Universities' administrative bloat and edifice complex

UMass - Boston.

UMass - Boston.

Adapted from an item in Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary'' in GoLocal24.com.

The severe fiscal problems of the University of Massachusetts at Boston are pretty representative of those of much of higher education: Endless over-budget building as  college presidents seek to erect monuments to themselves; the hiring of ever more overpaid administrators with vague and trendy titles even as tuitions surge, and ever higher percentages of faculties are “adjuncts’’ who barely earn minimum wage. Meanwhile, too many schools strive to be complicated research universities instead of focusing on teaching because “research’’ sounds much more glamorous.

What UMass Boston (and the state) needs isfor it to be a first-class local “commuter’’ school focused on teaching, and to leave the research to UMass’s flagship institution – UMass at Amherst and the state’s famous private research universities. UMass Boston will never win an arms race with UMass Amherst, let alone Harvard and MIT.

An example of the vacuous jobs being created at UMass Boston: Tom Sannicandro, a former state legislator from Ashland, Mass., just got the job of“director of the Institute for Community Inclusion’’ at  a $165,000-a-year  salary, along with juicy benefits.  Keith Motley, the now ousted chancellor (basically president but chancellor sounds more royal) whose oversize ambitions  and edifice complex at the institution helped put it into a deficit of tens of millions of dollars, will now go on sabbatical with a salary of $355,059.  His salary last year was $422,000.

When that long vacation is over, Mr. Motley, a professional bureaucrat and former basketball coach, will return as a $240,000-a-year faculty member teaching…? Well, that hasn’t be disclosed.

What a scam.

The corruption that has produced obscene compensation for public company C-suites, regardless of how well they do their jobs, has long since infected public and private higher education, too.