Higher Education in Florida: Are Florida's universities overadministered?
A by-the-numbers look at teacher vs. administrator ratios
As schools allowed their tenure-track teacher ranks to thin, they added administrators and managers at a clip that at some schools outpaced enrollment growth. From 2007 to 2011, universities added 696 full-time executives, administrators and managers, bringing the total to 4,030, a 21% increase, and added 320 “other professional” employees — typically degree-holding individuals in support and service posts — bringing that full-time total to 12,616, a 3% increase. UF, for example, lost 261 tenure and tenure-track posts in five years while gaining 242 executives, administrators and managers.
The decline in teaching resources and increase in administrative positions at Florida universities mirror national trends that hold true for both public and private universities. Florida’s 25% ratio of tenured and tenure-track faculty nearly matches the national average.
* UWF’s data is an anomaly. It doesn’t report these numbers in a way comparable to the other universities.
Source: Board of Governors annual accountability reports
Here’s what the Florida universities, collectively, looked like in 2007 and 2011.
For Each 100 Students, There Were ...
Source: Board of Governors; faculty data from the 2011-12 Accountability Report; student enrollment data is from the BOG online enrollment tool (based on E&G, state-fundable, and the U.S. definition of FTE)
More Adjuncts, Part Timers
The schools increased their use of “contingent” hires — full-time teachers not on the tenure path and part timers. Since 2007, Florida schools added 1,213 such faculty and instructors — not counting graduate students — a 14% increase.
“President (Bernie) Machen has always placed great emphasis on the student-faculty ratio. He believes that it is a measure of the quality of the institution,” says UF provost Joseph Glover. The worst ratio is 31.7 at the University of Central Florida. “We’re too high,” says Tony Waldrop, University of Central Florida provost and executive vice president. “The president (John Hitt) has been very strong in saying our No. 1 priority at the University of Central Florida is to hire more tenure-track faculty members. We’re going to squeeze tight every penny to do that.”
Hiring Changes (2007-11)
Individual schools made different choices about how to deploy resources in hiring.
Note: FGCU not listed because it does not offer tenure.
Source: Florida Board of Governors annual accountability reports