Local News Reporting on Administrative Bloat—from Oklahoma!

The focus on the disparity between the administrative and instructional staffing and compensation is becoming more local.

These are the opening paragraphs of the third article in a four-article series in the Norman Transcript comparing the credentials and the compensation of administrators and faculty at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma:

“In today’s competitive workforce, the pressure to obtain a bachelor’s degree is greater than ever, but most people believe they’ll need an even more advanced degree to land a high-paying job.

“University professors nearly always aspire to doctoral degrees. But paradoxically, they often earn less than campus administrators with vague job descriptions, and with far fewer credentials and less tenure than the educators themselves.

“According to data obtained from the state of Oklahoma website OpenBooks, the average annual salary for an administrator at Northeastern State University is $72,750, which excludes additional pay for teaching or other benefits.

“American School Search, a website that provides U.S. college reviews, ratings, cost and information about faculty and salaries, indicates NSU has 328 full-time faculty members. Their annual salaries range from $36,000 to $96,000. The average full-time faculty salary is about $67,000 per year, which is 17 percent lower than the state’s average faculty compensation. It’s also about $5,000 per year less than the average for NSU administrators.

“According to information provided by NSU, of its 39 administrators, 10 have doctoral degrees, 18 have master’s degrees, and 11 have bachelor’s degrees. No information was provided for credentials for two administrators, indicating they may just have high school diplomas.”

Considerably later, the author of the article, Teddye Snell, inserts the following quotation on administrative credentials, followed by an obviously ironic reference to the compensation and credentials of the speaker.

“According to Ben Hardcastle, executive director for public relations and marketing at NSU, the university strives to hire administrators who are best-suited for the positions.

‘Different positions have different minimum and preferred qualifications, but our goal in all candidate searches is to hire the best-qualified and most experienced person,’ said Hardcastle.

“Hardcastle, who makes $108,000 a year, has a bachelor’s degree.”

In addition, Snell provides a very detailed description of the extended review process that faculty go through before earning tenure and promotion. So the contrast between the credentials and accountability of administrators and faculty is ultimately quite stark and would not be missed by even the most casual reader.


The full text of Snell’s article can be found at: http://www.normantranscript.com/news/article_a0c3b768-1f1c-11e4-b0d5-001a4bcf887a.html


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