From 1993 to 2007, enrollment increased at U.S. institutions by 14.5%. Over that same period, the number of administrators per 100 students increased by 39%, while the number of instructional personnel per 100 students increased by17.6%, or less than half the rate of increase for administrative positions. These percentages are reflected in increases in the relative costs per student related to administration and instruction. Between 1993 and 2007, instructional costs per student increased by 39%, while, over that same period, administrative costs per student increased by 66%.
Although the increases in the compensation by college and university presidents represent a neglible percentage of their institutions’ budgets, they have received a considerable amount of media attention and they do reflect the broader increases in the number of administrators and the compensation received by administrators.
I am focusing on the compensation received by presidents of Ohio’s public universities because that is the state in which I work. The numbers for 2011 do not include allocations beyond base salary, bonuses, and accrued deferred compensation, whether paid or set aside. So the bracketed information listed for 2009 has no 2011 equivalent. The deferred compensation listed under 2011 is just for that year. Continue reading
Reviews of Recent Books Concerning Current Issues in Higher Ed: No. 2
Altbach, Philip G., Patricia J. Gumport, and Robert O. Berdahl, eds. American Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century: Social, Political, and Economic Challenges. 3rd Edition. Eds. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins U P, 2011.
In selecting the essays included in this collection, the editors have attempted not only to provide an overview of the major issues confronting America’s colleges and universities, but also to suggest how at least some of those issues are affecting higher education on an international scale.
The authors collectively address several paradoxes. First, although the American system of higher education has long been and still remains the best in the world, there is a growing sense that its future is more uncertain than it ever has been–and may be perilously uncertain. Second, although higher education has always been defined by some degree of continual flux, there is a growing sense that the changes that are currently occurring are more definitive and more irreversible than previous cycles of change. And, lastly, the movements toward more specialization in the curriculum and toward more contingent employment among the professoriate seem to have reached critical tipping points, beyond which it will be increasingly difficult to readjust institutional missions in response to shifting political, economic, and cultural pressures.
The collection includes seventeen essays, which are divided into four sections: The Setting, External Forces, The Academic Community, and Central Issues.
In my original post under this title, I pointed out that the proponents of “right to work” never directly address questions about how “right to work” improves workers’ wages, benefits, or working conditions. I rhetorically asked who can possibly believe that a worker–in particular a worker receiving low to average compensation–can negotiate more effectively as an individual than as part of a bargaining unit.
I also emphasized the fundamental unfairness in an element of all “right to work” legislation: namely, that workers who choose not to join unions, who choose not to pay “fair share” dues, are not only covered by union-negotiated contracts but are also entitled to union representation—and are even empowered to sue the union for inadequate representation.
I believe that that is precisely the sense of “entitlement” about which the Far Right is always complaining.
Nonetheless, I would like to extend both points in this post to show how the case for “right to work” is layered with very purposeful misrepresentations that inevitably become outright lies.
Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, Goldwater Institute, New Republic
Average annual tuition at public four-year institutions in the U.S. in 2010: $7,605.
Average annual tuition at private four-year institutions in the U.S. in 2009: $27,293.
Average annual tuition at public two-year institutions in the U.S. in 2009: $2,713.
Percentage increase in tuition and room-and-board costs across all institutions from 2000 to 2010: 37%.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Total number of degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States in 2009: 4,495
Post-secondary enrollment in 2009: 20.4 million
Percentage of the total U.S. population enrolled in 2009: 5.7%
Enrollment by percentage in four-year institutions in 2009: 62%
Enrollment by percentage in two-year institutions in 2009: 38%
Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, New Deal 2.0, Nation of Change
Total student loan debt in the U.S. in 2012: $1 trillion.
Total student loan debt in the U.S. in 2011: $830 billion.
Total credit-card debt in the U.S. in 2011: $826.5 billion.
Total value of the federal student loans taken in 2010: $100 billion.
Tax deductions of interest on student loan debt taken on 2009 tax returns: $1.4 billion.
The 98% of scientists who have been warning of climate change that is perilously close to becoming irreversible have pointed repeatedly to the rapidly shrinking polar ice caps. Unfortunately, “global warming” predated “climate change” as the term for this crisis. So, despite considerable video evidence of the ice sheets sliding into the sea, if it snows more than six inches several times over the course of a given winter, too many Americans feel free to dismiss the crisis as something fabricated by “radical environmentalists.”
Unfortunately, much the same sort of irrational leap has shaped too many Americans’ attitudes toward unions. Over the past three to four decades, the size, composition, and influence of American unions has dramatically changed, reflecting some major changes in the American economy and causing other equally dramatic changes. Although some union leaders have clung too long to dated postures and rhetoric, most have clearly adjusted their priorities and adapted their strategies to current conditions and in anticipation of future realities. But, in striking contrast, those who seek to eliminate unions entirely continue to rely on much the same postures and rhetoric that were used by opponents of unions during their heyday. That incongruity should in itself be reason for progressive political leaders and American workers to reconsider their attitudes toward unions.
The following is a guest post by Michael DeCesare, an associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Merrimack College.
Yet again, the professoriate finds itself under attack from a misguided and misinformed administrator.
David Levy, in a March 23 op-ed piece in the Washington Post, asked the very tired question of whether college professors work hard enough. At the heart of Levy’s argument is his complaint about the existence of “outmoded employment policies that overcompensate faculty for inefficient teaching schedules.” His question, really, is: “Do college professors teach enough?” Continue reading
Josh Boldt is a Writing Instructor and EdTech Consultant at the University of Georgia. This entry is cross-posted from his blog Copy & Paste.
Yesterday, Michael Bérubé, president of the Modern Language Association and newfound hero of contingent faculty everywhere, published the essay “Among the Majority” on the MLA website. The piece is a reflection on the New Faculty Majority’s 2012 Summit he attended last weekend in Washington, DC, as well as a recap of some of the MLA’s recently-released recommendations for fair standards concerning non-tenure track faculty. In the essay, Bérubé specifically cites this beauty of a quote:
Today is the last day to take the New Faculty Majority’s survey on contingent faculty appointments.
With the survey, the NFM is trying to get a snapshot of the back-to-school experiences of faculty on contingent appointments by asking about hiring practices, orientations or lack thereof, and access to basic tools like photocopying and curricular materials.
One question, “What is the timeline from the start of classes to the anticipated receipt of your first paycheck?” reminded me of my worst back-to-school experience, when I was a first-year TA at a large public university. Because of a series of bureaucratic glitches, we did not receive our first paychecks until the end of the fall semester. This was not only incredibly frustrating and time-consuming to sort out, but it had financial consequences that lasted after the paycheck finally arrived, thanks to piled-up credit card debt and late fees on bills.
Readers (and here’s hoping that we have some), have you had similar experiences? What are conditions like at your institution(s) at the start of the term?