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Study claims universities have "administrative bloat"

By Daniel Kraker

Flagstaff, AZ – The study from the Phoenix based Goldwater Institute shows that between 1993 and 2007, the number of administrators per 100 students grew much faster than instructional spending. Northern Arizona University increased its number of administrators by 36 percent, and that's the smallest increase among Arizona's three state schools. The Goldwater Institute's Jay Greene acknowledges employees like librarians and human resources professionals are important, but:

"Do we need them to increase at a significant faster rate than the number of students, and at a significantly faster rate than faculty who are doing the front line work of teaching, research and service."

NAU spokesman Tom Bauer argues that employees like librarians and academic advisors are at the front lines of teaching students.

"Throw into that mix the huge growth in technology, distance learning, computer support, you have to have people, resources to support that. So of course that end of things is going to grow."

Greene replies that those technological changes improve productivity and should reduce the need for administrative staff.