Who’s a Cost Center? : The Higher Ed Work Force Report

The Delta Cost Project, a research group under the American Institutes for Research (AIR) that looks at higher education costs, has released a report titled “Labor Intensive or Labor Expensive? Changing Staffing and Compensation Patterns in Higher Education.” 


Unfortunately some of the analysis in the report is easy to misinterpret because it moves back and forth between headcount, FTE, and dollars. Sometimes a trend toward more part time employees looks like growth in workforce, sometimes not. Thus, their figure 1 (here truncated) might indicate growth in workforce at private master’s and bachelor’s institutions or it might reflect a shift from full time to part time employees.



Still, I think the report deserves a close reading and that the appropriate folks at my own institution should inquire about where we stand on each of the metrics described and then initiate some critical conversations on whether we are pleased or not by the answers.


But in any case, this quote : “You can’t blame faculty salaries for the rise in tuition. Faculty salaries were ‘essentially flat’ from 2000 to 2012, the report says” from the CoHE article below will probably engender some interesting conversations.


See Also

Props to Maia Averett for calling HuffPost to my attention.