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Article posted Nov 15 2012, 12:53 PM Category: Economy Source: Bloomberg Print

Bureaucrats Paid $250,000 Feed Outcry Over College Costs

By John Hechinger

J. Paul Robinson, chairman of Purdue University’s faculty senate, strode through the halls of a 10- story concrete-and-glass administrative tower.

“I have no idea what these people do,” said Robinson, waving his hand across a row of offices, his voice rising.

The 59-year-old professor of biomedical engineering is leading a faculty revolt against bureaucratic bloat at the public university in Indiana. In the past decade, the number of administrative employees jumped 54 percent, almost eight times the growth of tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Purdue has a $313,000-a-year acting provost and six vice and associate vice provosts, including a $198,000 chief diversity officer. It employs 16 deans and 11 vice presidents, among them a $253,000 marketing officer and a $433,000 business school chief.

Administrative costs on college campuses are soaring, crowding out instruction at a time of skyrocketing tuition and $1 trillion in outstanding student loans. At Purdue and other U.S. college campuses, bureaucratic growth is pitting professors against administrators and sparking complaints that tight budgets could be spent more efficiently.

“We’re a public university,” Robinson said. “We’re here to deliver a high-quality education at as low a price as possible. Why is it that we can’t find any money for more faculty, but there seems to be an almost unlimited budget for administrators?”

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Comments 1 - 7 of 7 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Nov 15 2012, 4:20 PM

675 Learning the ropes to become bank CEO's, then they will really know how to skin the cat.
BoilerGrad '97

Posted: Nov 16 2012, 9:25 AM

192158 Bring back Dr. Steven Beering as president! This bloat started under Martin Jiszcke(sic) & France Cordova. I think Dr. Beering would be better than Mitch Daniels!

Posted: Nov 16 2012, 10:51 AM

9927 What's the fuss all about? The taxpayers have bottomless pockets and there's all kinds of low cost government financing for the students. Just load them up with debt and enslave them. I hope the return on that 4-year degree was worth it.

By the way, what is the return on investment for a 4-year psychology or liberal arts degree? I know my engineering degree and MBA have worked out great.

- BSME, 1995.

Posted: Nov 17 2012, 9:53 AM

67246 This is becuase many people think much too highly of themselves do these people really think what they do is worth that kind of money?
I think they do ifthis is the case you you are arrogant.
If it is not the case why would you take money for something you know is not worth it. Are you some noble person you 'educators " with some high moral standard to serve or are you just a bunch of facist thugs who think we need you?
You can get a masters degreee in puppets.

Posted: Nov 17 2012, 9:58 AM

67246 these are no show no produce jobs made for favorite fortunate sons and daughters.
These folks may be "smart' like full of all kinds of facts and figures. But ya know the book on my shelf is just as smart as you and way cheaper.
pertty soon everyone will be paid by the "state".
we will all be allotted stuff.
Of course the provost will get first class you watch and see. When the politicians say they will tax the rich do they forget we made them ,they are the rich.
They buy off the unions and unions love it.
It is like a serpent eating its tail. Eventualy it will eat its own head.

Posted: Nov 17 2012, 11:01 AM

17462 As a 1970 Purdue grad, I have come to the realization that a college education is vastly overrated. It's basically a high-priced credentialing system designed to put students and their parents in perpetual debt for a degree of dubious worth. This applies particularly in the humanities and social sciences. Moreover, the economic value of a college education has been vastly overstated, as the National Association of Schlars has documented. It's time to move to wider options in online education, entrepreneurs who can provide structured courses of self-study (with mentoring), and the wider utilization of the Great Courses on video to replace the costly duplication of classroom education. We could start by providing high school graduates with a one-semester curriculum in practical economics. before they venture into the overpriced higher education minefield. A bright and focused high school graduate who gets a modicum of professional or career training, including practical economics, and joins the workforce by, say, age 20, will have a serious leg-up on the clueless college student who spends four years, or more, delaying adolescence. Moreover, a young person who starts saving and investing at age 20 will have far brighter financial future due to the power of compound interest than the PhD recipient who joins the workforce at age 30. I have a niece who received a PhD in Psychology and now works for the VA, Her husband earned a MBA at the same time. Now, in their early 40s, they have $200,000 in college debt, to which they will be tied for the rest of their lives. Parents and students have been sold a bill of goods, undergirded by a meaningless college rating system that does not measure value derived.

Posted: Nov 20 2012, 7:57 AM

18418 Anybody who knows Purdue would tell you that its two most recent presidents (Jischke and Cordoba) shared a religious obsession with racial and gender quotas. Rather than do the hard work of mentoring women and ethnic minorities toward genuine academic achievement, Jischke and Cordoba took an easier route, and on the taxpayers' dime: flooding the campus with women and minority administrators, flatly unqualified for real academic achievement and overpaid to boot.

BS Purdue 1985, MS Purdue 1990
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