Budget Cuts and Administrative Growth at UCSD

The California budget crisis is taking its toll on universities throughout the state. The California State Universities (CSU), for those who don’t know, focus mainly on undergraduate education and Master’s degree training. The UCs are R1 institutions cranking out research, graduate and undergraduate students, post-docs, patents, etc. Here’s one interesting thing about the cuts:

…based on data in the California State University Statistical Abstract, the number of full-time faculty in the whole CSU system rose from 11,614 to 12,019 between 1975 and 2008, an increase of only 3.5 percent.  In the same time period the total number of administrators rose 221 percent, from 3,800 to 12,183.  In 1975, there were three full-time faculty members per administrator, but now there are actually slightly more administrators than full-time faculty.  If this trend continues, there could be two administrators per full-time faculty in another generation.

When I read this on John Hawks weblog I wondered how this trend would play out at my own University of California, San Diego. Over the last 15 years, the ratio of permanent faculty to senior administrators has dropped from 5:2 to 1:1:

The trend is the similar for all the UCs. I’m not saying that many of the new administrative positions lack necessity. But surely sustainable growth at our campuses needs to be more balanced, especially now that fewer undergraduates are being accepted, staff are being laid-off, and positions are left vacant or eliminated. This may explain why the trash in my building is emptied only once or twice a week, and a maintenance request takes forever – they’re completely overburdened by cuts to lower level positions. Meanwhile, senior management positions are expanding, and they’re not cheap: their pay-scale apparently stretches from 100K to 248K.

Side note: a majority of this data comes from 2009, I wonder how these trends have changed in the last two years?


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