How universities could rein in costs

From Steven Pearlstein

….while students are paying more, they are getting less, at least as measured by learning outcomes, intellectual engagement, time with professors and graduation rates. And although students are working more hours at outside jobs and receiving more tuition assistance, student debt now exceeds credit card debt and has become something of a national obsession.

….While faculty critics have made sport of pointing out the proliferation of assistant provosts or the soaring salaries of college presidents, these don’t represent most new spending. What does is the growth in the number and pay of non-teaching professionals in areas such as academic and psychological counseling, security, information technology, fundraising, accreditation and government compliance.

….Few students or parents realize that tuition doesn’t just pay for faculty members to teach. It also pays for their research…… Teaching loads at research universities have declined almost 50 percent in the past 30 years, according to data compiled for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. This doesn’t necessarily mean professors aren’t working as hard — surveys show they’re working harder and under more pressure than ever. Rather, says former Mason provost Peter Stearns, it reflects a deliberate shift in focus as universities compete for big-name professors by promising lighter teaching loads and more time for research.

Read more at Four tough things universities should do to rein in costs – The Washington Post

2 Replies to “How universities could rein in costs”

  1. Thanks for that. Disturbing. Some of that research work is in fact business research for which they get extra money so there is a kind of corruption going on here. The market cannot work properly as student are not informed consumers until it is too late .
    Perhaps a new league table is needed judged on the quality of teaching.

    1. “Perhaps a new league table is needed judged on the quality of teaching.”

      Good suggestion.
      But how would one measure ‘quality of teaching’?

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