5/2/2013: That’s the question UO’s feckless administrative bargaining team has raised at the table. As it happens there’s a new paper on college admissions from Doug Chung at the HBS, coming out in Management Science, that is relevant. Quick version?
I further find that when a school goes from being mediocre to being great on the football field, applications increase by 17.7 percent. To achieve similar effects, a school would have to either decrease its tuition by 3.8 percent or increase the quality of its education by recruiting higher-quality faculty who are paid 5.1 percent more in the academic labor market.
In addition, the impact of football success on applications is concentrated among low-SAT students, and is short-lived. Regardless, if football success is helping UO recruit students, our enrollment management people ought to be saving a ton of money on recruiting costs, by cutting back on visits to CA high schools, mailings, advertising, etc. Those bowl games should do it all, right? Right? Well, not exactly, UO’s Enrollment Management Operations budget is up 600%:
Of course you don’t need to propose anything as improbable as cutting football, or even football expenditures to get the money for faculty raises. Cut sports like baseball, golf, tennis and lacrosse – which cost millions, and benefit only a few student-athletes, and their coaches. (And one UO Matters commenter.)