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Administrative Bloat in Higher Education—AcademicInfluence.com Examines the Causes and Cures for This Growing Problem

College costs as an escalating piggy bank size, image

With students wanting more out of their higher ed experience, colleges and universities remain eager to please—but for a growing cost. AcademicInfluence.com looks into this administrative bloat and how it may be hurting education…

FORT WORTH, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, September 30, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Anyone who must pay for college knows it costs a small fortune. What many students, parents, and guardians may not understand is why. Administrative bloat is the hidden and often unnecessary set of costs that help to at least partially explain the enormous and growing expense of a college education.

Inflection, the opinion, editorial, and news analysis journal of AcademicInfluence.com, examines the impact of administrative bloat on students and schools and what might be done to correct it:

Overcoming Administrative Bloat in Higher Education

According to U.S. News & World Report , tuition for private U.S. colleges has risen by 144% over the last 20 years, while out-of-state public school tuition is up 165%. In-state public school tuition is up 212% over the same period. This inflationary pattern has persisted for decades.

But the pandemic, drops in student enrollment, and natural market competition are taking their toll, with 579 higher education institutions since 2017 ceasing to exist. Clearly, the need to correct this problem is keeping school presidents up at night.

“Picture a tug-of-war where the executive leadership of the average school is stuck in the middle, holding both pieces of the rope, pulled in opposite directions by contrary forces,” says article author and Inflection chief editor Dave Tomar. “Students demand more services, and to stay competitive leadership must hire personnel to manage those services, with each hire adding overhead. At the same time, the news media trumpet every cost increase, and exasperated students either balk entirely or they commit to a crushing debt they carry for decades. Something’s got to give.”

Administrative bloat occurs when the cost and scale of a university’s administrative structure either fails to contribute to the institution’s core educational mission or actually detracts from that educational mission. The result: students are demanding more and paying more, but often getting less than did students of prior generations.

In exposing the bloat, the article outlines the nature of the problem, while answering the following questions:
• What is administrative bloat?
• Is administrative bloat actually happening?
• Does this hulking administrative structure benefit students?
• Does this administrative growth serve the core educational mission?
• How is COVID-19 changing the math around administrative expenses?

“Does a college need an associate director of student success? Or a team of staff to manage a climbing wall or lazy river?” asks Tomar. “Well, it depends on what a student wants out of college. But these luxury items come at a cost, both in the rate of tuition growth and in the diminished investment in the classroom experience. Hopefully, raising awareness of the administrative bloat behind these steep costs can begin to restore sanity to the campus arms race.”

For additional perspective on college costs, see AcademicInfluence.com’s faculty salary ranking, which highlights the emphasis influential schools place on hiring and retaining top professors.

AcademicInfluence.com is the preeminent technology-driven academic rankings site dedicated to students, researchers, and inquirers from high school through college and beyond, offering resources that connect learners to leaders. (Visit the AcademicInfluence.com About page for further details on the capabilities and advantages of this unique ranking technology and on the people who make it possible.) AcademicInfluence.com is a part of the EducationAccess group, a family of sites dedicated to lifelong learning and personal growth.

Jed Macosko, Ph.D.
AcademicInfluence.com
+1 682-302-4945
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