Administrative Growth at California State Universities

This report was compiled by the campaign's interns.

In order to better understand some of the reasons behind the rising cost of higher education, we surveyed the growth of administration, faculty, and student enrollment at California State Universities (CSUs) over the last few decades. Using 1980 as our starting point, we compared the year-by-year percentage change in the size of these three groups up to 2013. Our data shows that since 1980 the number of administrators has grown by 126.7%, while the number of faculty has only grown by 17.95%; the student body, by 63.66%. In other words, the number of administrators has increased at 7x the rate of growth for faculty and 2x the rate of growth for students, resulting in more administrators and less faculty members per student today than in 1980. CSU_administrators_et_al._comparative_growth_chart.png

The net change in the ratio between faculty, administration, and students is even more pronounced when comparing 1990 with 2009. This chart shows that while the number of faculty has barely increased since 1990, the number of administrators has grown dramatically. 

CSU_bar_graph.pngSuch a disparity in the growth of administration in comparison to that of the student body and faculty has put further strain on both the taxpayers and students. Indeed, over the last ten years, notwithstanding the high costs of an expanding bureaucracy, the salary of CSU managers and supervisors increased by 24%. Meanwhile, the cost of tuition at CSUs has more than doubled. 

Data Table

Year Faculty Student: Faculty Ratio Administration Student: Administration Ratio Student Enrollment
1980 18129 11.09  5301 37.92  201014
1981 18708 10.88 4779 42.58 203487
1982 18568  11.09  4853 42.43  205927 
1983  18508  11.33  4869 43.05 209628
1984  18663 11.23 5713  36.69  209632 
1985 19131 11.11  6002 35.41 212538 
1986 19252  11.19 6216 34.66 215465
1987 19686  11.16 6322  34.75 219707 
1988  20503 11.10 6497 35.03  227609
1989  21202 10.94  6739 34.42  231947
1990  21290 11.14  6979  33.97 237083 
1991 17732 12.75 6759 33.45 226074 
1992  16615  13.10  6445 33.77 217660 
1993  16531 13.09 6660 32.49  216405
1994  16862 13.24  7003 31.89  223302 
1995 17472  13.32 7046 33.04 232794
1996  18142 13.14  7542 31.60 238364
1997 18654 12.96 8040  30.08  241841
1998  19657 12.71  8561  29.18  249851
1999  20601  12.40 8704  29.34 255405
2000 21223  12.74 9159 29.53 270480
2001 22226  12.89  9968  28.73  286393 
2002  23057  12.62 10350 28.12  291030 
2003  22034  13.11 10587 27.28  288813 
2004 21094  14.09 10331  28.77  297237
2005 22444  13.70 10731  28.66 307563 
2006 23321  13.79 11455 28.08  321695
2007 24066  13.69 11849 27.81 329483
2008 23581  13.90 12183  26.90 327694 
2009 21384  15.38 12018  27.37  328975
2010 20928 16.45 11673 29.50 344326 
2011 21910 16.55 11853 30.59  362669
2012  22276 16.61 13352 27.71 370030 
2013 23146 16.44 13671 27.84  380544

 

 % Change since 1980

17.95  38.75  126.71 -27.81  63.66

 

Writers: Danny, Ryan, Milan, Josh

Researchers: Milan, Ryan, Danny, Josh, Stephanie, Danielle, Aayushi, Vaishnavi, Ben, Neel