Forbes has an article entitled “Bureaucrat U” which has a great opening paragraph (the remainder of the article disappoints a bit):
College tuition increased by 6.6% a year over the past decade, a rate that is approximately 2.4 times that of inflation. One big cause: the bloating of university bureaucracies. Between 1997 and 2007 the administrative and support staffs at colleges expanded by 4.7% a year, double the rate of enrollment growth. The burgeoning army of college bureaucrats defends this extraordinary growth as necessary to provide consumer-oriented students with an expanded breadth of noninstructional services. Yet this obfuscates the underlying mission of colleges to produce and disseminate knowledge. It is time for higher education to go on a diet.
The subtitle is “Pay the teachers, not the administrators” and that is something that I agree with. I think that administrators should get fair compensation but people don’t need to get filthy rich while in academics and believe it or not this is actually happening for around 10% of college and university employees in administrative positions (see the article for details). Furthermore, enough with the executive vice presidents for toe-nail clipping safety–the mission of higher education is EDUCATION. Let’s use our resources to further the mission not the ancillary stuff. In my mind there is one major exception to this–the fundraising department. This administrative unit is actually worth the money that is put toward it.