Universities Are Churning Out the Next Generation of Higher Ed Bureaucrats

The number of non-academic administrators at colleges and universities has more than doubled in the last 25 years, far outpacing the growth in students and faculty. According to a report from the American Institutes for Research, between 2000 and 2012 the average ratio of full-time faculty and staff per administrator declined 40 percent, to around … Continue reading “Universities Are Churning Out the Next Generation of Higher Ed Bureaucrats”

The Academic Job Market Is Tottering, But Nobody’s Telling Graduate Students

Back in 2003, Thomas Benton—“the pseudonym of an assistant professor of English at a Midwestern liberal arts college”—wrote a brutally honest article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about graduate programs in the humanities. Citing dismal job prospects for Ph.D. holders, the author’s advice to would-be students was simple: don’t go. Since that article was … Continue reading “The Academic Job Market Is Tottering, But Nobody’s Telling Graduate Students”

Yes, There’s Such a Thing as Too Much Enrollment Growth

Now that another academic year is underway, many university administrators are anxiously awaiting the final tally of fall semester enrollment numbers. Such enrollment mania is a driving force at many schools, especially since more students usually equals more tuition revenue and state and federal dollars. In the Tar Heel State, this obsession goes back many … Continue reading “Yes, There’s Such a Thing as Too Much Enrollment Growth”

Will the UNC System Rise Above Higher Education’s Status Quo?

UNC System leaders are overhauling their 2013 strategic planning initiative. Whether that will result in sound reform ideas, however, is up in the air. North Carolina’s university system is a powerful force in the state—armed with its own lobbying team, almost 50,000 employees, and a $9.5 billion annual budget. It is a machine with a tendency to aggrandize. Curbing its appetite for expansion and self-serving policies won’t be easy.

Welcome to North Carolina, Secretary Spellings

The search for the next University of North Carolina system president has finally concluded. Margaret Spellings, secretary of the U.S. Education Department during George W. Bush’s second presidential term, was unanimously elected by the system’s Board of Governors on October 23. Spellings, who will take the helm in March 2016, is a moderate Republican, but one who shows some promise of developing into a reform-minded university leader—a very welcome possibility. She opposes what she calls universities’ “send us the money and leave us alone” approach, and some of her views on higher education challenge those of the academic establishment.

Faculty Teaching Loads in the UNC System

This paper by Jay Schalin, the Pope Center’s director of policy analysis, explores the teaching loads of faculty in the University of North Carolina system. It finds that the university overstates the actual teaching duties of professors and recommends that the UNC Board of Governors conduct a comprehensive study of faculty workloads.