After reading this article I remembered the term my old brigade executive officer for useless bureaucrats, "oxygen thief". I can attest over the last quarter century the Army has added more of them and fewer fighters. It's scary to think fighting has become a government job with six people standing around a soldier with clipboards, telling how to hold it rifle, to not shoot too many minority females single mothers. But on to an interesting article on the expansion of the bureaucracy in higher learning.
Costs pit bureaucrats, professors
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Paul Robinson, chairman of Purdue University’s faculty senate, strode through the halls of a 10-story concrete-and glass administrative tower. “I have no idea what these people do,” said Robinson, waving his hand across a row of offices, his voice rising.
The professor of biomedical engineering is leading a faculty revolt against bureaucratic bloat at the Indiana public university. In the past decade, the number of administrative employees jumped 54 percent, almost eight times the growth of tenured and tenure-track faculty. Purdue has a $313,000-a-year acting provost and six vice and associate vice provosts, including a $198,000 chief diversity officer. It employs 16 deans and 11 vice presidents, among them a $253,000 marketing officer and a $433,000 business school chief.
Administrative costs on college campuses are soaring, crowding out instruction at a time of skyrocketing tuition and $1 trillion in outstanding student loans.
“We’re a public university,” said Robinson, 59. “We’re here to deliver a high-quality education at as low a price as possible. Why is it that we can’t find any money for more faculty, but there seems to be an almost unlimited budget for administrators?”
Not to mention they can always find a five or six figure speaking fee for a former president or veep (Democratic of course). I don't know if they have spoken at the university but schools that claim to be so broke are often able to pay higher staff such salaries and speaker fees for leftist politicians.
U.S. universities employed more than 230,000 administrators in 2009, up 60 percent from 1993, or 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty, those with permanent positions and job security, according to Education Department data. Spending on administration has been rising faster than funds for instruction and research at 198 leading U.S. research universities, according to a 2010 study by Jay Greene, an education professor at the University of Arkansas. “Administrative bloat is clearly contributing to the overall cost of higher education,” Greene said.
State funding blamed
State colleges have long been considered affordable havens for those of modest means, yet they have raised tuition faster than their costlier private peers. The cost of attending Purdue leaped about 60 percent over the past decade to $23,000 — out-of-state students, $42,000 — similar to other Mid-western public colleges.
Purdue says bureaucratic expansion hasn’t led to higher tuition. Rather, state funding, which makes up 13 percent of its budget, hasn’t kept pace with rising costs, said Timothy Sands, the school’s acting president. Purdue has beefed up its staff for fundraising and marketing, partly to attract full-paying students from other states and around the world, he said. To remain a top-ranked university, Purdue must also administer hundreds of millions of dollars in government and industry research grants, he said.
“This is a $2.2 billion operation. You’ve got to have some people involved in administering it, managing it, running it, leading it,” Sands said. “We’re about as lean as we can afford to be.”
Purdue officials acknowledge that as administration has expanded, spending on instruction has lagged. The university plans to hire more than 100 engineering professors, with the average full professor receiving a $125,000 salary.
Trustees at the University of Connecticut’s flagship campus in Storrs said last year they were reviewing pay after a controversy over the then campus police chief, who received $256,000 annually — more than New York City’s police commissioner. UConn has a $312,000-a-year provost and 13 vice, deputy and associate vice provosts, including one overseeing “engagement” who makes almost $275,000 a year. The university has seven vice presidents and 13 deans. President Susan Herbst, who receives a $500,000 salary, has a $199,000 chief of staff.
I did a quick look over the area.
Houston Chief of Police: 211150
Harris County Texas Sheriff: 181202
New York City Police Commissioner: 215000
Chicago Police Superintendent: 310000
US Cabinet Secretary: 200000
(Granted, the limo etc are some serious perks)
Now look at the salary of a police chief who likely supervises less than 100 officers. The previous men oversee departments of tens of thousands.
Now I really love the office work going on with Mr Daniels down here:
At the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, the faculty senate studied the bureaucracy and found duplication among its eight vice presidents, most of whom had their own communications office, said Russell Luepker, a professor of public health. As part of an overhaul, the university eliminated a senior vice president’s position this month and will cut 5 administrative jobs, said Chuck Tombarge, a University of Minnesota spokesman.
Purdue’s faculty senate has taken its complaints to the trustees and President-Elect Mitch Daniels, Indiana’s governor, who says he’s sympathetic.
“When your spending goes up at a rocket rate, it’s pretty hard for state support to keep up,” said Daniels, who was horrified to learn that Purdue was renovating his 4,000-square-foot office in anticipation of his move.
The cost: $355,000.
4,000 square foot office. That is almost twice the size of my house. You think these people here need some reality therapy.
I recall a great speech Gordon Gekko made in Wall Street
. The more (mis)quoted part of the speech is "Greed is good" (he actually said "Greed, for lack of a better work, is good"):
Gordon Gekko: [at the Teldar Paper stockholder's meeting] Well, I appreciate the opportunity you're giving me Mr. Cromwell as the single largest shareholder in Teldar Paper, to speak...The Carnegies, the Mellons, the men that built this great industrial empire, made sure of it because it was their money at stake. Today, management has no stake in the company! All together, these men sitting up here own less than three percent of the company. And where does Mr. Cromwell put his million-dollar salary? Not in Teldar stock; he owns less than one percent. You own the company. That's right, you, the stockholder. And you are all being royally screwed over by these, these bureaucrats, with their luncheons, their hunting and fishing trips, their corporate jets and golden parachutes.
Cromwell: This is an outrage! You're out of line Gekko!
Gordon Gekko: Teldar Paper, Mr. Cromwell, Teldar Paper has 33 different vice presidents each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can't figure it out. One thing I do know is that our paper company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I'll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents. The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest...
A favorite quote of Ronald Reagan's is "The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program." The point of all these looks into memory lane which the recent Blumberg article.
In the 80s and 90s, American industry went through a massive down sizing. Investing in technology, shedding unprofitable endeavors to make money with things that work, etc to survive in the era of completion from Japan, China and India, among others. But government doesn't' know competition. It only knows expansion. When I was in college I was once asked what is the primary purpose of a government agency and my response was "To insure it's own survival." Reality (the threat of elimination) forced corporate America to become more efficient. Government will not become more streamlined unless it's forced to from outside (people refused to pay for it) or the inside (this professor).
A first step perhaps. Or a man charing a windmill. Time will tell.