Augustana defers from national trend of administrative increases

Augustana’s administration team has grown more than 123.10 percent in the last 38 years, according to data from 2011 released in 2014 by The New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR). The NECIR says this is a problematic boom, and is “particularly dramatic at private, nonprofit universities.”

However according to more recent data, the numbers of administration and faculty are actually getting smaller.

Mark Salisbury, director of institutional research and assessment, said that the cause for the increase in administration at a national level is a multi-layered explanation.

“A lot of it has to do with federal law, requiring all kinds of compliance and monitoring that wasn’t there 20 years ago, especially at larger public institutions” said Salisbury.

However at Augustana, data shows that, while there has been increase in the past 38 years, there has been a decrease in the past 10 years.

Dean Pareena Lawrence, provost of Augustana, said in the last 10 years, the college has focused on expanding study abroad, Multicultural Student Life, Counseling Services, International Student Life, and Residential Life among other areas to ensure the continuation of the Augustana experience.

“For Augustana, the question has never been about increasing administration ‘at the cost of faculty’ or vice-versa,” said Lawrence in an email statement. “The question has been: How do we provide the best learning environment for students, and the support structures to help them be successful both while in college and after?”

Lawrence said it takes a combination of administration and faculty  to ensure the success of these programs.

“There are a lot of folks who contribute to the Augustana experience,” said Salisbury.

In fact, according to data released by Salisbury, the number of administration has dropped from 159 to 153 in the last 10 years.

“I would also note that we have added new faculty lines over the same 10 year period, particularly as our overall student numbers increased,” said Lawrence.

Dean Lawrence said enrollment at Augustana has increased, the administration and faculty ratio to students have both decreased by about 20 percent.

“Our student to faculty ratio decreased from 14:1 to 11:1,” said Lawrence. “In the same period our student to administrator ratio went from 51-1 to close to 39-1.”