The High Cost of UAS Administration
By Robert D. Warner
April 23, 2009
Dear SitNews Editor:
Rapidly rising costs for higher education are a major worry to
college students and their parents who struggle to find funds
to cover these increases.
One solution nationally has been community colleges which focus
on teaching and vocational training instead of administration
and research. Community colleges also work to keep costs lower
than traditional universities by streamlining their administration.
From 1954 until 1987 Ketchikan enjoyed the benefits of a community
college. Sadly, we lost Ketchikan Community College when it
was absorbed into a more bureaucratic, cumbersome, and expensive
system called University of Alaska Southeast. UAS is controled
by a hierarchy of autocratic administrators in Juneau. As a
result, Ketchikan campus has lost important autonomy to make
A survey of the current organizational chart of Ketchikan Campus
presents a vivid picture of why college costs are so high. As
Ketchikan Community College, students were served by a half-time
professional academic counselor who also taught psychology classes
every semester. A Campus Director rounded out the community
Today, in addition to a Campus Director, the UAS Ketchikan administration
includes a Student Services Manager, Assistant Director for Workforce
Development, Student Services Coordinator, Student Services
Specialist, a Instructional Designer, and a Administration and
Recruitment Specialist. There are also special coordinators
for Fisheries Technology, Maritime, and the Learning Center.
WOW, ten administrators are employed under UAS, while one was
needed under the community college system.
Has the focus of this campus shifted from teaching to coordinating,
whatever that means? What are the differences between a Student
Services Manager, a Student Services Coordinator and a Student
Services Specialist? What does the Assistant Director for Workforce
Development actually do?
If all of these positions serve students, one wonders if students
have time to attend classes. Do students today need so many services
outside of the classroom? What do all of these people do? How
many students do they actually serve? Why does a small campus
like Ketchikan need all of this administrative overhead? Would
students be more effectively served by more full-time teachers
and lower registration costs?
It's no wonder that college is so expensive. Certainly UAS Ketchikan
needs to be a prime candidate for administrative downsizing.
Robert D. Warner
Received April 22, 2009 - Published
April 23, 2009
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