Thu06202019

Last updateMon, 29 Apr 2019 1pm

Editorial

Editors on Administrative Growth

default article imageIn institutions of higher education across the nation, administrators have taken a larger role in determining how power is allocated, and what decisions are in the best interests of the students they serve. Although Monmouth is not the only university that has expanded levels of administration, it also is not an exception to the status quo.

In a critique of higher education, published in a 2017 issue of The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, John Seery, a professor of politics and government at Pomona College, writes:

“The real reason tuitions are skyrocketing and educational integrity has been compromised is because administrators, not educators, now run the show...They call the shots. They build the fancy buildings. They call for and approve the costly amenities. They fund what they want to fund. They hire the people they want to hire and pay them top dollar. They make the decisions about branding campaigns, and they set the agenda for student affairs staffs. They fund the kind of curriculum they want. They control the purse strings. They hold the power.” 

Over the course of a decade, the University’s own administration has made significant expansions. In 2008, numerous Vice President positions were created. Later in 2014, upon the enactment of the Strategic Plan, five new Vice Provost and two new Associate Vice Provost positions were created, and levels beneath them have only continued to expand. 

When asked if they knew the roles of a provost or a vice provost and if they have ever benefited, to their knowledge, from the addition of new upper-level administrators, many of the editors were unaware. They also expressed their thoughts on the positions and their salaries.

A provost’s traditional role is to make sure that administrative and support operations run as they need to on a daily basis, including resolving personnel matter, balancing budgets, and overseeing the marketing of business operations.

“The University definitely seems to be adding unnecessary positions, and they likely [justify it] by saying that it is a way to ‘better’ the University. However, administrative positions do not seem to improve the daily life of the average student,” one editor said. “If anything, money would be better spent on the salaries of our professors or on student activities.”

As the University has grown in popularity and status, the campus has evolved to accommodate the new technology required for different majors. This money has come from tuition as well as monetary donations. When discussing administrative expansion, these changes were also considered.

“With additional students and new buildings, like the Thomas A. Edison Science Hall or Steven J. and Elaine Pozycki Hall, there are more things to monitor, which may call for an additional administrative position,” said an editor. 

“However, [it could be] all politics. The University may make up some need just because they owe a donor a certain favor or position,” this editor concluded.

Because the University’s operational budget is largely dependent on tuition, any rise in expenditures will affect students’ tuition. The editors find it curious that upon the creation of upper-level administration in 2014, the University’s tuition dependency rose from 91 percent to 94 percent. Accordingly, not only did tuition rise in those proceeding years, so did the portion of the budget funding these expenditures. 

 Monmouth does supplement tuition rates with financial assistance on a case-by-case basis. However, it may not be enough to attract future students if the tuition continues to rise, or even retain many of the current students. 

“I did receive merit scholarships for Monmouth, which covered about half of my tuition. Without that scholarship, I would not be attending MU at all,” said an editor. “However, even with that scholarship, Monmouth was still more expensive than other [in-state] colleges that I was considering.”

Another editor said, “The scholarship I received from Monmouth made my choice practical and cheaper than other private universities, as well as Penn State. [However,] this tuition increase has changed that entirely.”

One editor admitted that they had thought about transferring numerous times because they did not feel that their education was worth the high cost of tuition. “I came to Monmouth because I got a good scholarship and it was close to home, so I wouldn’t have to pay for room and board,” they said. “Now with the tuition increase, I’ve actually been thinking of taking student loans to cover the rest of my tuition because it’s too late into the year to transfer somewhere else.”

The editorial staff is frustrated that the tuition continues to increase, and the administration continues to grow; some positions without a seemingly direct and immediate benefit to the students. This trend of increasing administration is troubling, and editors are unsure how well it will bode in the future.

“It does anger me to think that higher administration seems more valuable than having more professors or other programs that might benefit the students. If the positions will be beneficial in the long-term, then that wouldn’t be the worst thing; however, if there are other ways to invest in the success of students, then those options should be closely considered,” said an editor.

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu