Higher Education

As college costs rise, so do the number of administrators

Why the ranks of bureaucrats on campus continues to increase

The number of executive, administrative and managerial employees on university campuses nationwide continued its relentless rise right through the recession, up by a collective 15 percent between 2007 and 2014, federal data show.

Hear a SpareMin podcast on this topic here with Matt DeMello and The Hechinger Report’s Jon Marcus.

The ranks of administrators have expanded far faster than the numbers of students and faculty. At many four-year institutions, spending on administration has increased faster than spending on instruction, according to the Delta Cost Project, which tracks this.

There has also been a little-noticed but surprising shift underway that suggests new resolve in some places to centralize some administrative functions, Hechinger has reported, in the hope of improving the efficiency and productivity of stubbornly labor-intensive higher education.

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