Soaring College Administrative Costs Pit Bureaucrats Against Professors

Ann McClure's picture

Paul Robinson, chairman of Purdue University's faculty senate, strode through the halls of a 10- story concrete-and-glass administrative tower.

"I have no idea what these people do," said Mr. Robinson, waving his hand across a row of offices, his voice rising.

The professor of biomedical engineering is leading a faculty revolt against bureaucratic bloat at the Indiana public university. In the past decade, the number of administrative employees jumped 54 percent, almost eight times the growth of tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Purdue has a $313,000-a-year acting provost and six vice and associate vice provosts, including a $198,000 chief diversity officer. It employs 16 deans and 11 vice presidents, among them a $253,000 marketing officer and a $433,000 business school chief.

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