Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Let the Cost-Cutting Begin
The Wall Street Journal has reported on the cost-cutting efforts of President Mitch Daniels at Purdue University. In the coming year, tuition will be flat, and the cost of dining will drop by 10%. Daniels describes the problem:
… the former two-term Republican governor of Indiana is drawing a line in the sand against which U.S. higher education can be measured. And by freezing tuition, he is forcing his own school to modernize its 19th-century business model with a combination of systemic cuts, organizational realignments and cash incentives.
“This place was not built to be efficient,” Mr. Daniels said when asked about the structural changes he was making at Purdue. But “you’re not going to find many places where you just take a cleaver and hack off a big piece of fat. Just like a cow, it’s marbled through the whole enterprise.”
… At Purdue, there are now 75% more administrators and staff on the payroll than there were 13 years ago.
J. Paul Robinson, a former president of the faculty senate, said Mr. Daniels’s worth as a leader will be tied to his ability to prune that administrative bloat. “Let me put it this way,” Mr. Robinson said: “A blind man on a galloping horse at midnight with sunglasses on can see the problem. The question is, What can he do about it?”
Purdue is not the only school to begin trimming unnecessary expenses from its budget. The attached memo from the President of Mills College details the cuts being made there.
Will Dartmouth join other institutions in leading in this area? Although Phil Hanlon had announced that tuition would rise no more quickly than inflation, his first budget had costs for students and their families rising at twice the rate of inflation, even though the increase itself was the lowest in many years. That’s a timid step. As we have noted in the past, Dartmouth could reduce total expenses by $200 million each year (about 25%), and our cost of operations per student would still be higher than the cost per student at Brown.
Addendum: President Daniels’ phrase that excessive spending is “marbled through the whole enterprise” recalls the thrust of my column in The D dated February 10, 2009:
… if you examine the evolution of Dartmouth’s personnel directory from 1997 to 2007, you will find that every administrative office has increased its headcount dramatically. In 1997, the President’s Office numbered 6.5 full-time employees; 10 years later there were 10.
During that time period, the Dean of the Faculty Office went from 14 to 28 full-time employees. The Dean of the College Office went from 16 to 26; the Provost’s Office went from 6.5 to 11.5; and the combined headcount of the First-Year Office, the Office of Student Life and the Office of Residential Life went from 26.5 to 47.
Poor managment is a disease that invades an entire body.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…