33% of Faculty But Only 8% of Administrators See Pay Cuts in 2009-10

By March 9, 2010

FIRE has often lamented the rise of the college administrative class at the expense of the faculty. The huge increase in the number of administrators in just a few decades has given colleges not only a greater ability to regulate and monitor student expression, but also the need to do so in order to justify the increase in the number of positions. This leads to situations like the University of Delaware’s massive Residence Life thought reform program, where residence life administrators decided to "teach" Delaware students about controversial topics like diversity, sexuality, and environmentalism without any real input from the faculty.

Unfortunately, there’s more bad news for the faculty today, as a report from the  College and University Professional Association for Human Resources reveals that while 32.6% of faculty members saw pay cuts for 2009-10, only 8.3% of administrators saw their pay drop. Pay cuts are difficult for anyone to accept, and I don’t mean to minimize the disruptions suffered by that 8.3% of administrators who did see pay cuts. However, this serves as evidence that the emphasis of the modern university seems more and more to be on regulating students (not just their behavior, but their expression) and correspondingly less on educating them, at least in the traditional sense of the university as a marketplace of ideas where credentialed, highly educated teachers educate through interactions with young scholars. If this trend continues, such interactions will get rarer and rarer, and students will be poorer for it.