Rise of For-Profit Education and Decrease of Staff

A couple of news items I noticed this morning that may be of interest:

The Chronicle reports a rise in for-profit education (e.g., University of Phoenix). The report they link, The Condition of Education 2011, indicates that the share of educating students for-profit colleges and universities have has risen to 9 percent. This is something of a troubling trend for those of us in public higher education — especially given the cost differentials between public/private non-profit education and for-profit education is pretty extreme (for four-year institutions):

  • Average tuition at public schools: $15,600
  • Public instructional expenses: $9,418 per full-time student
  • Average tuition at nonprofit private schools: $26,600
  • Private nonprofit instructional expenses: $15,289 per full-time student
  • Average tuition at for-profit schools: $30,900
  • For-profit instructional expenses: $2,659 per full-time student

Inside Higher Ed reported on a new report by the State Higher Education Executive Officers which claims that the growth in higher education is “in areas like faculty, graduate assistants and academic support and student services.” However, this growth isn’t enough to actually meet student needs. One of the areas noted as having high growth is something that should be no surprise to anyone in higher education — the rise of non-tenure track/adjunct faculty (and graduate assistants), while full-time faculty decreases. This is another sign of the way administrations are trying to become “more efficient” and “cut costs” by decreasing job security and hiring “low cost” employees. The biggest growth area, though, was “other professionals” (6 percent), while the biggest decline seems to be in civil service-type positions (24 percent drop!).

Furlough day tomorrow! If any readers out there would like to share “disruption” stories, we would appreciate it! Tell us how the furlough interrupts your work or effects the students you may be working with over the summer. Tell us how the furlough interfere with the day-to-day operation of the university or how the furlough hurts you personally.

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