Category Archives: Higher Education

School Enrollment in the United States: 2006

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division,
Education & Social Stratification Branch, May 08, 2008

From the press release:
A national-level update of characteristics of the nation’s more than 75 million students. Eight tables include number of students by attributes such as age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, family income, type of college and vocational course enrollment. This Internet-only release comes from data collected each October as part of the Current Population Survey. The full report with analysis of the details is expected later this summer.

Cost Containment: A Survey of Current Practices at America’s State Colleges and Universities

Source: American Association of State Colleges and Universities and SunGard Higher Education

Member institutions of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities are witnessing measurable success in identifying and implementing cost containment strategies in order to reduce operating costs. Nearly all survey respondents at AASCU institutions place high importance on cost containment, with most having implemented cost control strategies in multiple operational areas. As a result, a majority of the state colleges and universities participating in this study indicated sufficient satisfaction with their cost containment efforts.

Institutions rely more on support and business functions in their cost control efforts than on core academic functions. Energy management and consortium purchasing are the two most common areas of focus for cost containment. Although responding AASCU members’ cost containment efforts have chiefly focused on support functions and business operations, the large majority of respondents are willing to consider any area of operation for potential cost containment opportunities. Breadth is key: Institutions witness greater satisfaction with their cost containment efforts to the degree they achieve savings in a broad range of operations and services.

Despite progress made to date, the data suggest there remains significant opportunity for AASCU members to benefit further from implementing additional cost containment strategies. While three-fourths of responding institutions indicated satisfaction with their cost containment activities, a quarter indicated some dissatisfaction, pointing to a desire for increased progress and accomplishment in realizing cost savings. Data suggest that institutional investment in identifying and implementing cost containment initiatives could be increased, producing an even greater return on investment at more colleges and universities.

Full report (PDF; 842 KB)

AAUP Releases Annual Report on Faculty Salaries

Source: American Association of University Professors

After a short-lived recovery in 2006-07, faculty salaries are lagging behind inflation again this year. Yet the salaries paid to head football coaches, presidents, and other top administrators do not seem to reflect an economic downturn. Over the past three decades, the ranks of contingent faculty, nonfaculty professionals, and administrators have swelled while the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty stagnated. These are the central findings of Where Are the Priorities? The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2007-08, released by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) today. The AAUP’s annual report has been an authoritative source of data on faculty salaries and compensation for decades.
Here are some of the highlights:
• Overall average salaries for full-time faculty rose 3.8 percent this year, the same as the increase reported last year. But with inflation at 4.1 percent for the year, the purchasing power of faculty salaries has declined for the third time in four years.
• Long-term salary trends also indicate a widening differential between the average salaries of faculty members at private colleges and universities and the average salaries of their colleagues at public institutions. When public institutions struggle to attract (and keep) the best faculty, our nation faces the risk of creating separate but unequal systems of higher education.
• The salaries paid to head football coaches at Division I-A universities are ten times as high as the salaries of senior professors. What does this say about the priorities of these universities?
• The gap between faculty salaries and salaries paid to administrators continues to grow. What does that tell us about institutional priorities? This year’s report builds on previous discussions of presidents’ salaries by including data for other top administrators.
• Over three decades, employment patterns in colleges and universities have been radically transformed. While the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty has grown 17 percent, the ranks of contingent faculty (both part and full time) and full-time nonfaculty professionals have each tripled, and the count of administrators has doubled.

Full Report (PDF; 1.2 MB)
Appendix I State tables (for specific institutions) (PDF; 233 KB)
Appendix II Two-Year Institutions without Academic Ranks (PDF; 52 KB)

Projections of Education Statistics to 2016

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

This edition of Projections of Education Statistics provides projections for key education statistics, including enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures in elementary and secondary schools. Included are national data on enrollment and graduates for the past 15 years and projections to the year 2016, as well as state-level data on enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools and public high school graduates to the year 2016.

Direct to PDF and Other Formats

2006-07 Comprehensive Survey of College and University Benefits Programs

Source: College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, Employee Health Care Benefits, Fact Sheet, 2007

• 58% of responding institutions offer health care benefits to non-Medicare eligible retirees and 52% do so for retirees that are eligible for Medicare.
• 40% of responding institutions offer health care benefits for same sex domestic partners; 31% for opposite sex partners and 44% for children of domestic partners.
• 75% of responding institutions have an Employee Assistance Program.
Only 11% of responding institutions offer a Consumer Driven Health Plan.
• 36% of responding institutions have a Wellness Program.
• Up to 40% of the responding institutions pay the entire premium for “Employee Only” health care coverage; the percentage varies by plan type.
• The median monthly total premium for “Employee Only” health care coverage at responding institutions ranged from $350 to $422. Both the amount and the distribution of cost between employee and institution vary by plan type.
See also:
Complete survey results (subscription required)

Helping Families Finance College: Improved Student Loan Disclosures and Counseling

Source: Michael Wroblewski, Consumers Union, July 2007

From the press release:
As Congress debates legislation to overhaul student loan programs, Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, released a report finding that many students and parents don’t have access to the information they need to determine the best way to pay for college. The report, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, offers policy recommendations to help families find the most affordable options for paying for college.

The Supreme Court Rulings in Grutter v.Bollinger and Gratz v.Bollinger: The Brave New World of Affirmative Action in the 21st Century

Source: Robert K. Robinson, Ph.D., SPHR, Geralyn McClure Franklin, Ph.D., and Karen Epermanis, Ph.D., Public Personnel Management, Volume 36, No. 1, Spring 2007
(subscription required)

On June 23, 2003, the Supreme Court of the United States, in a five to four decision, substantially altered the nature of state imposed affirmative action permissible under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when it held that diversity could serve as a compelling government interest, thus justifying public sector preferential programs. Though this ruling pertained specifically to race-based preferential university admissions, it is likely to have wide ranging implications for all public sector affirmative action programs. One implication may include making it easier to justify state initiated affirmative action by diminishing the requirement to demonstrate the remedial motive behind such action. This article discusses the impact that the Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger decisions are likely to have on preferential admissions policies in public higher education.