By Francisco Casillas |Staff Writer|
The number of non-academic and professional employees at private and public universities has more than doubled in the last 25 years, according to a report by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR).
This increase is more than twice the growth rate of students and academic personnel, according to the analysis.
The report also states that universities have increased their non-academic employees even when they’ve adjusted classroom positions from full-time faculty to part-time adjunct faculty and teaching assistants, which are less costly.
“It should be more about the quality of education rather than cramming as many people in a room. I think tuition money should focus on paying for professors, which should increase the quality of learning,” said student Jaycie Kim.
Part-time professors and teaching assistants now make up half of the teaching staff at colleges and universities, in comparison to one-third in 1987.
Also, the ratio of non-academic employees to faculty has doubled.
In public universities, the average is now two non-academic employees for every one full-time, tenure track member of the faculty.
“Professors with more education come first. The quality of education is of utmost importance and that’s what students need at any campus rather than using students’ money to build structures that could potentially distract us,” said student Carlos Lino.
However, in the California State University (CSU) System, the figures show differently.
Only 49.8 percent of the CSU staff are non-academic, which range from professional and technical to management and maintenance, according to the CSU website. The other 50.2 percent are faculty.
Currently, the CSU system, which accounts for 23 campuses across California, has 447,000 students and 45,000 faculty and staff.
Of the 22,276 total faculty serving CSU campuses, 10,907 (or 49 percent) are part-time and 11,269 (or 51 percent) are full-time faculty, according to a fact sheet provided by the CSU website.
Of the full-time faculty, 41 percent are professors, 24 percent are associate professors, 17.6 percent are assistant professors or instructors, and 17.4 percent are lectures.
Also, the proportion of four-year bachelor’s degree-seeking students who graduate within six years has increased to 58 percent, which according to The Huffington Post, “doesn’t seem to improve universities’ academic performance nor productivity.”
“If the ideal goal is to earn your degree in four years, then it is a priority for the administration to focus on academics for their students and get them to graduate,” said Lino.
“I just hope that the hiring of future administration doesn’t jeopardize the learning material, because it will be an obvious difference in the way the classes are run,” said Kim.