This past fall your Executive Committee engaged President Schulz and Provost Chilton in discussions about WSU’s administrative overhead. This has been a concern amongst the faculty in general, particularly with the attention to restructuring leadership with a One WSU focus. Provost Chilton and Fran Hermanson (Director of Institutional Research) addressed our concern by accessing data from the Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which “…is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.” NCES operates the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Statistical tables from IPEDS can be access here. Data from this site comes directly from the institutions as part of Department of Education reporting requirements.
Please see the slides linked here for a summary of Provost Chilton’s findings. The results are normalized per 1,000 students. Roughly half of the institutions included in this summary report data from single campuses and the other half reports data from a system of campuses (WSU does the latter). Total population sizes are not shown, but you can query these details at the website if desired. Slide #7 probably speaks most directly to concerns about administrative positions at WSU. Despite the challenges of comparing apples and oranges, WSU is not the lowest, but we are far from the highest in terms of administrative size.
I invite you to explore these slides and look at the raw data from IPEDS in case you have other ideas for how to formulate questions about administrative overhead. From my perspective and based only on the attached slides, WSU is a little above average for our peers, but far from an outlier. Thank you for considering these observations.
Douglas Call, Faculty Senate Chair