Saturday, April 11, 2015

American universities: Pride before the fall?

Harvard Yard
The American university system is the world’s best. So why is it no longer serving the teachers and students at its heart?

Colorado law professor Paul F. Campos, writing in the progressive New York Times, found that 45 years ago, 78% of college and university professors were full time, but that now:
fully half of postsecondary faculty members are lower-paid part-time employees, meaning that the average salaries of the people who do the teaching in American higher education are actually quite a bit lower than they were in 1970.
And as many by now know, what’s driving increasing university costs
is the constant expansion of university administration[, which] at colleges and universities grew by 60% between 1993 and 2009. . . 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty positions.
This means, for example, that
while the total number of full-time faculty members in the [California state university] system grew from 11,614 to 12,019 between 1975 and 2008, the total number of administrators grew from 3,800 to 12,183 — a 221% increase.
Administrative costs are a major reason why college graduates in 2014 faced an average student loan debt of more than $30,000 — the highest amount ever recorded.

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