Spending report modifies statements about the U

Earlier this week, the progressive Institute for Policy Studies pulled a report critical of the administrative spending at the University of Minnesota and other universities because of questions over the accuracy its data.

It has since reissued the report with some modified conclusions — which campus officials still dispute.

I’d like to get more detail, but for now here’s a quick summary:

Ranking. The U dropped from third to fourth in the report’s list of public universities with the worst overall records of high administrative spending and declining investment in full-time faculty and financial aid. So that’s an improvement of sorts.

Administrative and scholarship spending. The report chopped a year off the period it studied. It said the U increased spending on non-academic administration by 44 percent — instead of the previous calculation of 125 percent. (A better picture for the U.) It also dropped the statement about the 200 percent increase in administrators between 2010 and 2012. But it said the university decreased scholarships by 55 percent — instead of 36 percent. (Considering the U’s insistence that it has increased financial aid, I’m sure it’s even more sour about that.)

Faculty. The report changes the period measured and drops its statement regarding a decline in full-time faculty hiring. It says says that between 2005 and 2011, the number of adjunct faculty increased by 825 or 105 percent — instead of 223 percent. Also gone is the statement about a decline in faculty hiring, and the statement that adjuncts made up almost half the instructional staff. Again, improvement.

That’s a first quick view from the sections that originally described the U’s situation. Let me know if I’ve missed anything.

I’ll include some reaction soon.