Davis Faculty Association

Richard Evans’ response to Yudof

Richard Evans, a UC Davis Cooperative Extension Specialist who wrote a piece about the off scale growth in administrators at UC that was published on CUCFA’s Keep California’s Promise website and who was quoted in the Sacramento Bee article about administrative bloat that resulted in a response by President Yudof, has written a letter to the Bee in response to Yudof’s letter. He has given me permission to distribute this draft of his letter to DFA members:

In UC President Mark Yudof’s response (March 7) to a Bee editorial decrying the administrative bloat that has occurred in the UC system, he attributes the staggering increase in senior administrators to three things: UC medical schools, a new campus, and auxiliary services. Mr. Yudof misleads us. UC employment data belie his contention that most of the increase in administration occurred in the medical schools. Between 1993 and 2009, senior administration increased 212% at the five campuses that operate medical schools and hospitals. On the other campuses, senior administration grew 234%.

Only one constituent of the UC budget has increased at a rate approaching that of senior administration: Student fees (and tuition) have increased 168% for residents and 186% for non-residents during the past 17 years. Meanwhile the teaching faculty increased only 26%, and student numbers by 36%.

The new campus, UC Merced, already has more senior administrators than faculty, but it is a small campus whose numbers have little effect on the big picture. The big picture is affected more by the 146% increase since 1993 in the number of people whose job titles consist of the various permutations of the words assistant, associate, and vice with dean, provost, chancellor, and president. Their absolute numbers aren’t immense, but it is their plans and decisions that have diverted hundreds of millions of dollars annually from teaching and research into administration.

Mr. Yudof’s comments about the role of auxiliary services in university growth are puzzling. Should we be pleased that UC can’t afford to teach all of its courses because of increases in the number of people administering nonacademic services?

UC is a great public university. We must not let it sink under the weight of costly, excessive administrative growth. There are no easy solutions, but these three acts would be a start. First, UC leaders should acknowledge the existence of administrative bloat and present a plan for correcting it. Second, Mr. Yudof should refuse remuneration above the level of a senior faculty member until the budget crisis has passed, because a lean and hungry university president would be more persuasive before the legislature and the governor than one whose salary and benefits approach seven figures. Third,    the governor, the legislature, and the public should provide UC with sufficient funds to reestablish excellence, and they should hold the UC Regents accountable for their governance and oversight.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 at 5:15 pm and is filed under UC Administration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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