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SHEEO Issues Report on Staffing Trends at Public Institutions

June 9, 2011

A report issued by the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) suggests that public colleges and universities are operating more efficiently than before, and with appropriate numbers of staff.

The report, "Staffing Trends in Public Colleges and Universities," uses data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and Carnegie classifications to show trends in staff and faculty at public institutions. The report also breaks down "staff" into primary function categories such as administrators, faculty, and graduate assistants, as well as full- and part-time.

While total staff levels grew 18 percent from 2001 to 2009, the total number of FTE students grew by 29 percent, resulting in a decrease in the overall number of staff per 100 FTE students by 8 percent. "Most institutions improved their educational efficiency by educating more students with fewer staffing resources," the SHEEO report stated.

In that period, though, part-time faculty per 100 student FTE increased 2 percent, from 3.82 to 3.89, while full-time faculty decreased 9 percent, from 4.59 to 4.20. Overall, faculty per 100-student FTE decreased 4 percent from 2001-2009.

Executive/administrative levels fell from 1.14 staff per 100-student FTE to 0.91, a 20 percent decline. Graduate assistants remained relatively constant from 2001-2009, increasing only 1 percent, from 2.49 to 2.53.

The full report is available as a .pdf on the SHEEO website.


Bryan Dickson
Senior Policy Analyst