Tag Archive for higher education

Chronicle writer on future of higher ed at JCU on Jan. 16

Jeffrey Selingo, editor at large for the Chronicle of Higher Education, will visit John Carroll on Thursday, Jan. 16, for a series of events on campus, including a public presentation on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 3:30 p.m. in the Donohue Auditorium of the Dolan Science Center. It will be based on his recent award-winning book College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students.

His presentation will be followed by a community-wide reception sponsored by the Provost’s Office.

Selingo is a leading authority on higher education worldwide. He appears regularly on regional and national radio and television programs, and his writing has appeared in leading national news outlets, in print and on line.

NFM President testifies before House committee on ACA effects on adjuncts

Maria Maisto, president of New Faculty Majority, testified at the House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing on “The Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Schools, Colleges, and Universities.”

Maisto was one of four witnesses invited to testify at the Nov. 14 hearing, and the only one whose statement focused on the efforts of colleges and universities to avoid providing health benefits under the Affordable Care Act by cutting the workloads of adjunct faculty.

“Since the ACA has become law, some college and university administrations have been in the news for reducing part-time faculty work assignments or by redefining their work in order to avoid providing insurance.  Some people would have us believe that the ACA is giving the managers of colleges and universities no choice but to enact these policies.  I am here to correct that misperception,” Maisto said.

“It is not the ACA but rather these colleges’ interpretation of and response to the law that is hurting adjuncts and their students. Colleges have lots of choices, and unfortunately for their students, too many have chosen not to support or invest in faculty. The faculty members who do not have access to healthcare — or to the other professional supports that all faculty need in order to do their jobs consistently well — are being set up for failure, as are their millions of students,” she said.

After Maisto’s testimony, committee members from both parties asked probing questions about adjunct faculty working conditions and agreed that adjuncts should have healthcare benefits.

George Miller (D-Calif.), the senior Democratic member on the committee, said the hearing was the first to cover adjunct issues in any substantial way. He and committee chair John Kline (R-Minn.) agreed a committee hearing should be scheduled to focus on the adjunct situation. Miller also proposed setting up a website to collect adjunct data.

Maisto was invited to testify before the committee after committee staff members read her op-ed, “There’s Something Sneaky Going On At Colleges Across America,” published April 23, 2013, on TakePart.com.

On Wednesday, Maisto also testified at the Department of Education’s open forum on the Obama administration’s plan to address college value and affordability at George Mason University. Deputy Under Secretary Jamienne Studley moderated the forum.

View the Archived Webcast. Read the testimony.

Read coverage in the Chronicle of Higher Education: Lawmakers Told of Health-Care Law’s Harmful Effect on Adjuncts and CollegesNov. 15, 2013

UA’s top 50 earn $10 million-plus. Adjuncts? $8.90/hr.

Question: How many full-time students at the University of Akron have to fork over nearly $10K in annual tuition and fees this fall to cover the salaries of the institution’s 50 highest paid administratorsAnswer: 1,040.

At $9,734 a pop, it takes the tuition of roughly five percent of the university’s 20,547 full-time students (according to fall 2012 enrollment figures) to pay the $10,127,487 a year that UA’s top 50 administrators earn. That figure covers just the salaries for their 12-month contracts. Bonuses, retirement benefits, health benefits and other perks are additional.

The problem is called administrative bloat. And according to the U.S. Department of Education, about $1,000 to $5,000 per student, per year is spent on administration costs. That’s roughly six to 14 percent of a pupil’s annual tuition bill.

Diversity, pay equity issues

However, when one analyzes the UA data, another issue appears. Only about 15 percent of those in the top 50 at UA are women, and the top 10 earners are all men.

These facts raise questions regarding UA’s record on diversity and gender-based pay disparity, although the institution touts its commitment to “creating a framework for excellence that incorporates diversity at its core.”

Top 10 earners at UA:

  1. Luis A. Proenza, president, $500,000, effective Jan. 1, 2014. This amount does not include $125K in bonuses.pay disparity
  2. William Sherman, provost, $291,600. Sherman retired and was rehired this summer and will collect his STRS benefits, along with his salary. See the full list of UA employees who retired since 1999 and were rehired, thus double dipping by simultaneously collecting both a pension and a salary.
  3. Stephen Z. D. Cheng, dean, College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, $285,492
  4. Chand Midah, dean, College of Arts and Sciences, $279,246
  5. George R. Newkome, vice president, research; dean, graduate school, $266,717
  6. George K. Haritos, dean, engineering, $264,594
  7. Thomas Wistrcill, director, athletics, $243,477
  8. Robert A. Weiss, department chair, polymer engineering, $242,034
  9. Ravi Krovi, dean, College of Business Administration, $239,789
  10. David J Cummins, CFO, $236,900

At the same time as the University of Akron is paying its administrators top dollar, it is facing a $30 million budget deficit. And the majority of its faculty, its part-timers, earn fast food wages.

Administrative bloat = increased tuition, student debt, adjunct abuse

Nationwide, tuition and room and board costs at public institutions have increased 42 percent since 2000, while administrative costs have zoomed upward 60 percent. Likewise, the number of administrators on college campuses has grown. By 2008, there were more than twice as many administrators as tenure-track faculty at institutions nationwide.

These statistics have produced a nationwide outcry against the practice, including a Wall Street Journal series on the problems of university systems across the country. It featured a chart detailing how administrative spending boosts college costs.

At the same time as the number of administrators has ballooned, institutions have significantly increased their use of non-tenure-track full-time and poorly paid part-time faculty. UA has the second highest percentage of part-time faculty in Ohio and one of the worst graduation rates in the state at 14 percent.

Less than 40 percent of students nationwide are now taught by tenure or tenure-track professors who earn a wage commensurate with their education and experience. The remaining 60 percent are taught by part-time faculty who make poverty level wages.

Meanwhile, total student debt in the U.S. is approaching $1 trillion, and the average college senior in the U.S. now carries $25,000 in student loan debt at graduation. In Ohio the average is $28,683, seventh-highest in the nation.

Poor pay for the new faculty majority at UA

UA’s approximately 1,500 part-timers make up more than 70 percent of all faculty on campus, receive no benefits and earn about $2,400 per three-credit course. Each of them will earn $9,600 for the 2013-2014 academic year, if they teach six credits per semester. That makes the wages of an adjunct faculty member at UA roughly 50 percent less than that of a fast food worker.

Nationwide, part-time faculty members make an average of $8.90 per hour, despite having earned advanced degrees.

uakron infographic large

Hours cut to avoid providing health benefits

Always poorly paid, UA adjuncts are in worse shape this academic year. That’s because UA is limiting adjuncts to eight credits per semester to avoid paying health benefits.

However, since most courses at UA are three credits, adjuncts have effectively been cut to six credits per semester or 12 per year.