“It’s a lie. It’s a lie. It’s a lie,” said Richard Vedder, an economist and director of theCenter for College Affordability and Productivity.
“I wouldn’t buy a used car from a university president,” said Vedder. “They’ll say, ‘We’re making moves to cut costs,’ and mention something about energy-efficient lightbulbs, and ignore the new assistant to the assistant to the associate vice provost they just hired.”
Nothin mealy mouthed about this.
The second paper discusses one of the main efforts for keeping costs down; offloading much of university instruction to adjuncts. This really is a terrible thing to be doing. Instead of hiring faculty to keep up with growing student bodies, universities have been hiring people to be the "fast food workers of academic world." Even very wealthy institutions are not being overly generous. Here's a quote from the article noting where money is going at Columbia (hint: not towards faculty, full or part time).
Even wealthy institutions that arguably have a vested interest in keeping adjuncts happy (if only to combat a growing trend toward adjunct unionization) are doing little or nothing to that end. At Columbia, the base rate of $5,000 per class for an adjunct has not increased in decades. Meanwhile, between 2006 and 2013, the Campaign for Columbia raised more than $6 billion, the highest amount ever raised by an Ivy League university. So where has the money gone? In the same seven-year period, the costly expansion to the new Manhattanville campus has proceeded apace, faculty salaries have remained flat and the ranks of professional administrators have swelled, as they have throughout American higher education.When I first got into academia there were students, profs and a few profs that did some hard time administering the university before returning to the professorial ranks. Now we have customers in place of students, service providers in place of profs and supervisors in place of part time administrators. The latter see their job as controlling the unruly faculty whose main purpose is to generate outside money and teach large classes to allow customers to go through the system in at most 5 years. The university has become a combination summer camp and credentialing agent with space occasionally available for intellectual pursuits, but only if it does not get in the way of the real mission, which increasingly is to grow the endowment. A result of this is the creation of a growing group of managers (who, oddly are not really very good at managing if my experience is any indication) and a growing number of adjuncts that allow the whole thing to limp along.