Administrators are not only well staffed, they are also well paid. Vice presidents at the University of Maryland, for example, earn well over $200,000, and deans earn nearly as much. Both groups saw their salaries increase as much as 50 percent between 1998 and 2003, a period of financial retrenchment and sharp tuition increases at the university. The University of Maryland at College Park—which employs six vice presidents, six associate vice presidents, five assistant vice presidents, six assistants to the president, and six assistants to the vice presidents—has long been noted for its bloated and extortionate bureaucracy, but it actually does not seem to be much of an exception. Administrative salaries are on the rise everywhere in the nation. By 2007, the median salary paid to the president of a doctoral degree-granting institution was $325,000. Eighty-one presidents earned more than $500,000, and twelve earned over $1 million. Presidents, at least, might perform important services for their schools. Somewhat more difficult to explain is the fact that by 2010 even some of the ubiquitous and largely interchangeable deanlets and deanlings earned six-figure salaries.The growth of expensive administrators with vague duties is one of the curses of all organizations in our era, afflicting corporations as well as universities and government agencies. This is definitely something that we ought to watch and fight. On the other hand much of the increase in administrative overhead for colleges is for stuff most professors accept as productive, such as IT services and health care. Another driver of costs is marketing, as colleges compete for competent students, and other is the intensive remedial training many incoming freshmen require. And then there is the staff required to cope with the increasing paperwork demanded by governments, grant-giving bodies, and so on in our bureaucratic age.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Why, you ask, is the cost of college going up? One reason is bureaucracy: