- Associated Press - Monday, November 28, 2016

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Spending by the University of Wyoming on administration has outpaced most of its peer institutions, according to a report.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni put together the report using publicly available data published through the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

Looking at trends in administrative spending and instructional spending through a five-year period, the study found UW’s administrative expenses grew by more than 33 percent, compared to just less than 10 percent growth in instructional spending, the Laramie Boomerang reported (https://bit.ly/2gArn0j ).

“As we’ve been working on budget reductions, one of the things I’ve said and that our campus is committed to really working on is reducing administrative overhead,” UW President Laurie Nichols said during the Board of Trustees meeting Friday. “I’m not saying we’re out of line here, but I just observed that over this time period of 2007-2016 that the personnel costs have gone up.

The university is slashing its budget, including cutting faculty and staff jobs, because of a drop in state aid brought on by the decline in energy industry revenues.

Only the University of Hawaii-Manoa saw greater increases in administrative spending and a lower rate of instruction spending growth when compared to the nine colleges in the Mountain West Conference.

“Essentially, our administrative growth has been about three times the instructional growth, and therein lies the concern,” Nichols said.

Nichols said her administration would be committed to keeping administrative costs in check.

Sue Koller, manager at the UW office of institutional analysis, said they found personnel expenses in compensation and benefits increased 3 percent between fiscal years 2009-2014 when adjusted for inflation.

Lowe said the increase in spending would also include benefits, including the rising cost of health insurance. She said her division could continue its analysis by breaking out benefits versus compensation to present a more detailed picture if the trustees desired.

Trustee Mike Massie said there were also several other costs related to administrative personnel spending, such as severance packages and UW’s policy of paying administrators who go to faculty positions a portion of their administrative compensation rate.

“Over the last few years, we’ve issued more golden parachutes than on D-Day,” Massie said.

Massie said there were several top administrators - including but not limited to former President Bob Sternberg - whose departures resulted in expensive severance packages that UW paid in a lump sum or is still paying.

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Information from: Laramie Boomerang, https://www.laramieboomerang.com

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