Posted by: crudbasher | August 18, 2010

More Signs of A Higher Education Bubble

This is very unsettling.  I have been watching with more than a little self interest how many universities have very high fixed costs.

According to this report based on Government figures, universities have greatly increased the number of administration people on a per student basis.  If you couple this with the large physical plants many schools have you can see that if student enrollments drop significantly then universities could be in the same boat as many public schools are.  The private, for profit university I work for has a very lean management and administration structure so I am more confident of our survival in a meltdown of the system.

Perhaps public universities are expecting a bailout from the government if they get into trouble? At some point the government runs out of money. (actually I think that happened last year)  I’m very concerned about this. Bailouts are just a way of postponing the inevitable.  We are moving insolvency from banks and car companies onto future tax revenue.  This doesn’t fix the problems that created the situation however.

Case in point:  The “emergency” 10 Billion bucks the government just borrowed to give to the public education system to “save teachers jobs”.  Turns out many schools won’t be spending it to save teacher jobs at all.  Source: NYT
Many are putting it away for fixing budget problems next year.  I absolutely guarantee that we will hear a whole bunch of stories next year about how vast numbers of teachers will be laid off if we don’t give them more money. Of course they could never cut administrators right?

The public education system is a black hole of money.  It doesn’t matter how much you throw in there, it always needs more.

Source: Wikipedia Commons

  • Ouch. High bloat at Universities

    tags: education highered administration report nell

    • Enrollment at America’s leading universities has been increasing dramatically, rising nearly 15 percent between 1993 and 2007. But unlike almost every other growing industry, higher education has not become more efficient. Instead, universities now have more administrative employees and spend more on administration to educate each student.
    • Between 1993 and 2007, the number of full-time administrators per 100 students at America’s leading universities grew by 39 percent, while the number of employees engaged in teaching, research or service only grew by 18 percent. Inflation-adjusted spending on administration per student increased by 61 percent during the same period, while instructional spending per student rose 39 percent.
    • A significant reason for the administrative bloat is that students pay only a small portion of administrative costs. The lion’s share of university resources comes from the federal and state governments, as well as private gifts and fees for non-educational services.
    • We base our conclusions on data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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