At Daily Signal I have a piece about the new ACTA report on the huge increase in non-instructional spending at universities. The ACTA report emphasizes how non-instructional spending is driving tuition higher without improving student outcomes. That is true and worrisome.
But the larger danger of hiring an army of non-instructional staff is that they fundamentally distort the mission of higher education. Rather than focus on the pursuit of truth through open academic inquiry or the development of capable young adults ready to assume their responsibilities as citizens and in the economy, non-instructional staff are restricting academic freedom while infantilizing students.
The only solution, I suggest, is to cut back significantly on federal subsidies for higher education. Only financial scarcity will allow tuition-payers and state legislators to exercise influence to get universities to shift the focus back to professors and classes rather than baby-sitters and political commissars.