Last November, the report came out that Yale now had more administrators than faculty or students:
4,664 undergraduate students
“I think we don’t yet have a Vice President for the rights of the left-handed, but I haven’t checked this month.” — Professor Leslie Brisman.
Apparently, Yale produced an internal report back in January of this year discussing this astounding proliferation of bureaucracy (and its negative impact on teaching) which was never released and clearly swept deeply under the Woodbridge Hall rug.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has some information about the contents of “The Report Yale Doesn’t Want You to See.”
“University professors,” David Graeber wrote in these pages in 2018, “have to spend increasing proportions of their days performing tasks which exist only to make overpaid academic managers feel good about themselves.” That’s an assessment corroborated by a draft report on the “Size and Growth of Administration and Bureaucracy at Yale,” dated January 2022 but not yet released. (At the moment, the report appears to be in limbo, circulating privately but with no official stamp of approval. Karen Peart, a spokeswoman for Yale, said only that “the Senate voted at its closed-door May 2022 meeting to postpone discussion of the report until a future date.”)
In an appendix, the authors of the report — the seven-person governance committee of Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences — have collected several anecdotes from faculty members that they say are symptomatic of an increasingly intolerable burden of bureaucratic oversight. “Disrespectful,” “demoralizing,” “infantilizing,” “opaque” — these are some of the adjectives that appear. One professor compared dealing with Yale administrators to “interacting with an insurance company.”
The governance committee’s thesis is that these afflictions all stem from the numerical increase in administration even as the size of the faculty has remained stagnant. The authors cite a 2018 Chronicle report showing that Yale has the fifth-highest ratio of administrators to students in the country, and the highest in the Ivy League (for comparison, peer institutions like Columbia, Harvard, and Stanford were 24th, 35th, and 55th, respectively). Between 2003 and 2022, the draft report states, “we note increases in administrative positions in various units of at least 150 percent. … This compares with an increase in just 10.6 percent” for tenure-track jobs in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
And not only is the number of administrators growing, but so are their salaries. The seven “upper administrators” who remained in the same role between 2015 and 2019 received “roughly 8.25 percent per year” raises, a rate far out of step with what faculty members got. As depicted in the report, Yale’s upper administration is both bloated and greedy.
The report is — or will be, if the university ever releases it — the result of a long period of concern over the ballooning administration.
HT: to Steven Hayward via The Barrister.