UWM: Already Extremely Lean
In August 2010, the Goldwater Institute, Phoenix, AZ, released the policy report “Administrative Bloat at American Universities: The Real Reason for High Costs in Higher Education” The report focused on spending at 198 leading universities in the United States. The source of data for the report was the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which is gathered by the U.S. Department of Education and is widely used to make valid comparisons among universities.
The report showed spending at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to be extremely lean. Of the 198 universities, in 2007 UWM ranked:
- 12th least spending per student. In dollars spent, that translates to UWM spending $13,007 annually per student—national average was $41,337.
- 12th lowest ratio of instructional, research and service staff per student. UWM had 3.5 full-time instructional, research and service employees per 100 students. The national average ratio was 7.0 per 100.
- 14th (tie) lowest ratio of administrative staff per student. UWM had 3.6 full-time administrators per 100 students while the national average was 9.4.
The report also examined changes that took place from 1993 to 2007:
- UWM administrative staff ratio per 100 students increased 25.6% while the national average staff ratio per 100 students increased 39.3%.
- UWM instructional, research and service staff per 100 students decreased 3.2% while the national average per 100 students increased 17.6%.
Even with so little in resources, UWM from 1993-2007 saw:
- Significant enrollment growth, an increase of 21.4% (from 24,179 in Fall 1993 to 29,358 in Fall 2007—it has since increased to 30,502 in Fall 2010)
- A similar increase in degrees granted, up 20.3% (from 3,857 in 1992-93 to 4,640 in 2006-07—it has since increased to 5,112 in 2009-10)
- And a large increase in research expenditures, up 172% (from $18.2 million in 1993 to $49.5 million in 2007—it has since grown to $68 million for 2009-10)