3 to 1: That's the Best Ratio of Tenure-Track Faculty to Administrators, a Study Concludes

Best Ratio of Tenure-Track Faculty to Administrators? 3 to 1, Researchers Say 1

Courtesy Robert Martin

"The balance between people who are actually in the trenches and those who are overseeing that work has gotten grossly out of line," says Robert E. Martin, Emeritus Boles Professor of Economics at Centre College and an author of the study. "That imbalance is one of the primary reasons for why costs grew so out of control over the last three decades."

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close Best Ratio of Tenure-Track Faculty to Administrators? 3 to 1, Researchers Say 1

Courtesy Robert Martin

"The balance between people who are actually in the trenches and those who are overseeing that work has gotten grossly out of line," says Robert E. Martin, Emeritus Boles Professor of Economics at Centre College and an author of the study. "That imbalance is one of the primary reasons for why costs grew so out of control over the last three decades."

In the long-running debate over how many administrators are too many, two economic researchers believe they have identified an ideal ratio. For colleges to operate most effectively, they say, each institution should employ three tenured or tenure-track faculty for every one full-time administrator.

What the ratio is now is difficult to say, though most colleges probably would have to hire significantly more faculty or pare back on administrators if they wanted to meet a three-to-one