Tipping the (Diseconomies of) Scale

Lindsey Burke /

The Goldwater Institute has released a new report, authored by Dr. Jay Greene of the University of Arkansas and researchers Brian Kisida and Jonathan Mills, examining the “administrative bloat” at America’s colleges and universities. According to the report, Administrative Bloat at American Universities: The Real Reason for High Costs in Higher Education:

In U.S. higher education, there have actually been diseconomies of scale. Universities employ more people and spend more money to educate each student even as those universities increase their enrollment. … Between 1993 and 2007, the number of full-time administrators per 100 students at America’s leading universities grew by 39 percent, while the number of employees engaged in teaching, research or service only grew by 18 percent. Inflation-adjusted spending on administration per student increased by 61 percent during the same period, while instructional spending per student rose 39 percent.

What has enabled colleges to compound upon their inefficiencies over the years? (more…)