Faculty and Administrator numbers for UMBC
Numbers of faculty compared to administrators at UMBC
A couple of weeks ago I posted on myUMBC and quoted some statistics from a NYT’s editorial regarding a link between rising tuition costs and large increases in administrators on college campuses. I’m going to begin by reiterating what I said in that first post which is, “We do need administrators”. I am also going to add that while I believe that increases in the number of administrators are part of the problem, the situation is complicated and there are many other factors that come into play. Emphasized in the movie, “Ivory Tower” were decreased funds from state governments, more students applying and going to college, increased oversight/compliance requirements, fancy amenities/facilities that consumer-driven students and their parents want, AND increased numbers of administrators.
In my first post, I requested some numbers for UMBC in terms of new administrative hires compared to new full-time faculty positions and was directed to a site that provides such numbers. I am including the link here, http://oir.umbc.edu/, but have summarized the information below. One thing interesting about the source of this information is that average faculty salaries are listed, but not average administrators/staff salaries. I’m sure the range is too great for the average to be meaningful, but in its absence, makes a statement. I am aware that all of this is information is publically available, but why does this office feel inclined to post the average salaries of the faculty on this page?
At any rate, I compared the change in positions from fall 2012 to the fall of 2014. I included staff classified as Executive Managerial and Professional Nonfaculty and full-time faculty.
Executive Managerial and Professional Nonfaculty: in 2012 there were 744 individuals; in 2014 there were 829 individuals, an increase of 10.2%. Full-time faculty: in 2012 there were 497 individuals; in 2014 there were 520 individuals, an increase of 4.4%.
I did some more research and was very heartened to see that the faculty to administrator ratio for UMBC is 0.65 while the average at public research universities is 0.55, so we are doing well relative to other public universities. However, based on the research of two economists [Martin, Robert E. and Hill, Carter, Baumol and Bowen Cost Effects in Research Universities (March 2014)], they believe that the ideal ratio of faculty to administrators for universities is 3:1 and by that account we have a long way to go.
Benjamin Ginsberg, a JHU political science professor, suggests there are serious consequences to increased numbers of administrators. They often implement programs and make policies without the input of faculty and many of these decisions have detrimental effects on the quality of education that occurs in the classroom; one such example is the number of students we have to teach and advise.
I’ve heard that UMBC has the strongest “shared governance” in the University of Maryland system and because of this, I am hoping that it will be possible to have a civil, community conversation at UMBC regarding the issues of tuition increases and increases in student enrollment.