Akron-AAUP had Dr Rudy Fichtenbaum, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Wright State University, conduct an analysis of The University of Akron’s finances. Here are some facts from that analysis we thought you ought to know.
Despite tuition increases, instructional spending per student is flat.
From 2002 to 2015, although tuition per student more than doubled, the university has not spent that money on student instruction. Over the same period, the total spent on instructional salaries remained nearly flat (not adjusted for inflation).
The administration’s priorities are not in line with the educational mission of the institution.
Every year, student Instruction accounts for less and less of University spending.
Although student tuition has nearly doubled since 2002, the administration has not spent that money on student instruction. During the same period, in fact, instructional salaries accounted for a smaller and smaller slice of the University’s total operating expenses.
Faculty have not gotten a raise — but coaches have!
While revenues from tuition have skyrocketed, spending on student instruction has dwindled. But somehow, athletics coaches have received raises year after year. Are athletics more important than education? This is another example of misplaced priorities by the university. We are grateful to have student athletics, but at what cost? Students deserve more for their tuition.
How much less is UA spending on instructional salaries than it used to?
This chart shows how much more The University of Akron would have to be spending on instructional salaries each year in order to keep the proportion of instructional salaries to total spending the same as it was in 2002. That is, they should be spending $18M more on instructional salaries in 2015 to match the 2002 proportion. Money is being spent elsewhere.
It is imperative that we all understand what is really at stake in these negotiations. In these last few weeks, there has been a slew of misinformation and rumors, so let’s be absolutely clear about why we’re even considering a strike: the administration’s priorities are out of line with the educational mission of the university. The goals of this administration are not congruous with the quality educational experience that students deserve.
We are holding out hope that we will not have go out on strike, but a strike will not be successful unless we are united. When we unite, we win.