As we recently noted here at College Insurrection, when tuition funds bureaucracy, the students lose.
Now Benjamin Ginsberg of Minding The Campus reports.
Wasteful and Inept Administrators Are Ruining Our Colleges
Since the early years of the 20th century, America has boasted the world’s finest universities, but that rosy picture is fading. The lower quality of American college graduates, the shift of foreign students to Asian and European schools and the slippage in the global rankings of American universities signal a serious decline — this at a time when higher education is essential for America’s economic growth and ultimately for its survival as leading world power.
One reason for this change is the transformation within the academic community. Today’s great universities were created by faculty who-contrary to the myth of the impractical professor-often turned out to be excellent entrepreneurs and managers. Over the last several decades, however, America’s universities have been taken over by a burgeoning class of administrators and staffers determined to transform colleges into top-heavy organizations run by inept bureaucrats.
To professors, the purpose of the university is education and research, and the institution is a means of accomplishing these ends. To the professional deanlets and deanlings, though, the means has become the end. Teaching and research have been relegated to vehicles for generating revenue by attracting customers to what administrators view as a business-an emporium that under the management of the deanlets may be peddling increasingly shoddy goods.
Profits First, Purpose Second
One typical example of administrative bloat and its consequences was illustrated by the American Association of University Professors and featured in a 2012 report by John Hechinger of Bloomberg News. Between 2001 and 2010, the number of tenure and tenure-track faculty at Purdue, of one of America’s great land grant universities, increased 12 percent while the number of graduate teaching assistants actually declined by 26 percent. Student enrollments in this decade increased by about 5 percent.
During the same period, though, the number of administrators employed by the university increased by an astonishing 58 percent and resident tuition rose from just under $1400 to nearly $9000 per year in a pattern that appears highly correlated with administrative growth.
Wasteful and Inept Administrators Are Ruining Our Colleges (Minding The Campus)