UNC-CH Bloated with Layers of Management

One wonders what sort of bloat we have here in our own state-funded schools, UNCG and NC A&T.   The Education industry has boomed in the past two decades.  Where there is fast growth, there is waste and inefficiency.

Just what are we taxpayers paying for?

From the article in the News & Observer of Raleigh:

Bain & Company, an efficiency expert hired to examine the university’s financial processes, will present a 107-page report Thursday suggesting an institution with too many layers. UNC-CH officials hope the analysis leads to millions in savings.

No doubt millions can be saved.  But then what will happen to those millions?  Probably won’t get passed on to students in the form of tuition relief.  They go on:

A campus task force will soon begin discussing the recommendations, though changes could take years to implement.

If UNC-CH operates like most universities, they’ll discuss it for 5 years until everyone is completely tired of it and will have forgotten why they were tasked for in the first place.  Changes, if they come at all, will probably cost more then the original problem.  Do I sound skeptical?  Maybe it has  to do with my familiarity with how Universities (and large bureaucratic organizations) operate.

“The economic crisis is probably not over, and we want to shelter research and teaching as much as we can,” Chancellor Holden Thorp said Tuesday. “The more we know about our research and teaching and how it’s funded, the better we can protect it.”

I think the Chancellor is a bright guy.  But I take issue with his phrasings.  Words mean things.  What makes this economic recession a “crisis?”  Must everything that we don’t like be labeled a crisis?

Further, what does it say that the University needs to hire an outside consulting firm to tell it what it should know already?

UNC-CH awards the Ph.D. degree in Public Administration and the MBA in Business.   They should be paragons of good management!

This situation seems analogous to all those smarty-pants Ivy Leaguers running things into the ground at multi-national corporations (Lehman Bros., AIG, Citi, GM, Chrysler, Wachovia), our federal government (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc.) and with our national economy?

Perhaps part of the problem is that at the University there is a real disconnect between getting funding and actually producing something.  They write grants, then get funds (mostly federal), then do research.  They write a budget, appeal to the Legislature, and get funding.  They make students pay tuition and fees, THEN teach them.  The cart (money) comes before the horse (results).

If they were a business, they’d have to prove to the marketplace that what they were producing is valuable.  I’d love to scrutinize that process!

So, is their not knowing what is going on, and wasting money caused by a mindset that emphasizes political correctness over reality? Is it a sign of arrogance? Is it outright negligence?  Or is it simply incompetence?

Inquiring minds want to know.  Chancellor Thorpe should give us honest answers.


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