What’s driving college tuition costs? (Hint: it’s not faculty salaries!)

Today Mother Jones reports that college has gotten 12 times more expensive in the last generation, while food is up three times and healthcare is up six times. Not surprisingly, student loan debt is also experiencing a meteoric rise.

What’s driving these increases? (Hint: it’s not faculty salaries!)

It’s administrative hiring! Since 2000, faculty salaries have been “essentially flat,” which won’t surprise any UIS professor. In the last decade we’ve received token raises but the buying power of our salaries isn’t keeping up with inflation, much less rewarding experience or accomplishments. According to the University of Illinois’ own 2015 budget request, UIS faculty salaries are not competitive and losing ground against peer institutions. (We’re currently ranked 11th among our 14 peers.)

The research shows a unionized faculty helps constrain administrative growth by compelling institutions to direct a greater portion of its budget toward  direct instruction costs. As a result, schools with unionized faculty have greater student completion rates, more degrees granted, and shorter degree completion times.

Faculty unions: better for students; better for faculty; better for higher education!

got union?


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