UMD administrative staff outnumber full-time faculty

By KBJR News 1

September 26, 2013 Updated Sep 26, 2013 at 10:54 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - How many is too many when it comes to administrative staffing at universities? On Thursday, that question took front and center stage at a presentation at the UMD where there is a higher number of administrators than there is faculty members.

According to researcher, Dr. Benjamin Ginsberg universities are adding layers of new administrative positions while at the same time cutting crucial full-time faculty, ultimately impacting the quality of education.

"We do the teaching, we do the research and you know what, this may shock the administration, but the students actually come here to learn from us." said Dr. Benjamin Ginsberg, professor at Johns Hopkins University.

On Thursday, dozens of faculty, administrators and students heard from renowned expert Dr. Ginsberg on the "Fall of Faculty", a presentation on the growing number of administrative staff.

Ginsberg says one of the driving forces for rising university tuition and costs is due in part to rising number of administrative staff at our colleges and universities.

Currently, UMD has an administrative staff to student ratio of 8.4 per 100 students, but the faculty to student ratio is significantly lower at 5.1 per 100 students.

Some UMD faculty say the increase of administrative support positions and decrease in faculty has an affect on the quality of education for students.

"The question is, do we need the number of administrators that we have and do we need the amount of money going to programs that may or may not have a significant impact on the success of the student? What does have a significant impact on the success of the student is the relationship with faculty," said UMD professor of history, Dr. Steven Matthews.

The national average for university administrators per student is six to one. The national average for full-time faculty to student ratio is eight to one.

It was also noted at Thursday's meeting the starting salary for the current UMD chancellor was $17,000 more than his predecessor's salary at her retirement.

On Friday, Ginsberg will hold a signing of his book "The Fall of Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters' on the campus of UMD where he hopes to give people more perspective on the administration versus faculty debate.

Jeremy Brickley
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