On Monday, September 9, Ohio Conference AAUP President John McNay delivered testimony to the Higher Education Reform Study Committee – a new standing committee started in the Ohio House of Representatives over the summer.
The committee has embarked on a “road show,” traveling all over the state to public and for-profit colleges to discuss a myriad of issues in higher education.
On September 9, the committee met at Columbus State Community College to address the topic of “Reducing the High Cost of Higher Education.” “Faculty Workload” was a topic listed under that heading.
During his testimony, McNay explained, “The common assumption is that universities’ costs are so high due to the labor (e.g. faculty) that they have to employ…Yet the most recent data from the Integrated Post-Secondary Data System (IPEDS) reveals that between FY 2002 and FY 2011, Ohio’s institutions spent, on average, 29.5 percent of their operating budgets on total instructional compensation (e.g. salaries and benefits). Over the 10 year period, total instructional compensation declined by 3.9 percent.”
Citing additional IPEDS data, McNay went on to tell legislators that the real culprit of rising tuition and waste is “administrative bloat,” and that future discussions about reducing higher education costs should focus on reining in administrative spending and redirecting it to instructional purposes.
Members of the committee seemed to acknowledge the problems of administrative bloat and the shrinking numbers of full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty at Ohio’s institutions. Vice Chair Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) asked for a list of recommendations from the Ohio Conference AAUP. We will continue to update our members with relevant information about this committee. You can follow the committee and read other testimony that has been given by clicking here.