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Colleges Are Cutting Budgets: Are Execs & Administrators Taking Their Fair Share of the Pain?

Colleges and universities are cutting budgets by the tens and hundreds of millions of dollars. But what exactly are they cutting — fat or lean?

There are two new contributions to the debate, which is more like a shouting match on many campuses. The two key questions: Are the masses of administrators and executives who sprouted across higher education in flush times taking their fair share of the pain during the current crisis? And will the crisis really force higher education to be more efficient?

benJohns Hopkins professor Benjamin Ginsberg (pictured right) has buttressed his acerbic attacks on higher education’s “bureaucracy gone wild” with a new book. But a report out from a research group offers a more positive take. It concludes that compared to previous downturns, colleges have better resisted the temptation to balance the books with easy cuts to teaching, and are trying to make structural reforms.

“These guys know that doing the usual round of across the board cuts and waiting for the money to come back wasn’t going to work this time,” said Jane Wellman, executive director of Delta Cost Project, which studies university spending patterns and has sharply criticized “administrative bloat” on campus in the

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