I recently received an email from UNC-Chapel Hill’s director of Annual Giving encouraging me to donate to the university where I am currently a student.
According to the email, Carolina is in desperate need of donations because they “had to cut 7 percent – about $36 million – already this academic year” and are anticipating “permanent cuts of at least another 7 percent for academic year 2009 – 2010.”
I’m all for private giving, but Carolina is not going to get any additional money out of me. Considering that unemployment in NC is more than 9 percent right now, I’m not too sympathetic or worried about university budget cuts. Many North Carolinians have had to cut their family budgets by substantially more.
Budget cuts could even do the university some good. This interim report on university organization highlights many of the stupid inefficiencies that administrators have been allowed to continue for far too long.
According to the report:
- Administrative costs per student are rising faster than academic costs
- There are currently nine levels of management, and many managers are in charge of three or less people.
- Employees indicate that at least 50 percent of their time is spent on low value (waste of time) tasks.
Donors should really think twice before they provide funding to maintain this kind of bureaucracy. I don’t see a convincing reason to deprive university administrations of this wonderful opportunity to streamline university operations.
Bureaucracy hurts everyone and undermines the fundamental goals of the university. Students are short changed when funds go to administrative rather than academic purposes. North Carolinians are short changed when they end up less competent doctors and teachers.