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Higher Ed Bubble: WaPo Gets It

To see where the discussion on higher ed reform is going, look this piece from editorial writer Charles Lane in the Washington Post.

At the University of Minnesota, the number of employees with “human resources” or “personnel” in their job titles has grown from 180 to 272 since the 2004-05 academic year. Since 2006, the university has spent $10 million on consultants for a vast new housing development that is decades from completion. It employs 139 people for marketing, promotions and communications. Some 81 administrators make $200,000 per year or more.

In the past decade, Minnesota’s administrative payroll has gone up three times as fast as the teaching payroll, and twice as fast as student enrollment.

Oh, and tuition more than doubled in that same period, to more than $13,000 per year.

For decades, Americans gladly paid the ever-rising costs of the higher education complex because we believed — and believe — as a nation that education matters. But costs have been rising significantly faster than inflation, and the country is beginning to look under the hood, and to ask questions about how well the system works.

You don’t have to ask many questions before you stumble on the administrative bloat that Lane found at Minnesota. And more and more voters and legislators are going to end up where Lane does at the end of his piece:

The days of pouring government money into the existing business model, no strings attached, need to end.

Read the whole thing.

(h/t: former VM staffer @Yair_Rosenberg)

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