UC’s Administrators Crossed the Line

In November of 2009, KeepCaliforniasPromise.org posted a report by Richard Evans titled “Soon every faculty member will have a personal senior manager” which pointed out that the number of managers at UC was growing far faster than the ranks of the faculty and that, if the trend continued, it would not be long before there were more senior managers than ladder rank faculty. Richard just sent me an e-mail pointing out that data through April of 2011 was out.

I wondered if the data would show how the “Working Smarter Initiative” and much talked about cuts of $80 million to the UC Office of the President, had combined with promises to first and foremost “preserve excellence in instruction, research and public service… which it cannot do without continuing to attract and retain top-flight faculty” (see, http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/25580) to reverse that trend.

Well, it turns out faculty ranks have declined by 2.3 percent since the 2009 post, at a time when student enrollment increased by 3.6 percent. (I would hope the UC administration wouldn’t try to spin a continuing erosion of a major measure of academic quality such as the student faculty ratio as increased efficiency.)

But we all know the budget cuts have been tough. Even an administration striving to preserve the education and research missions of the University by directing as many of the cuts as possible at administrative overhead might have to make painful cuts to the employees responsible for education and research in such an environment. The cuts to senior administrators must be even steeper, right? At least as steep?

Somehow the ranks of managers have continued to grow right through this difficult period – up 4.2% between April, 2009 and April, 2011. In fact, the dismal prediction of our 2009 post has now come to pass: UC now has more senior managers (8,822 FTE) than ladder rank faculty (8,669 FTE).

Data source: http://www.ucop.edu/ucophome/uwnews/stat/

3 Responses to “UC’s Administrators Crossed the Line”

  1. Milan Mooravec says:

    Downsizing of University of California Administrators and wage concessions by Chancellors and faculty will arrest tuition increases. I love University of California (UC) having been a student and lecturer. But today I am concerned that at times I do not recognize the UC I love. Like so many Alumni, Donors, Legislators, and Californians I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failures of UC senior management and Regents.
    Californians suffers from 19% unemployment (includes those working part time, and those no longer searching), mortgage defaults, loss of unemployment benefits. And those who still have jobs are working longer for less. Chancellor/Faculty wages must reflect California’s ability to pay, not what others are paid.
    However we also understand that there need to be reasonable limits that reflect economic realities. UC Berkeley (Cal) planned pay raises for generously paid Faculty is arrogance.
    UC Berkeley (ranked # 70 Forbes) tuition increases exceed national average rate of increase. Chancellor Birgeneau’s leadership molds Cal into the most expensive public university in the USA.
    Can we do better with a spirit of shared sacrifices by UC Faculty, Provosts, and Chancellors?
    (17,000 earn more than $100,000)
    No furloughs.
    18 percent decrease UCOP salaries, $50 million budget cut.
    18 percent prune chancellors’ salaries.
    15 percent trim tenured faculty salaries, increase teaching.
    10 percent non-tenured faculty pay decrease, increase research, teaching.
    100% elimination of Academic Senate, Academic Council budgets.

    There is no question the necessary realignments with economic reality are painful.

    UC Board of Regents Chair Sherry Lansing can bridge the public trust gap with reassurances salaries reflect depressed California wages. With UC’s shared financial sacrifices, the sky above UC will not fall.

    Yours is the opinion that can make the difference, email UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

  2. Lincoln Cushing says:

    What I see in the data (and not evident in your summary) is that the increase in non-academic positions is very unevenly distributed. At Berkeley, 2007 nonacademic FTE were 8,697 and faculty 5,464; by 2011 those numbers had moved to 8,080 and 5,613 respectively. Again, one’s gone down and the other’s gone up, but not in a bad way.

    At the heinous mother ship of UCOP, the 2007 nonacademic FTE was 2,001 and by 2011 was 1,474. That’s a reduction as well – by a lot. If you look at the campuses where the most nonacademic growth has taken place it’s those with medical schools. I’d suggest that it might prove to be a more strategic analysis to look at the specific impact of the medical schools in both quantity of nonacademic positions as well as salaries.

    I am not an apologist for bad practices and policies of the administration and Board of the University of California. Give ’em Hell, keep them honest. Just keep your critique as honest and precise. That’s what we really need right now.

  3. […] Samuels: This claim is actually partially true: the money UC spends on undergraduate students has gone down, but that is mostly due to expanding class size, the use of inexpensive lecturers and graduate student instructors, and the elimination of many courses and class sections. What you do not say is that at the same time, the cost for graduate and professional education has gone up, and while there are fewer administrators at the Office of the President, there are more on the campuses. In fact, there are now more administrators than faculty members. […]

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