ASU Administrative Bloat Part of Higher Cost?

The Goldwater Institute recently released “Administrative Bloat at America Universities: The Real Reason for High Costs in Higher Education“.  It shows that administrative spending per student has increased by 46 percent between 1993 and 2007.  Dr. Crow of course feels this assessment is not fair.  I guess sometimes you get defensive when your nearly $750,000 salary comes into question as waste.


  1. It takes a LOT of staff to herd prospective students through admissions, financial aid, and courses designed to test rote memorization skills while simultaneously coming up with 100 different clever billboards all over town. 😉

  2. There’s no question that a University as silo’ed as ASU, where everyone has a fiefdom, has too many administrators. That being said, so do our public schools, our community colleges, etc. Administration is the career path for teachers:-)

  3. The problem is you’re not going to find someone who is willing to manage a 100,000+ person organization, continuously raise funds for said organization, AND stay motivated to do so for less than $750k – If you compare to CEO salaries in similarly sized businesses and other orgs, Crow’s pay is low. Like any growing organization, there is support staff required to continue your growth, and ASU has done an incredible job maintaining their position as a Research 1 university without a med school and a State that has all but cut off support completely.

  4. I call quasi bullshit. Indeed it requires real pay (note I never said his salary was too much). However, he is one of the top 5 paid officials of ANY University. His performance is not equivalent to the pay. Secondly, it is ASU’s choice to enroll 65,000+ students every year. Why not break ASU into 4 separate schools. Split that $750,000 4 ways and pay each president $175,000. Each University would have about 16,250 students (gasp a manageable size for learning).

    The state should have cut this behemoth off a decade ago. It is simply out of control. Look around, the resulting product is broken. It’s not just ASU either.

  5. Crow is very highly paid and worth every penny! He has turned around the nation’s number-one party school, and made it into a highly respected research institution.Yes, that transition started before he arrived, but he made it happen! Any evaluation has to recall the dismal state of ASU before he came on the scene.

    Also, the study conducted by the ultra-right-wing Goldwater Institute (no relation to Sen. Barry) is highly flawed. For example, it includes as “administrators” all the technology staff who directly support students in accessing the Internet and analyzing data. Students didn’t have any access to the Internet in 1993, and the World Wide Web didn’t even exist then! These tech staff are clearly in direct support of student education and research; they are not “administrators” in any sense.

    It includes as “administrators” all the people who directly support students navigating through the maze of financial support sources such as scholarships, grants and different types of loans. These sources have gotten incredibly more complex since 1993, and require specialists to help students and their parents pay for college. These staff are not educators, but they are necessary today–but not in 1993–for students to get an education.

    Any biased analysis can find fault anywhere. I am confident that a similar analysis of Fortune 500 companies would reach similar results.

  6. I have found ASU to have an army of managers that fit one of three models:
    1. Executive Moron
    2. President of Indifference
    3. Oh, you need what?

    more managers and administrators than I care to count have been instrumental in preventing over a dozen people that I know from trying to pursue either an education or employment there.
    One ‘dean’ of the graphic design program couldn’t even muster the energy to tell his own staff what date mid-terms were, or give access to the proprietary system so they could enter grades.

    The hard working grunts and instructors I know and respect need to rise as one and slay these idealize stereotypes of privileged pigheaded academic counterweights.

    ASU has earned every iota of criticism it gets.

    …and so some tenured parasitic law brain doesn’t get a chubby to sue me, this is all strictly my opinion…

    but then again, they’d actually have to do some work, so I’m not really worried.

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