At one of the state universities, do students pay tuition to fund instructors or the non-instructional support staff?

My central point: Merely based on cost structure, the emerging alternatives to traditional higher education have tremendous room to maneuver.  There are huge opportunities.

By way of background, there is a host of comments I want to make about education, the energy industry, publishing and space exploration. Yes, I plan to tie them all together, but haven’t allocated the time to do so. One part of that discussion will be the radical changes taking place in higher ed.  Bear with me while this posts advances those yet-to-be-introduced ideas.

Carpe Diem suggests the answer to my question in their headline title – Administrative bloat at Ohio State, where the ratio of full-time non-instructional staff to full-time faculty is more than 6-to-1.

The analysis and calculations need to be refined to include part-time students, part-time staff, and part-time adjunct faculty (paid at a minute fraction of the rate of full-time faculty), but just to get a general picture, consider this.  The college president has

… more than 1,700 administrators who report to him, and an army of more 11,000 full-time “other professionals” who report to the 1,700 administrators. With full-time enrollment of 48,000 students and 21,436 non-instructional full-time staff (once you include clerical and secretarial positions, skilled crafts, technical/professional, and service/maintenance) that’s a ratio of almost one full-time non-teaching employee for every two Ohio State students.

So for some very rough calculations, here’s the data:

  • 48,000 full-time enrollment
  • 21,436 non-instructional staff
  • 3,383 full-time faculty

That’s a student to faculty ratio of 14.2:1.

That’s a student to non-instructional staff ratio of 2.2:1.

Not-instructional staff to full-time faculty ratio is 6.3:1.

This is one small piece of info that enters into the revolution taking place in higher ed.

I am troubled by the emphasis on functional allocation of expenses in the charity sector. That framework of analysis does provide one tool out of many that are needed when looking at other sectors.

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