budget process

High Administrative Salaries Don’t Benefit Students

i_374High Administrative Salaries Don’t Benefit Students

A disturbing new report from IPS, Institute for Policy Studies, show a correlation between administrative salaries and student debt, the more administrators are paid, the more the students owe.

Other findings from the report called The One Percent at State U:

Key Findings:

  • The student debt crisis is worse at state schools with the highest-paid presidents. The sharpest rise in student debt at the top 25 occurred when executive compensation soared the highest. 

  • As students went deeper in debt, administrative spending outstripped scholarship spending by more than 2 to 1 at state schools with the highest-paid presidents. 

  • At state schools with the highest-paid presidents, part-time adjunct faculty increased 22 percent faster than the national average at all universities. 

  • At state schools with the highest-paid presidents, permanent faculty declined dramatically as a percentage of all faculty. By fall 2009, part-time and contingent faculty at the top 25 outnumbered permanent faculty for the first time. 

  • Average executive pay at the top 25 rose to nearly $1 million by 2012 — increasing more than twice as fast as the national average at public research universities.

James Pilant

(Here’s more on the subject from Think Progress.)

The Higher A College President’s Pay, The Faster Its Students’ Debt Increases | ThinkProgress

Student debt is rising faster at state schools with higher-paid presidents, according to a new study by the Institute for Policy Studies.

In the study, “The One Percent at State U: How University Presidents Profit from Rising Student Debt and Low-Wage Faculty Labor,” co-authors Andrew Erwin and Marjorie Wood show that student debt rose by 10 percent between 2010 and 2011 at the top 25 universities with the highest executive pay, 43 percent faster than the national rate.

Public university presidents suffered fewer pay reductions shortly after the 2008 recession compared to other professions, the study concluded. Between 2009 to 2012, presidents at the top 25 universities saw their salaries increase by a third. Meanwhile, national student debt reached $1.2 trillion in 2012. Seventy-one percent of graduates in 2012 had student loan debt, averaging $29,400 per borrower, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.

“Top-heavy, ’1% recovery’ occurred at major state universities across the country, largely at the expense of students and faculty,” the study concluded. “Soaring compensation for college presidents has come at a familiar price: worsening inequality.”

via The Higher A College President’s Pay, The Faster Its Students’ Debt Increases | ThinkProgress.

From Around the Web.

From the web site, Texas Education.

University presidents’ pay through the roof

Posted by Texas Education on November 20, 2008

The Dallas Morning News is reporting on something that we all should wake up and pay attention to: Texas college presidents’ pay rises with tuition.

As college tuition has risen and financial aid has lagged, paychecks for higher-education leaders in Texas and the rest of the country have continued to grow, according to a new national survey.

I believe in people getting paid for what they do, I won’t argue with that, but…and the article has some comments like:

The leaders of nine public universities and systems in Texas earned more than half a million dollars in 2007-08, the most recent year available, according to the survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education, released this week. And most of them received generous raises from the year before – as much as 30 percent.

Heads of private Texas colleges were well compensated, too, with four receiving more than a half-million dollars in 2006-07, also the most recent year available.

I can’t argue with this:

“Whatever happened to public service? The president of the United States makes less money than the president of the University of Texas,” said Zack Hall, a UT-Austin senior from Frisco who has lobbied for lower student costs.



Net Neutrality Important to Education

!!@@#dddddd444193mNet Neutrality Important to Education

We educators depend on the internet to communicate with our students, share files, and sometimes teach classes entirely through the medium. We depend on having a good workable service.

That is now under threat. The end of net neutrality and the relegation of secondary purposes like ours to the slow lane threatens our work. It’s not just that almost everything we do will get slower, we will also be forced to pay a premium for some services.

There are few professions to which net neutrality is as important as it is to educators. We need to realize its important and act in its defense.

James Pilant

Why Net Neutrality Matters to Education


For education, this presents a dangerous precedent where the content and tools that schools, teachers, students and learners (of all ages) use may be subject to corporate interests. These new rules are particularly worrisome for educators who constantly fight for budget resources to support technology adoption and rely on web tools as a supplement to instruction in the classroom.

Although many schools heavily filter web content to comply with federal e-rate regulations, the loss of net neutrality would immediately impact:

  • Free and open source web tools for education that could be edged out by for-profit competitors who can afford to pay for better access to their customers.
  • Open source textbook adoption initiatives that rely on volunteer work and donations to create content could suffer from lower-tier access in schools.
  • Wikis and collaborative sites that allow for educators to share content could be edged out by larger resource-sharing sites that can afford to pay for faster access to schools.
  • School and university libraries that serve as gateways for hard-to-access information, as lesser-used databases and niche research tools for academics would suffer from 3rd party interference from larger publishers.

The FCC’s new rules could effectively create a new kind of digital divide among students, according to this Huffington Post piece:

If schools use an online curriculum made by a company that cut a deal with Verizon, students who subscribe to Verizon’s Internet service at home would have an advantage over other students who subscribe to another provider.

The increased costs that some companies will pay to the ISPs will be passed on to consumers, educational institutions and small companies that are already quite cash strapped. Startups looking to compete with incumbent companies also ought to be concerned with how the new rules might affect the competitive playing field in the marketplace.

Return on investment in faculty rarely captured by university CFOs

This is a brilliant take on the “faculty as a disposable burden while technology must be funded” narrative we hear so often in higher education.

Piece of Mind

“Mr. President, We are not employees of the university. We are the university.”

With these words, Isidore Rabi, a distinguished faculty member at Columbia University, interrupted Dwight Eisenhower, who had started off a speech by addressing the faculty as “employees of the university.” Generation after generation of faculty members has repeated this inspirational anecdote from the early 1950s, though they know very well that their universities are increasingly becoming about everything other than the faculty. And the situation appears to be worsening. To the professional managerial class that nowadays run the neoliberal version of post-secondary education, the faculty is often seen as merely the source of the university’s problems. So, before too many of my colleagues get used to being seen as a cost, not something that provides net positive value to the university, I would like to use charter accountants’ speak to argue that investment in university research excellence could be and…

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