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Higher Education

Higher Education in Florida: Are Florida's universities overadministered?

A by-the-numbers look at teacher vs. administrator ratios

Mike Vogel | 6/10/2013

The picture that emerges from a look at the staffing practices of Florida universities in the past five years is complex. Like universities across the nation, Florida schools have been beset by budget cuts. And like schools nationally, the schools have limited tenure-track faculty positions and turned more to part timers and adjunct professors to control costs. But most schools, both nationally and in Florida, have hired administrators at a much faster clip than enrollment growth. This report looks at the trends — and explanations.


Less Tenure
Since 2007, enrollment at Florida’s state universities has grown 9.5% to 329,737. During the same period, the universities added very few tenured professors and reduced the number of junior professors working toward tenure by 19%. Collectively, tenured and tenure-track faculty make up 25% of the university total, down from 27% five years ago and 33% in 2004.

Year Students Per Tenured Faculty1 Students Per Administrator2
2002 51 81
2003 54 66
2004 52 81
2005 60 87
2006 60 91
2007 61 88
2008 56 84
2009 57 85
2010 59 81
2011 61 79

1 Excludes Florida Gulf Coast University, which doesn’t have tenure 2 Includes executives and managers

Source: Based on Board of Governors staff analysis of IPEDS full-time, tenured faculty (includes medical and non-medical staff involved with instruction) and administrative data and State University Database System (SUDS) student data


Increasing Student-Faculty Ratios
Only the use of contingent faculty has kept student/faculty ratios from eroding dramatically. Overall, the public universities in Florida report a 25.1 student/faculty ratio, up from 23.9 five years earlier, though the ratio varies greatly by institution. Ratios across the system soar when just tenured faculty are counted.

University Fall 2007 Fall 2011
UCF 28.8 31.7
FIU 26.3 27.0
FSU 25.0 26.5
USF 26.8 26.1
UWF 18.9 23.8
FGCU 17.8 22.3
FAMU 16.7 21.3
UNF 21.7 20.5
UF 21.7 20.5
FAU 18.4 20.0
NCF 10.4 10.4
System 23.9 25.1

Source: Board of Governors annual accountability reports

Tags: Education, Higher Education, Teaching vs. Administration

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