Friday, February 25, 2011

2011-02-25 "SF State Faculty Blast Administration on Spending; As university braces for steep academic cuts, spending on marketing and administration has grown, report finds" by Jennifer Gollan from "Bay Citizen" online journal
Despite a yawning budget gap, San Francisco State University continues to spend hefty sums on administrators’ salaries and non-academic expenses, leaders of the university’s faculty union say.
For example, between 2006 and 2009, marketing and other non-academic costs increased 28 percent, or $5 million. Over the same period, expenditures for instruction, including faculty salaries, grew by 18 percent, or $23 million, according to a new report commissioned by the university’s faculty union.
“We are calling on the administration to take as hard a look at the non-academic costs as the academic costs,” said Ramon Castellblanch, president the California Faculty Association's San Francisco State University chapter, which represents 1,500 professors and others. “There are high administrative costs here.”
The 78-page report, released Thursday, comes as the university braces for deep cuts and perhaps other cost-saving measures to cushion next year's $26 million budget shortfall, which could increase to $32 million, depending on the state budget. The university is considering a proposal to consolidate its eight academic colleges into six next year. The plan calls for folding parts of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences into other academic colleges and recalibrating the College of Education to save $1 million. It is unclear whether there will be any faculty layoffs next year.
“The administration at San Francisco State is not devoting enough resources to the core academic mission,” said Howard Bunsis, an accounting professor at Eastern Michigan University who was hired to perform the review of SF State’s financial statements at the request of the university’s faculty.
Ellen Griffin, a spokeswoman for San Francisco State University, declined to comment Thursday, saying she had not had the opportunity to review the report.
Among the other findings in the report: The average salary and benefit package for each of the university’s 149 administrators was $156,000 in the 2009-10 academic year. By contrast, the highest-ranking faculty members earned an average of $117,000 for salary and benefits in the same year, according to figures provided by the university.
In addition, between 1998 and 2009, SF State saw enrollment jump 21 percent, or from roughly 20,359 to 24,612 students. Over the same period, the size of the faculty shrank by 5 percent, from 1,006 to 953 instructors.
“Many students are taking classes sitting in the aisles of their classrooms and in many cases not getting the classes they need,” said Bunsis, who is treasurer of the Eastern Michigan University chapter of the American Association of University Professors, an organization that represents faculty at public and private universities nationwide. “The university is not putting its resources into the classroom, they are putting them into administrative costs.”

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