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Hiring Spree Fattens College Bureaucracy And Tuition

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Replies to: Hiring Spree Fattens College Bureaucracy And Tuition

  • argbargyargbargy Registered User Posts: 1,306 Senior Member
    Lol, but if they hire purchasing managers you ding them for administrative expenses.

    To answer specifically we have plenty of purchasing agents. But optimizing the purchasing is best done in conjunction with the technical side because we have visibility about we where are in the build outs and when sub quantities will be needed and what are the dependencies. If you simply do the buy you night have a warehouse full of routers for 6 months that you have paid for but you are getting no revenue. And you have burned 6 months of warranty to no purpose.

    To answer generally you are setting up a false dichotomy. You are viewing this as choice between either all the overhead is vital and must be maintained 100%, or none of is worthwhile and should be cut to $0.

    I am perfectly willing to believe that there are worthwhile functions being performed. There are also probably unnecessary functions. And worthwhile functions being performed inefficiently. Since people had never really looked at the problem we dont know.
  • momfrommemomfromme Registered User Posts: 2,669 Senior Member
    A lot of times AgExtension jobs are not at the university but out in various towns through the state. Also at least some are funded by federal dollars, through the Department of Agriculture.

    The multiple funding streams for university jobs in general make it hard to parse out costs. Some people are getting paid via highly competitive grants, which doesn't increase student tuition or fees. In fact, because many grants include a portion for overhead, some of the monies go to such things as the library and the physical plant and keep student payments down.
  • skrlvrskrlvr Registered User Posts: 790 Member
    I wasn't referring to your post specifically, but just the mindset that has crept in in terms of higher education.

    And sure, the business metaphor does help us think about higher education in some positive ways, but it also has its limits. Sometimes, I think consumerism has infiltrated education in ways that haven't been positive or productive.
  • argbargyargbargy Registered User Posts: 1,306 Senior Member
    You are right about one thing: You don't know whether that mentality is going on in higher ed.

    Well my wife worked for SUNY and I could tell you it wasnt going on there. There was no point in not using your budget. Other than as part of a green program no one had any interest in reducing or saving. What would the point be? The bigger your department, the greater the prestige. The more heads you have under you, the higher your SL is.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Registered User Posts: 15,488 Senior Member
    Pizza, a lot of the frustation is with public Us. Yes, they charge less than private, but that shouldnt give them a license to have 100s of deans, etc.
    ******
    I worked at a large public U (30k students) that did NOT have 100s of deans. I worked with the HR department of a large public U (20+k students) that did NOT have 100s of deans. At both schools, I was well aware of how much administrators were paid ... all salaries at public Us are available to the public. Salaries were not as high as the private sector. Departments were working with crews that were stretched to the max - we couldn't even take our vacation due to processing needs, and we also worked nights & weekends (unpaid). Not sure who in public Us is taking the public to the cleaners - it's not the administration as I know it.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    "To answer generally you are setting up a false dichotomy. You are viewing this as choice between either all the overhead is vital and must be maintained 100%, or none of is worthwhile and should be cut to $0. "

    No, I'm not. There isn't a business or organization that probably couldn't have increased efficiency.
  • argbargyargbargy Registered User Posts: 1,306 Senior Member
    Well in post #7 you give the impression that these costs are justified and shouldn't be questioned.
  • kayfkayf Registered User Posts: 4,161 Senior Member
    Kelsmom, most white-collar people I know do not get paid overtime. Interns and junior staff people get paid by the hour, not many others. If there are seasonal ebbs and flows, people work overtime.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 32,394 Senior Member
    Arg, what happened at SUNY- or any school or business- in the not so recent past, has been altered by economic reality. I agree there were times when it was "use it or lose it" AND "use it, blow it, get rid of it however you have to and then get more, next budget." (The laptop I am using today is an example.) Do not see that now. What I see, at both U's is: cut, cut, cut. Not all wise. Sometimes, cutting off the nose to spite the face. But, NOT what it was like, before. Sheesh, I could tell you ways both my U and DH's have cut, that would make you much happier. But, it's useless in this thread context.

    Kay, if Kelsmom is talking about what I have also seen, at a private, it's not simply the expectation that some work longer hours, in season, as needed. It is literally that one person is handling more than a prior definition of a one-person load. 10 people doing what 20 used to. It has real limits.
  • BeliavskyBeliavsky - Posts: 1,253 Senior Member
    Yet another article on wasteful college spending, this time on college sports:

    Big Dream, Rude Awakening
    By BILL PENNINGTON
    New York Times
    December 29, 2012

    Big-time college football programs may have been linked recently to scandals involving illicit payments to players (Ohio State), academic improprieties (North Carolina) and child sexual abuse (Penn State), but that has not slowed a rush to join the fraternity. The institutions chasing a new football status do so with baby steps and varied circumstances, but the common journey has a visionary end — some would call it illusionary — and it is a wonderland of television riches, national exposure and ecstatic alumni donating money by the bushel.
  • kayfkayf Registered User Posts: 4,161 Senior Member
    Lookingforward, I agree nothing is as simple as it seems, but in the private sector there have been huge protectivity gains in white collar work, and we all have to deal with ever increasing regulatory rules. I am not saying it is the fault of any individual person, but it does seem that colleges are not looking to decrease non-teaching/research jobs.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Registered User Posts: 15,488 Senior Member
    If there are seasonal ebbs and flows, people work overtime.
    *****
    In college administration, it is not overtime due to seasonal ebb and flow. It is simply an expectation of the position that these extra hours come with the territory, and they have been increasing as the need to increase enrollment has increased. Not a complaint as much as an observation - believe me, no matter how much folks seem to think college administrators are overpaid, they are not - at least, not compared to the folks I know who work in corporate America (but I will admit that these jobs do pay more than typical retail - but I have seen fast food managers who make more than I make - not saying they don't work hard, though).
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,979 Senior Member
    Some colleges will successfully make the jump to big-time football and others won't. Life is a gamble and you don't get anywhere unless you go outside your zone.
  • BeliavskyBeliavsky - Posts: 1,253 Senior Member
    Wasteful and Inept Administrators Are Ruining Our Colleges
    By Benjamin Ginsberg
    Minding the Campus
    January 7, 2013
    Unfettered administrative power often manifests itself in the form of administrative irresponsibility and pathology. At too many schools, presidents and other senior administrators have not only inflated the ranks of their managerial armies of deanlets and deanlings, but have also squandered tens of millions of dollars on such things as renovations to their official residences, foreign travel, chauffeurs, dubious expense accounts and exorbitant salaries while faculty are told to do more with less and students are asked to pay more for less.

    A paper referenced in the essay,

    Measuring Baumol and Bowen Effects in Public Research Universities by Robert Martin, R. Hill :: SSRN

    suggests that the number of administrators is too high by a factor of 6 = 3/0.5
    The model suggests the optimal staffing ratio is approximately three tenure-track faculty members per full-time administrator, while the current average ratio is two full-time administrators for one faculty member.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,979 Senior Member
    The COHE just had a study of non-faculty growth at UN-L. Found most was in paid research positions, IT people, and student services such as advising and placement. Have a problem with that?

    Counting Up the Campus Work Force - Faculty - The Chronicle of Higher Education
This discussion has been closed.