman had become Mayor, he'd have been a breath of fresh air.  He understands difficult issues very well.

    •  not always (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Granted I haven't worked directly for a school in over 16 years, but the relationship between enrollment and revenue wasn't nearly as straightforward as you would think.  This was a liberal arts college with FTE in the 2000-2300 range.  You have to consider how much proprietary aid was being given (effectively tuition discounts) to get a class of X students.  So you end up with some of those students actually contributing substantially less than others towards revenue, often not even covering the direct costs of the student.

      Then consider retention.  When you are struggling to get those students, you end up with students that will only make it a semester or two and then drop out.  Where I went to school, the incoming class after mine had so many students flunk out after the first year that that class was going to be a net loss for the following 4 years (it was a 5 year program).

      Another problem with small schools is looking at the incremental costs of adding students.  With increased students, you need to offer more sections.  If you are only adding a few students, the cost of those extra sections can outweigh the revenue they bring in.

      It is quite common in schools of this size that the net for a given class would be better if some number of the initial students were rejected, as long as you could be very selective about who was rejected.

      Even 16 years ago faculty was always complaining about the "bloated" administration, but I can tell you that over those 6 years, the administration shrank even as the amount of work having to get done increased.

      Government can't restrict free speech, but corporations can? WTF

      by kyoders on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:41:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a general overview (0+ / 0-)

        I've been living in the Bay Area, California my entire life and I've witnessed a lot of protests over cuts in education and enrollment.  There's more than that.  Faculty and deans are having to work with available resources and can't seem to get enough resources.  If say you are talking about CSU colleges in California, they are under the nose.  For community colleges, they are in a crisis as far as funding although quite a number of classes still exist.  The problem is, the UC and CSU systems have been dealing with this crap for years and students and faculty are really tired of it.

        Something you need to consider is this:  The UC and CSU systems are public universities, which means they depend on a lot of funding coming from the State of California's government.  Right now, the UC and CSU systems are hurting because the CA State Government is in a budget crunch.  They've been in a budget crunch since the early 21st century so that's over 10 years.  When the Great Recession happened, that put UC and CSU systems in a bind.  I visited a career adviser at SFSU, where I finished my BA in Cinema Studies, back in spring of 2009.  I met with her at least a couple of times and she really seemed to feel under the gun, even though she was very helpful in guiding me in the right direction career wise.  The reason for this was that SFSU was cutting classes and a whole host of other things just to balance the budget.  Of course, it is a reputable university in the Bay Area but still, it relies on public funds.  Colleges in the Bay Area like USF and Saint Mary's don't deal with this problem because they are private universities and have more flexibility as far as funding.

        One thing that you didn't mention is the new development of online programs.  Those cut costs significantly.  Golden Gate University and UC Berkeley are emphasizing this a lot so with online programs, there's no end to the number of students that can enroll in say the UC system so long as they rely on the online system.  Plus, you can also download syllabi in online classrooms and textbooks on online sites.  This would save a TON of pressure off the UC system because then, at least students could take their courses without worrying of the classes being booked.  When you're doing classes online, you don't deal with the limitation issue of the number of courses available.  Class size may be limited of course but that's never an issue.  Only issues apply to students who want in-person classes.

    •  The UC System is comprised of finishing schools (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for rich foreigners, mostly Asian.

      Without state support, this is how the UC system stays afloat. It's no secret.

      A few poor Americans are allowed in to make everyone feel good.

  •  What a bunch of Noobs. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hey, Cal State Fullerton dropped football in 1992!  

    Fullerton made more money renting out its stadium to the local Catholic high school's football team and to Mexican soccer teams than it did running its own football team.

    I wish I could speak to the quality of academics, in either direction.

    But in any case, we're a diverse lot.

  •  And this isn't just colleges (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, annieli

    I remember back when I graduated high school (in the ancient times of 1989), the school decided the athletic field (read: football field) needed a makeover. Hundreds of thousands of dollars later, they had a shiny, new mini-stadium, and even the wrestling team got a piece of the action in the form of a hot tub (to be used only by the sports programs. The team got new uniforms and equipment (kickbacks were flying everywhere), and even the scoreboard was a state-of-the-art monstrosity. It was a tribute to coliseum-style excess.

    That same year, they cut the English budget.

    Hooray for progress.

    The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

    by lotusmaglite on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:43:24 PM PST

  •  Colleges, like every other organization (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    No matter how noble or altruistic they start out, all organizations eventually become fund raising machines, dedicated primarily to keep the money flowing. For this reason, non profits especially eventually have to work against their stated goals in order to survive. Let's say an organization's goal is to cure breast cancer. If breast cancer is ever cured, that organization is out of business and their money dries up so it would make more sense for their survival to discourage or prevent the cure of breast cancer.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:46:05 PM PST

  •  When the over all goal is to to help (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    secure the Elite, what is the point of education? College sport are the new bread and circus .Can't find the money to replace a 50 year old school, no worries, there are tax brakes to replace a 15 year old sport arena. Oh' and the best part. Tax payers pay for the arena while profits go to team owners.

    Bread and Stupid has never gone this far before!

  •  Conservatives like football and buildings. (0+ / 0-)

    They would like teachers too if they taught more neo-liberal economic theory, like they do where teachers get paid a lot (i.e. Harvard, Yale etc.). Its right-wingers exerting control over collegiate agendas. The wasted administrative costs are another indicator.

  •  Admins are oblivious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranger995, chloris creator

    At the college I am employed at the President recently defended giving admins a very nice wage increase by stating (1) we have to be "competitive" for "good" admins, and (2) Faculty can simply add on more classes to teach in order to increase their wages.

    The obliviousness of an admin who CANNOT see the difference between adding more work and responsibility PLUS the fact that additional sections go to those in senior positions (leaving junior faculty at minimums) is depressing.  Add to that the fact that the admins are getting more money for the same responsibility they already had before the increase typifies the division between faculty and administrators.

    Additionally, for those of us who want to increase our salary according to the union scale (and I am happy to be a part of that union), we need to seek permission from said admins to valorize our research to make it impact our wage.  We also need to document every minute of our work to have it viewed and judged acceptable by these admins. Only after that this process are we given a wage increase.  

    Admins have no such accountability. It just happens for them (not counting cost of adjustment increases for inflation, which faculty still sorely lags behind in due to austerity measures in my state).

    •  At the college where I work (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      spinozasghost, fumie, annetteboardman

      administrators have gone from no annual raise to a couple years at 2%. Faculty, meanwhile, received a large bumb--a few thousand per year on their base salary, plus a percentage increase that was quite higher than the raises the administration got. The rationale involved making faculty salaries more competitive, since recent searches have resulted in the top faculty choice taking a more lucrative offer elsewhere.

      When staff and administration wondered why the difference in raises, we received some tough love--the college depends on the faculty, the president told us. The rest of us compete in a much different environment and are, frankly, expendable. People didn't like that. But that didn't make it any less true.

      •  Thank you for replying (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        At my institution, staff are the second to be cut/eliminated after adjuncts.

        Faculty (full time, tenured, like me) tend to be pitted against admins like vps, presidents, deans, etc. that already earn multiples of what faculty makes while cutting our ability to offer as many sections of classes as we should.

        Here, after eliminating adjuncts and part timers, the number of offered sections per class was reduced (meaning less options for students that want to graduate on time), while at the same time we increased the salary for admins (who do not teach here).

        That was at the same time that the President of our college said that faculty could just teach more sections to increase their earnings (despite the fact that no additional sections OR more sections of classes would be available for junior faculty).

        I have a hard time feeling sorry for admins that barely get a 2% increase per year.  Especially since, as a lecturer, I've actually had my salary REDUCED from what I would have been offered "just a year" before due to cutbacks.  And, again, especially since as faculty here, we just now increased salary at a cost adjustment that resulted in about the same % for a single year of your admin's wages.

        •  I hate to add this, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          From my experience, as admin salaries increase, so does the dependence upon adjuncts and part-timers.

          At the places I've worked, faculty retirements have been removed from operating funds to temp funds.  This means an overall reduction in the department funding (albeit, humanities in my case) to the operating (consistent, every year) budget.

          Thus, when a prof retires, his replacement may be one or two adjuncts to take on his course load.  Since these are funded on temp funds, courses that the retiring faculty taught are eliminated, giving students fewer options in times when adjuncts are cut.  Ultimately this usually means a loss of a specialist's position for an entire department.

          So when I think about departments shrinking in expertise and offerings, I become more resistant when admins wages (and I mean admins, not admin staff) go up and expertise within a college is lost, I tend to rankle at justification for the difference (I'm faculty, so take that with a grain of salt).

          •  My situation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            is a little different, given the type of institution. I work at a small liberal-arts college rather than a university. Reliance upon visiting, part-time, and adjunct faculty is very tiny. All that said, I'm not going to complain too much about being out-earned (and out-raised, if you can say that) by faculty. But, hey, at least we're one of the schools in which that happens, right?

  •  I was at Texas A&M in the early 80s (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when they hired Jackie Sherrill for the unheard of amount of $285,000 or 10-15 times what an average undergraduate made upon graduation

    That was a scandal since it was almost 3 times with the president of the university was making.

    I can only guess what a big time coach makes compared with either the university president or a new college grad makes from that institution.

    It is a complete perversion of what a university is for.

    I have never been able to figure out if Fox is the propaganda arm of the Republican party or is the Republican Party the political subsidiary of Fox.

    by Dave from Oregon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:01:13 PM PST

  •  that's whyI wish it was like most of europe (0+ / 0-)

    where there was no such thing as college sports, not going to happen but well one can wish

  •  let's look at lsu (0+ / 0-)

    from 1996-2002, where i got my 2nd bachelors and my masters.

    If you don't know, lsu is sports crazy. Example: seats in the football stadium are air conditioned and heated. It's an outdoor stadium. They also decided to pay their incoming high-ranking admin more than any other admin in the south, making other universities upset because they would have to match that salary.

    The humanities dept. couldn't afford paper for profs or grad students. Tests and homework were given on bits of paper and students used their own paper for answers. No phones in offices-too spendy. In the art dept., they could not afford to replace slide projector wires for the clickers.  No air conditioning in the woodshop (but, as stated above, they could provide it for football stadium seats).

    At the time, no proceeds from footfall made it back to the college.  We were told the program needed all those millions itself. LSU is there for the football and baseball teams, not for education.

  •  U of P Rotisserie Birds! Rah! Rah! Rah! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:10:56 PM PST

  •  I was an adjunct professer at a community college (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in southern CA. Fortunately for me I had a spouse with a good income and only taught one or two classes per a semester. The other adjuncts worked at 3 different colleges to make enough to live on. Even though they were dedicated to their students there was only so much they could do with their time split up that way.

    Even as a grad student in the life sciences I could see that being a good teacher was not rewarded financially. The tenured research professors did the least amount of teaching while the professors on "soft" money (their salaries came from research grants and/or teaching a course) did more.  Quote from a tenured professor in my department - "Why should I have to teach? It's a waste of my time."

    Also it's not the whole administrative staff that earns a lot just those in the upper management positions. The adage of "we must pay more to attract the best" only applies to the top. Odd how conservatives concerned about overpaid public school teachers never say much about overpaid public university admins. Both are paid by taxpayers.

    Also anyone going to college or sending their kids to colleges needs to start looking at colleges more objectively.  Ask about teaching ratios as well as the number of adjunct teaching classes as well as internships or collaborations with industries.  Ignore the football team, rec center, and glossy brochures.  

    My kids are 7 and 5 and we have started an college savings program for them. However, they are not going to go to a 4 yr college until they have a plan for what they want to do AND they go to a school that rewards teaching. I don't care how small it is or unknown it is.

  •  just get the unis and schools out of RW radio (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    many unis support RW radio with sports broadcasting, which has a huge say in state politics and regent elections, teacher bashing,etc.

    if anyone wants to change the situation  just get the unis out of RW radio

    see my sig

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:34:31 PM PST

  •  The highest paid government employee (0+ / 0-)

    In many states ... is the state college Football coach.

    Or tax dollars at work ...

    If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

    by RUNDOWN on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:59:12 PM PST

  •  Thank you so much for covering this. eom (0+ / 0-)

    Passive renunciation is not the whole of wisdom.

    by play jurist on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:49:04 AM PST

  •  We need and upper pay limit on what ALL nonprofits (0+ / 0-)

    can pay their employees and still be called a nonprofit. The highest paid employee in 47 of the 50 states are the state U football coaches (with their employees "student athletes pay limit to free admission), super PAC's and think-tanks are noprofits and pay their heads sometimes into the millions, we also know many megachurch pastors are raking in millions a years (see Benny Hin).

    I say any organization that can pay any employee over $350,000 a year in total compensation (inflation adjusted) shoould lose it nonprofit status. Yes I know this would start the battle of all battles but I think it's an important one.  unlike some who wish to just start taxing churches, I think an upper limit is a fight we can win.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:26:06 AM PST

  •  Here at the University of Illinois,, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we have the same problem compounded by the fact that we have to former Presidents and a Chancellor who were forced to resign but still draw their paychecks.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:34:42 AM PST

  •  Balancing the budget on adjuncts and onlines (0+ / 0-)

    You pile as many students as you can into onlines or onto the roles of ~25 an hour adjuncts (no office hours, no support for how to teach) and brag that you are offering convenient education provided by people "in the field." (That implies, of course, that there is no skill to teaching. )

    I'm both at times, and I know how low on the totem pole the adjuncts and/or online instructors are in any university.

    But what's worse is the very high drop-out rate. At one point one of the biggest private online degree mills (which shall remain nameless because they are all about as bad) bragged that they had a 50 percent dropout rate in their onlines. (Well, in fact, they were bragging when they hit 50 percent success rate.) I work for a college where we are encouraged to retain and complete over 90 percent, but that doesn't make money. Drop the course and you just pay the tuition again!

    But the teacher-bashing trend and the trend to consider college only for "elites" continues. THinking depresses the GOP vote, even if in the long run it sends businesses running to China for brain power.

  •  when i was at the university of new mexico a few (0+ / 0-)

    years ago, they hired a rightwing republican from oklahoma as their new president...before too long, he sneakily "created" a phantom administrative job for his son (!) paying 100k...he was, however, soon found out and was forced to rescind

    Howard Fineman needs to have a chat with Chris Cilizza about Grecian Formula and its effects on punditry

    by memofromturner on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:07:26 AM PST

  •  Are you serious? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Posting a (paywalled) Wall Street Journal article on higher education?  Why don't you link to an article from Dick DeVos about public education?  Or the Macinac Center on entitlement reform?  Or Glenn Beck on religious freedom?

    Do you realize how much public universities are engaged in things beyond just classroom teaching?  Things that are fundamentally important to the communities and states that they operate in? (we call it outreach)

    Do you have any clue just how much work is done by "administrators" in support of actual teaching?  The facilities that they teach in need to be maintained.  The media technologies that they use must be managed.  The network and IT infrastructure needs constant labor to keep it running in support of the educational operations.

    Nice hit piece you have here.  

    Colleges pour money into administration, football, and buildings—but teaching, not so much
    Administration keeps the institutions running, unless you think Professor Nerdswallows has time to run payroll and fix the electrical line to the Math building while teaching class.  Buildings are where the classes take place.  Exactly how the hell is that not a teaching expenditure?

    Football.  Ahh, everybody's favorite bastard.  Except that for FBS schools, football is how you recruit out of state.  It is how you lower tuition costs for in-state students.  It is how you attract a higher caliber student, making the degrees of all students that much more valuable.  (and few schools are "pouring" money into football, most football programs are self supporting and serve to fund all the title 9 programs)

    The only thing that would have made this story better was if it had been written by Scott Walker.

  •  Um, you don't think the WSJ has an agenda here? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fuzzyguy, annetteboardman

    This is part of an effort to dump on education, not improve it. "Fatcat administrators" is a favorite line of attack. The fact is the salaries they mention, for the most part, are not out of line with the professional qualifications. You want a facilities manager who can manage a hundred million dollar plus physical plant, you need to pay for them. You want a development VP who can raise tens of millions of dollars a year, you have to pay. You want an IT director who can figure out infrastructure, you have to pay. Salaries over $200,000 in a big system aren't out of line, since in private sector these types of positions gain much higher salaries.

    Yes, there are many instances of overpaid university employees, usually Presidents with chummy board relationships. But they're not the rule, they're not anything close to the absurd CEO pay in the private sector, and they're not the significant reason why non-instructional costs have risen so much.

    No, your basic reasons are the same as in K-12: higher health care costs, higher retirement costs brought on by the economic chaos with market-based retirement systems, loss of endowment and interest income (for the private schools)  because of the economy and funding cuts requiring bad investment decisions on the public side.

    There is a proliferation of "lifestyle" services not related to instruction in some sectors of education - the number of career counseling staff, for instance, at my alma mater rose from 2 when I was an undergrad to over 20 when I visited last year, for the same number of students - but these have tended to be in the middle to high end schools, and are lumped more particularly into elite private schools.

    Don't fall for the Wall Street Journal's rope-a-dope.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:51:59 AM PST

    •  And as far as marketing, promotion, etc. go (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fuzzyguy, annetteboardman

      This is "running a university more like a business". You can argue about the purpose of public institutions, but the reality is they have to compete for students, too, and if they don't make enrollment expectations they'll lose even more money because of the sunk costs of their facilities and instructional costs. If you don't market, you won't find your audience. Considering a marketing cost as a frill, from the WSJ of all places, is bizarre.

      I'll grant you big college sports are a big waste of time and money, though. But it's hard to lay the overall drift in costs just on sports.

      Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

      by TheCrank on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:56:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Return to Medieval universities... somewhat... (0+ / 0-)

    the students had a lot more say on who taught them and what they learned back then... sure a lot has changed since then... but the more democratic elements from those days (minus the detail that the students were not peasants and that education was mainly for the elite) should have a Renaissance.

    Students today and for a long while have effectively zero voice in the running of the university... rich alums, plus millionaire and billionaire non-alum benefactors carry far more weight than the customers (the students) for what the institution sells. Add to that the rivalry between universities for Govt grants and corporate money for graduate studies... and students are almost a total afterthought.

    The top heavy, ever increasing administrations loaded up with toadies and operatives of right wing think tanks, the religious right given their posts as plum rewards to continue tweaking the institutions to the right and to better enable the influence of the corporations and the plutocrats need to go. It would seem that People's universities... more online and less bricks and mortar could become a serious competitor with the dinosaur universities which over the long haul will graduate less and less able or competent students. Why? Increasingly rich kids will be most of the student body.. even more than now... and since their ability to pay will be more important than their ability and record standards will erode and the career track record of graduates will devalue their diplomas.

    Unfortunately without intervention sooner to change this imbalance the whole Darwinian process would take far too long for this to all work itself out... Maybe it would take generations even as the overall declining quality of graduates from traditional respected universities translated into them being substantially devalued as an educational institution as their self serving rich boy network spawn spread out and clog up the nation's corporations, think tanks and elective offices. When a generation or two of mostly legacy failures clogging the system; think way more Dubya Bushes treated like star athletes with special handling and fake grade point averages to let them squeak by, then those who come from a "cut out the middle-man" internet people's universities may co-evolve to be superior in results and more democratic.

    Or something can be done sooner to update brick and mortar universities to make them less like the big businesses they have become run by corporate hacks and more institutions of learning again.

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:14:36 AM PST

  •  Our local school district learned the hard way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Desert Scientist

    In the 1990s, our local school district had an egomaniac for a superintendent and a real need to upgrade school facilities. His face was on everything - Cable TV school channel, brochures, calendars,  and the schools were deteriorating. A levy was passed to upgrade the schools. Guess what? They used a significant chunk of that money to build an administration building that we now call the "Taj Mahal" while making what I describe as piecemeal improvements to the school buildings themselves. Result - Administrator kicked out and replaced with one slightly less egomaniac, failure of all additional money levies since then, and failure of all but a few continuing operating levies since then. The school was able in that time span, however, to fund a new scoreboard for football/soccer by selling out to Coke and have an upgraded football field via a local medical network. Priorities anyone? My son, who attended the school system K-12, is thinking about putting my grandkids in another system. Self-serving top administrators and a tea-party leaning community makes for a deadly combination for education.

    There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

    by OHeyeO on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:35:35 AM PST

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