“Bottom line: Less than 33 cents of every dollar spent is for faculty pay”

On November 11, Vice-President David Creamer and Provost Phyllis Callahan gave the second annual Senate Budget Presentation. (We hope the administration will continue this tradition.) We received a response to the presentation from James Brock, Moeckel Professor of Economics at Miami, and he’s given us permission us to share it. The main takeaway:

“The information…create[s] the impression that faculty pay represents a massive share of Miami’s budget…But it doesn’t…Bottom line: Less than 33 cents of every dollar spent is for faculty pay.”

In fact, that 33 cents includes other stuff besides faculty pay. The category is called “instruction & other.” We don’t know what “other” might include, but AAUP chapter figures show that instructional salaries and benefits account for significantly less than 33 cents on the dollar: only a little above 26% of the total university budget goes to instructional salaries and benefits.

Here is Professor Brock’s full response:

For what it’s worth, I’ve reviewed the budget presentation to U senate last week.

I’m struck by the way the information is presented to create the impression that faculty pay represents a massive share of Miami’s budget.

But it doesn’t, and the impression to the contrary is created by the fancy, colorful pie charts and the order in which they are presented:  The first couple of charts get attention, while I think people’s eyes glaze over when the later, more telling ones are reached (I know mine are).

So Fig. 3 indicates that “personnel” represents 71% of the budget, but faculty are only ONE part of all personnel, and it’s 71% of only ONE part of the university’s overall budget (the E&G portion).

Go to Fig. 5, which indicates “instruction and other” expenditures of $225 million.  This understates the faculty-only portion, because God only knows what the “other” includes (it’s interesting that a faculty-only figure is not provided anywhere in this presentation).

This same Fig. 5 indicates that “instruction and other” represents 59% — but 59% ONLY of the E&G part of the overall budget.

However, the overall total budget is obtained by adding the pieces of Fig. 1,  which represents the total of ALL Miami spending on the Oxford campus of $691 million.

So “instruction and other” expenditures of $225 million represent only 33% of ALL Miami spending on the Oxford campus — in other words, only one-third (not 70+%) — and, again, this 33% figure is overstated by inclusion of the “other” category.

Now to compare spending on faculty (which, remember, is understated because the $225 million number includes undefined “other” as well) with administration personnel spending:   Add all the categories in Fig. 37 of salary for all administrative permanent staff to get $95 million — compared to (an overstated) figure of “instruction and other” spending of $225, and what do you find?  Spending on administrative salaries that is fully 47% of spending on “instruction and other” — and even higher than that if a faculty-only figure were available.

Bottom line:  Less than 33 cents of every dollar spent is for faculty pay.

And as I say, for what it’s worth, take it or leave it.

What we’re all about and how to tell your friends

Do you want to know more about the work our chapter does, or would you like to share information about the chapter with colleagues? We’ve now got a sweet little handout summarizing why we are here and what we do. Speak with any member or write us at miamiaaup@gmail.com to get copies of the below handout to distribute to colleagues.

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“A very good business opportunity”: the Ohio higher-ed giveaway

An ITT Technical Institute for-profit college location in Chantilly, Virginia on July 6, 2014. Photo Credit: Kristoffer Tripplaar/ Sipa USA
An ITT Technical Institute for-profit college location in Virginia. Photo Credit: Kristoffer Tripplaar/ Sipa USA

This is a complicated story but it’s important if you care about higher education in Ohio and higher-ed trends across the US. University of Akron’s President Scarborough had/has a bold plan to expand the university into satellite campusus—some outside the state—by taking over ITT Tech (the for-profit failure). How would he run them? By outsourcing the work and slapping the U of Akron name on the label.

Now it looks like the outsourcing plan involves a contract with Pearson (just as Ohio public schools abandon Pearson’s crazy-expensive and unpopular PARCC tests after only one year) and that state players at the highest levels—Kasich’s office, Ohio Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger, President of the State Senate Keith Faber, Attorney General Michael DeWine, John Minor who heads up Jobs Ohio, Senators Portman and Brown and Akron’s Congressman Ryan—consulted in the “transaction.” Vinny Gupta, head of the Ohio Board of Regents, “referred to the deal as ‘a very good business opportunity for all the partners at the table.'”

Kasich and these other politicians supported a deal in which Akron, a school in scary decline after huge cuts by its new president, would invest in a sketchy business proposition to take over failing for-profit campuses. And Kasich appoints the members of all Ohio universities’ boards of trustees.

 

It’s the end of our first year!

We got a ton done this year. Thank you all for your support. It’s made our work possible. Check out the list of achievements in the Miami Student article “A Year in Review: AAUP Celebrates Accomplishments, Sets Goals.”* Among other things, we’ve successfully pushed for more budget transparency, strongly influenced the position profile used to hire our new president, drawn local and national attention to the problematically secretive nature of Miami’s presidential search, and raised awareness about problems with our health benefits (such as the fact that there’s no cap on out-of-network expenses), and much more.

We have a lot more to do.

In addition to “continuing to pressure administration to emphasize the core mission of the university — education and research,” we aim “to hold regular conferences with the president and provost, collect information on upper administration salary trends, investigate service norms on campus and develop a plan for responding to increased teaching loads on individual faculty members.”

There are some important goals not covered in the article:

  • We will continue working to support contingent faculty and lecturers. The AAUP member of Senate Executive Committee (Cathy Wagner) worked with the Faculty Welfare Committee chair and supported efforts to create a third promotion tier for LCPL faculty; also, we believe pressure from us has played a role in raises recently given to per-credit-hour and VAP faculty.
  • We will keep working to support diversity and the needs of underrepresented faculty. Yvette Harris (chair of Senate Executive Committee) and Cathy Wagner, Executive Committee Member-at-Large, proposed an investigation of bias in student evaluations (well-documented elsewhere but not at Miami). That initiative didn’t make it through Senate Exec, sadly, but AAUP membership on Senate will continue to push for it. Also, through the Faculty Morale Survey, which AAUP proposed and which will happen next year, we are seeking attention to unfair service loads for minority faculty.

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Please re-up your memberships and keep the faculty conversation going. We are making a difference but we need your continued support to keep it up. Join or rejoin now.

 

*We would like to correct something in the excellent Student article about our work this year. AAUP members in Senate did push for discussion of budgeting decisions and priorities, but it was Provost Callahan and Dr Creamer—not AAUP members—who gave presentations on the budget in response. Those presentations were a positive sign and we are grateful for the administration’s efforts. We have more questions on budgeting priorities and will continue to press for explanations and responses.

 

Miami’s Presidential Finalist: Statement

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Yesterday, Miami’s AAUP Advocacy chapter released this statement on Miami’s presidential search and the just-announced finalist, Gregory Crawford:

The Executive Committee of the Miami University AAUP Advocacy Chapter has worked to promote the hiring of a new president who would commit to a set of objectives. As enunciated last August and approved by the membership, here are those objectives. The new president of Miami should:

  1. Provide intellectual and ethical leadership;
  2. Reaffirm the university’s primary financial and ethical commitment to its core mission: providing the highest quality education for our students;
  3. Increase transparency and improve institutions of shared governance;
  4. Help Miami compete economically to hire and retain top faculty, increase diversity of faculty, and develop better support structures for underrepresented faculty and students;
  5. Pledge to minimize the use of non-tenured and part-time faculty and improve conditions and pay for all contingent faculty, whether full-time or adjunct;
  6. Increase the award of merit scholarships; and
  7. Reaffirm the university’s commitment to excellent faculty research and superior graduate programs in order to support the production of knowledge, permit Miami to attract and retain top faculty, and give our students access to the latest developments in the field.

Our chapter also asked the Board of Trustees to live up to the principle of shared governance and transparency by bringing to campus at least the final two candidates. They have neither provided for a transparent process nor decided to bring the top two finalists to campus. Despite the lack of transparency and consultation surrounding his appointment, we nonetheless look forward to working with the new president to promote the educational ideals we share.

At the same time, we are very grateful to the two faculty members endorsed by the AAUP, Dr. Linda Marchant and Dr. Ann Rypstra, for agreeing to serve on the presidential search committee and for upholding the principles laid out above; and we are very pleased to see that the finalist is a distinguished academic with deep research and administrative credentials.

The person identified by the Board of Trustees as the finalist, Dr. Gregory Crawford, Associate Provost at Notre Dame, will be on campus next week to meet with many individuals and groups. Click here to view Dr. Crawford’s CV. Faculty and Open Forums are scheduled as follows:

  • Faculty forum: Monday, Feb.15th, 3:30 p.m., Oxford campus, Armstrong Student Center’s Wilks Theater
  • Open forum: Tuesday, Feb. 16th 9:45 a.m. Hamilton campus, Wilks Conference Center, rooms A & B
  • Open forum: Tuesday, Feb. 16, 1:00 p.m. Middletown campus, Johnston Hall, Knoll Community Center, room 142
  • Open forum: Wednesday, Feb. 17th, 9:45 a.m., Oxford campus, Armstrong Student Center’s Wilks Theater

We encourage faculty to attend these fora with Dr. Crawford and to provide feedback. We would request that you provide email feedback jointly to Dr. Ted Pickerill at pickerto@miamioh.edu and to AAUP at miamiaaup@gmail.com. We will not publish or use any of the individual comments, but will publish a collective sense of the responses.

Karen Dawisha, Co-President
Keith Tuma, Co-President
Cathy Wagner, Vice-President
Deborah Lyons, Secretary and Membership
Matthew Gordon, Treasurer
Ann Elizabeth Armstrong, Chair, Advisory Council

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Results of AAUP Chapter Faculty Survey

A discussion of faculty morale was the agenda at today’s Faculty Assembly meeting, so it was a good time to release preliminary results of our survey about faculty concerns (you can still take the survey here). The discussion resulted in a commitment from the administration to survey faculty more formally and create an action plan based on the results. Here’s the survey summary we distributed at the meeting.

[Note: The below version of the survey summary has been edited since the Faculty Assembly meeting. When we summarized for Faculty Assembly the results of our ongoing informal survey of faculty concerns, we quoted the remark of one respondent that seemed to connect the recent deaths of several esteemed and beloved faculty to stressful conditions of employment at Miami University. This response was rhetorical and we were wrong to cite it. We regret having done so, and we apologize to the friends and families of our late colleagues and to all who were offended by the remark, which we have removed from the text below. The AAUP chapter leadership offered the results of our informal survey as we begin an overdue discussion of faculty morale at Miami; we pledge to continue our work to make Miami a better place for all. 1/27/15]

AAUP Faculty Survey Results as of January 25, 2016

Miami’s AAUP Advocacy Chapter began conducting a faculty survey in fall of 2015, both online and through one-on-one interviews. The intent is to take a snapshot of current faculty concerns and to start an ongoing conversation. This survey is not formal or scientific and is not intended to be; it is simply an opportunity for us to find out about issues important to faculty now.

Significant concerns shared by many of the nearly 200 respondents so far emerged from the survey:

Faculty health and welfare
• Health benefits
There is significant concern about the increasing transfer of cost of health care to faculty and staff. Concerns were expressed about reduced benefits, unexpected copays, doctors suddenly being out-of-network, much more. Quite a number of faculty mentioned dissatisfaction with our family leave policy.
• Faculty of color suffer disproportionately
Women and people of color do a disproportionate amount of service, while white men are routinely still the majority of hires. How can students of color & faculty of color thrive at Miami? what do they gain in return for their contributions to the institution?
• Health
Much concern was expressed about stress-related mental and physical health problems.
• Increased demands on faculty time
Perception that too many new demands are detracting from faculty’s essential roles as teachers and scholars, “all the while being billed as ‘efficiencies.’”
• Contingency
—For contingent faculty (per-credit-hour faculty, VIs, & VAPs), it lowers morale, because of low pay and lack of job security but also the fact that they’re not often considered part of a department community.
—For faculty on tenure and lecturer lines, contingency is a problem too: there are larger enrollments and more and more service demands (efficiency efforts, advising, etc.), but many fewer people to do the work.
What concrete measures can we take to improve faculty health and welfare?

Perceived lack of transparency and shared governance
• 81% do not perceive the administration to be transparent about the procedures, information and reasons that shape its decisions. Only 6% disagree.
• Many committees are formed in order to get faculty input, but the perception is that the input is ignored, while the administration can say they solicited input. Many mentioned this as a cause of anger and disengagement.
• Much concern about the manner in which changes were made on regional campuses: the perception is that certain basic decisions made without the input of faculty they would affect, that faculty voices did not matter; much will need to be done to raise morale.
• Concern was expressed about lack of transparency from lower ranks as well as administration: one-year contracts make a lot of teachers afraid to say anything negative about their work situation because they’re afraid of not being asked back the next year. This is even worse for foreign teachers who, if they run afoul of the school and are not renewed, will lose their visas and have to go home.
What actions can we take to improve transparency and shared governance?

Faculty and staff salaries and retention
• Many mentioned concern about faculty salaries, contingent salaries, most especially per-credit-hour faculty: faculty across ranks are concerned about this. Many also mentioned staff salaries.
• There is significant concern about ongoing and increasing dependence on VAPs, VIs and per-credit hour faculty; many of these lines seem to be required on a permanent basis. The 5-year limit on VAPs creates a revolving door that is harmful to people’s working lives and to the stability of the community.
• Again, the recruitment, retention and long-term success of faculty from ‘minoritized’ communities was a topic of much concern.
What actions can we take on these issues?

Budget priorities and educational mission
• Perception that the focus is on attracting elite and wealthy students rather than serving a broad and diverse spectrum of the public
• Perception that instructional portion of the budget is stretched to maximal efficiency while buildings get fancier and Athletics doesn’t seem to be required to be revenue-neutral.
How can faculty and students have a voice in setting institutional priorities?