Administrative Bloat Harms Teaching and Learning

Over the years, American universities and colleges have slowly drifted away from their central concerns, teaching and learning. This shift is perhaps best seen in the increased number of administrators in higher education and the exponential growth in the portion of institutions’ budgets dedicated to administrative salaries. The educational data service IPEDS categorizes administrators as … Continue reading “Administrative Bloat Harms Teaching and Learning”

Bending the Knee for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

Since the early 1960s, universities have sought to achieve racial equality. Initiatives have ranged from offering extra tutoring for struggling minority students to making them more comfortable on campus by providing segregated housing and black-only graduation ceremonies. Unfortunately, nothing has worked. Now, after over a half century of trying everything imaginable and sparing no expense, … Continue reading “Bending the Knee for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity”

Why faculty members make poor administrators

To the editor: Here is why faculty and faculty administrators make poor administrators that is not related to peer governance that shrinks from decisions. Very few are trained or self-trained in: 1. Basic management practices: delegation, supervision, finance, budget practices, communications 2. Designing and evaluating a full curriculum and relating it to the mission 3. … Continue reading “Why faculty members make poor administrators”

Sheep No More: the Alumni Rise

In my nearly 15 years as a higher education journalist and analyst, I have, unfortunately, witnessed too few victories for the reform movement. In that time, and certainly for several decades before, academia has continued moving in bad directions. On one hand, it has increasingly submitted to the “alphabet soup” mentality —CRT, DEI, AGW, LGBTQ…,  … Continue reading “Sheep No More: the Alumni Rise”

Did You Know? The Higher Ed Bureaucracy Won the Pandemic

An ill wind has buffeted higher education in the year of the plague. Workers have been laid off, the ranks of the professoriate have shrunk, and enrollment declines across the industry threaten the long-term finances of all but the most prestigious institutions. While the pain has not been as deep as some experts feared, a … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Higher Ed Bureaucracy Won the Pandemic”

A Conversation with UNC System President Peter Hans

A new leader took the helm of the University of North Carolina system during a tumultuous time. In the midst of a global pandemic, Peter Hans was elected UNC system president on June 19, 2020 and assumed the role in August. The position was previously held by interim president Bill Roper, who stepped in after … Continue reading “A Conversation with UNC System President Peter Hans”

How Colleges Can Survive the Coming Enrollment Crash

Nationwide, higher education enrollment has been trending down for several years. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 2019 was the eighth straight year of decline, with an overall drop of nearly 10 percent since 2011. The reasons for this are many, including political, economic, and social factors. But the main one is demographic: Fewer … Continue reading “How Colleges Can Survive the Coming Enrollment Crash”

The Mess of Federal Funds Is Changing the University

The modern American university has changed almost beyond recognition from the form it had even 100 years ago. It is larger, more “diverse,” more of a business, and more industrialized with relatively fewer teachers and more bureaucrats than ever before. Those changes have led to new problems. Higher education, if not broken, is at least … Continue reading “The Mess of Federal Funds Is Changing the University”

Did You Know? Administrative Expenditures in the UNC System Keep Climbing

Expenditures for institutional support in the UNC system have increased significantly: from $2,217 per student in 2006 to $4,069 per student in 2017. Adjusted for inflation, that’s nearly 50 percent growth in just 11 years. According to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, “institutional support” expenditures include: [E]xpenses for general administrative services, central executive-level activities … Continue reading “Did You Know? Administrative Expenditures in the UNC System Keep Climbing”

Administrative Bloat: Where Does It Come From and What Is It Doing?

Philip Hamburger recently published a piece in the Wall Street Journal arguing that Congress should control administrative bloat by limiting student loan funds given to colleges with too many administrators. He is dead right about the vast increase in non-faculty bureaucracy in recent decades and the need to reduce it. But the sources of the … Continue reading “Administrative Bloat: Where Does It Come From and What Is It Doing?”