All the foregoing Topics impact each university’s commitment to its Academic program. Prudent spending in those areas results in a higher level of funding reaching the Core Mission areas; excessive spending has the reverse affect.
This Topic assesses Academic Commitment by measuring budget allocation levels to Instruction, the Library, and Academic Salaries. Included in the assessments is a measure of the degree to which the universities have pursued savings by reducing their utilization of full faculty and moving more towards adjunct faculty, sessional lecturers and teaching assistants.
Academic Salaries (Academic Ranks) covers “both full and part time staff members who hold an academic rank at the reporting institution and are engaged in instruction and research activities.” These are the most senior and experienced faculty.
Academic Salaries (Other Instruction & Research) covers “payments to both full and part time staff and non-staff members without academic rank at the reporting institution, but who are engaged in instruction and research activities.” This category includes adjunct faculty, sessional lecturers and teaching assistants.
The chart below shows the change across the Top 25 since 2001 in “Real Dollars” (adjusted for both inflation and enrollment). Positive values denote increases exceeding inflation and enrollment combined:
Top 25 Change Overview (Inflation-adjusted):
- Instruction expenditure averaged $463 million in 2022 – up 88% since 2001 (24% since 2010). It now accounts for 56.7% of total GOE (58.6% in 2001, 58.0% in 2010).
- Library expenditure averaged $31 million in 2022 – up 25% since 2001 (1% since 2010). It now accounts for 3.8% of GOE (5.9% in 2001, 4.8% in 2010).
- Expenditure on Academic Salaries (Academic ranks) in Instruction averaged $230 million in 2022 – up 80% since 2001 (25% since 2010). They now account for 28.1% of GOE (30.4% in 2001, 28.6% in 2010).
- Expenditure on Academic Salaries (Other Instruction & Research) in Instruction averaged $36 million in 2022 – up 102% since 2001 (20% since 2010). They now account for 4.4% of GOE (4.2% in 2001, 4.6% in 2010).
- Expenditure on Total Academic Salaries in Instruction averaged $265 million in 2022 – up 83% since 2001 (24% since 2010). They now account for 32.5% of GOE (34.6% in 2001, 33.2% in 2010).
To add perspective to the above numbers, average enrollment has increased by 57% since 2001 (21% since 2010).
The reduced expenditure levels for the Library are understandable, given the technology-based change in the nature of academic materials. However, the overall change in Resource Allocation suggests that the resultant savings were not kept within the Academic category.
There are signs of the other notable cost-saving change in the Academic area – the replacement of full Faculty with less experienced, but cheaper, adjunct faculty, sessional lecturers and teaching assistants.
The underlying methodology for the tables below can be seen HERE. Each table opens in a new tab.