Administrator Hiring Drove 28% Boom in Higher-Ed Work Force, Report Says The report, "Labor Intensive or Labor Expensive: Changing Staffing and Compensation Patterns in Higher Education," says that new administrative positions—particularly in student services—drove a 28-percent expansion of the higher-ed work force from 2000 to 2012...What’s more, the report says, the number of full-time faculty and staff members per professional or managerial administrator has declined 40 percent, to around 2.5 to 1. Full-time faculty members also lost ground to part-time instructors (who now compose half of the instructional staff at most types of colleges)...And the kicker: You can’t blame faculty salaries for the rise in tuition. Faculty salaries were "essentially flat" from 2000 to 2012, the report says. And "we didn't see the savings that we would have expected from the shift to part-time faculty," said Donna M. Desrochers, an author of the report.
"Many times you will be marched through laboratories, presumably to ogle shiny machines. Ogle them. Ogle them like it is the last glimpse of human civilization you will ever get." How to get a faculty job (PDF) in the life sciences. (Via Hope Jahren Sure Can Write.)
Terran Lane's short blog post explaining why he is leaving academia (for a post at google) offers concise and damning insight into problems at US research universities. I find the analysis resonates with the Canadian experience as well (though I'm a grad student not a professor)..
Harvard’s annual cost for journals from these providers now approaches $3.75M. In 2010, the comparable amount accounted for more than 20% of all periodical subscription costs and just under 10% of all collection costs for everything the Library acquires. Some journals cost as much as $40,000 per year, others in the tens of thousands. Prices for online content from two providers have increased by about 145% over the past six years, which far exceeds not only the consumer price index, but also the higher education and the library price indices. These journals therefore claim an ever-increasing share of our overall collection budget. Even though scholarly output continues to grow and publishing can be expensive, profit margins of 35% and more suggest that the prices we must pay do not solely result from an increasing supply of new articles. Harvard's Faculty Advisory Council asks Harvard's faculty to change how they publish. [more inside]
There's a growing sense that the current system of college grading is broken beyond repair. With grade inflation and student entitlement running rampant, is it time to explore some creative alternatives? Or is grade inflation just a myth?
No student/faculty dating policies? I found it odd that most universities don't actually have written policies regarding student/faculty dating. What's even more surprising is how difficult it seems to get tenured faculty out of their positions despite the number of allegations that happen to have been made against them. Or am I wrong in that type of thinking?