… in the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that the most charitable description of what’s been going on at the clubby University of Minnesota medical school would be “bizarre.”
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Speaking Truth to Fiction
Bunsis Replies to Pfutzenreuter
Budget analyst: U’s administrative costs are still really high
Remember last Friday’s presentation on University of Minnesota finances by accounting professor Howard Bunsis, an officer in the American Association of University professors? He said spending on administration was a big factor in the rise of university costs. He was confronted at the session by the U’s CFO, Richard Pfutzenreuter, who said Bunsis was presenting a misleading picture.
Pfutzenreuter essentially said Bunsis had inflated administrative spending by including categories that either weren’t really administrative expenses, or were indirectly tied to instruction.
Here is Howard’s response to CFO Pfutzenreiter’s objections.
None of this would have changed my approach or conclusions.
Let me first report some more detail which supports the conclusion that administrative costs have increased significantly over the last several years.
This data is critical to rebutting any assumption that administrative costs went up for ancillary reasons. Do not (be persuaded) that there has not been an astronomical increase in administrative costs.
|Per Audited Statements (all campuses)||2002||2010||%change|
|Institutional Support Salaries and Benefits||99,424||172,929||74%|
|Institutional Support Supplies and Service||4,232||61,379||1350%|
|Institutional Support Total||103,656||234,308||126%|
|Instruction Salaries and Benefits||457,444||582,468||27%|
|Per IPEDS (TC only)||2002||2009|
|Institutional Support Salaries and Benefits||88,757,000||190,237,439||114%|
|Instruction Salaries and Benefits||412,028,930||512,636,014||24%|
If we take out the “accounting change” and other stuff that the CFO claims is in institutional support, then we still see a 74% increase in institutional support salaries and benefits. Per IPEDS at TC, institutional support salaries and benefits increased 114%. Notice how those increases dwarf the increases in instructional salaries and benefits. No amount of (persuading) can explain away those numbers.
Now, the supplies and services part of institutional support went up quite a bit. But here is the thing; there may be some additional items in there, but this is mostly the budgets of the upper-level administrators for services, supplies, travel, etc. It will be interesting to see what that yields.
Using the IPEDS data, comparing 2002 to 2009 (2010 is not yet available), the 114% increase in institutional support salaries and benefits is startling. When we get the 2010 and 2011 numbers, the same conclusion will be true: There has been a tremendous increase in administrative costs.
Now, I can do a year-by-year analysis as we proceed; for now, please use this data to rebut any conclusion that institutional support increased because of extraneous factors; there are too many administrators making too much money at the U.
at 3:30 PM