bloat balloons

7/30/2010: More from “The Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability” and their online database of the federally required reports to IPEDS.  Looking at UO’s spending per student FTE compared to Carnegie Public Research university averages, for 2008. We spend:

  • $2,347 on Central administration. 96% of the average
  • $8,850 on Instruction. 91% of the average
  • $1,937 on Academic support: 70% of the average
  • $3,521 on Research. 63% of the average

So UO spends about $70 million on research. (The measure excludes research funded by departments – e.g. when faculty spend time on research on regular pay.) The internal “big ideas” initiative that Provost Bean announced last year was an internal competition for a total of $250,000:

The 2009 Academic Plan created the Phased Focus process implemented by a series of Big Ideas to power the University to the next level.  In Spring, 2009, a 15 person faculty committee chose the first set of Big Ideas from 28 submissions.  These five interdisciplinary teams were each funded with $50,000 from carryover in the Provost’s Office budget from FY09, and launched in July, 2009. …

This moves us from 63% to 63.25% of what the average public research university spends per student. Well, it would if it were recurring, actually it’s one-shot. In comparison, here’s what has happened to administrative spending in just one administrative office, Institutional Equity and Diversity:

2006   $429,000
2008   $596,000
2010   $743,000

The $314,000 increase that went to OIED (and this is before their recent hiring increase) is more than the $250,000 for research “big ideas”. And this is just one administrative office. And this happened when the administration was already receiving proportionally far more money than research.

The UO administration talks about wanting to be a top tier, flagship institution and wanting to stay in the AAU. But that is not where they are spending our money.

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