Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Big problem in higher education: Too many administrators

One of the complaints against public schools is so much of the money goes to administrators, staff and even janitors, while a small fraction reaches the teachers.  I remember reading awhile back that government schools have something like one person out side of the classroom for every two teachers.  By way of comparison many private schools are much leaner and have one person in the office for every ten to fifteen teachers.

But it looks like higher education is worse.  Hard to imagine!

Malcolm Harris has an article about Bad Education.  He starts by comparing the current higher education bubble with the recent housing bubble:

The Project On Student Debt estimates that the average college senior in 2009 graduated with $24,000 in outstanding loans. Last August, student loans surpassed credit cards as the nation’s single largest source of debt, edging ever closer to $1 trillion. Yet for all the moralizing about American consumer debt by both parties, no one dares call higher education a bad investment. The nearly axiomatic good of a university degree in American society has allowed a higher education bubble to expand to the point of bursting.

Since 1978, the price of tuition at US colleges has increased over 900 percent, 650 points above inflation. To put that number in perspective, housing prices, the bubble that nearly burst the US economy, then the global one, increased only fifty points above the Consumer Price Index during those years. But while college applicants’ faith in the value of higher education has only increased, employers’ has declined. According to Richard Rothstein at The Economic Policy Institute, wages for college-educated workers outside of the inflated finance industry have stagnated or diminished.

then here is the killer:

If current trends continue, the Department of Education estimates that by 2014 there will be more administrators than instructors at American four-year nonprofit colleges.


Hat tip: Newsalert

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