While the cost of Central Administration provides a good guide to a university’s administrative cost, it doesn’t portray the full picture because some schools take a more de-central approach to administration.

Most of the administrative activity that is subject to varying degrees of centralization exists in three places – Central Administration, Computing & Communications, and one component in Instruction (the non-academic staff who provide administrative and other support inside the faculties). The Library, Student Services and Physical Plant are largely self-contained functions that receive supervision, rather than administrative support, from Central Administration.

This Indicator incorporates the broader measure into the Overall Rankings by measuring the cost of the various forms of administrative and other support staff, and then measuring their total cost against expenditure on academic staff.

5 A) CENTRAL AND DECENTRAL STAFF COSTS – EFFICIENCY RANKINGS

5A

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The Summary Rankings are derived from the detailed rankings in the first four of the tables below. Additional analyses are included but do not form part of the Summary Ranking.

5 B) CENTRAL AND DECENTRAL STAFF COSTS – EXPENDITURE RANKINGS AND FINANCIAL IMPACT

These tables show the 2001 and latest spending levels, the latest expenditure, and the dollar impact of spending level variances (the amount by which the university is over-spending or under-spending, compared with past levels or current peer group levels).

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While there are many complexities attached to this Indicator, it does provide some insight into the levels of funding allocated to the various types of support – administrative support, and support for academic staff (some of which may be more academic than administrative in nature). None of these staff costs falls under the definition of “academic”.

Notwithstanding those complexities, it is surprising to see such a wide range of results when the total cost of the central and de-central support is set against spending on academic staff.

The (apparently) most cost-effective university spends around 41 cents on this support for every dollar it spends on faulty salaries, while the (apparently) least cost-effective university spends at almost double that level.