The University Record, April 4, 1994

LETTERS

Budget Study Committee studying productivity

We wish to comment on the article in the March 21 Record, beginning on page 3, on the report of the Budget Study Committee. In the third paragraph the article states: “The committee identified the two most significant causes of rising University expenditures: increasing non-instructional expenses and declining productivity as measured by the student-faculty ratio.”

The importance of increasing non-instructional (largely administrative) expenses is well documented in the report. However, the analysis of productivity is more difficult. In the report, data are used to show that the student-faculty ratio appeared to be decreasing in the last few years. However, as pointed out in the text, the Committee found the data used to be uncertain, since these data did not accurately measure the number of teaching faculty. The Committee plans to refine the analysis in order to obtain a more reliable account of what has been happening to the crucial ratio.

Wilfred Kaplan for the Budget Study Committee: Elizabeth Duell (Dermatology), Marjorie Jackson (Nursing, Emeritus), Wilfred Kaplan (Mathematics, Emeritus) and Leo McNamara (English)

Editor’s Note: Copies of the Budget Study Committee’s report are available at the Senate Assembly office, Room 4008, Fleming Administration Building. The committee, originally constituted by the U-M Chapter of the American Association of University Professors and the Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty, has become a standing committee of the Senate Assembly.