Even as their spending on instruction, research and public service declined or stayed flat, most colleges and universities rapidly increased their spending on sports, according to a report being released Monday by the American Association of University Professors.
She reports that colleges contest this report.
“This comes from the American Association of University Professors, which has a vested interest in finding that too little money is going to faculty and too much to sports and administration,” Mr. Hartle [senior vice president of the American Council on Education] said. “If you just look at the percentage increases, without the base they’re working from, it’s hard to tell what it means.”
Pointer from Tyler Cowen.
Even if the AAUP is talking its book, I think that they may be right. College spending on facilities in general, and athletic facilities in particular, is out of control. Consider this:
Our athletic facilities are among the best in Division III. In 2006, we acquired the former headquarters and practice facility of the Baltimore Ravens. The grounds are now home to Mustang Stadium, a 3,500-seat facility for the football, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, and Owings Mills Gymnasium, a 38,000 square foot complex for the men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s volleyball teams. Caves Sports and Wellness Center is the primary training facility for more than 800 Mustang student-athletes.
That is from Stevenson University, a very low-tier institution located in a suburb northwest of Baltimore.
In general, this is one of my pet peeves. I also could cite Brandeis University–even though it was practically broke due to the Madoff scheme, it proceeded with a totally unnecessary rebuilding of its admissions office. Or I could cite Swarthmore college–I would love to get a measure of the square footage of facilities per student. I am sure that it is ridiculous. It was huge when I went there, and since then the facilities appear to me to have increased by more than the number of students.