A Rise in Tuition Due to Raise in Hiring
By Kevin Rate and Rene Canales
Tuition increases are nothing new here at Suffolk, but why is that? Many students believe it’s due to increasing facilities, departments, or making the campus better overall. Upon close research of the departmental shifts at the campus, it is clear to see that more faculty are being hired to do the same jobs as before. Gaining more full time instructors or better equipment would be justified, but seeing the increase in positions in the president’s inner circle is alarming.
Looking at the administrative positions in the area formerly named ‘Central Administration’, the numbers already pile up. Since the 2008 academic year, the department has quadrupled in size. Positions such as College Communications Director, Assistant to the President, Executive Vice President and Affirmative Action Officer are all new jobs that were created. While four positions may not seem like much, it all adds up when we pay our bill. Prior to 2008 this institution was operating without these positions. Are all of them necessary?
“Assistant to the President sounds a bit redundant,” said student Tom Mcguire, “there’s already an Executive Assistant to the President? What does the Assistant to the Assistant do?”
This is just one account of students who are unaware of what the actual makeup of the central administration is. “Seeing it all mapped out like this is really upsetting,” said Colin Atkinson, a former student. “It’s disappointing that all these spots are made for no real reason, and if there is a good reason, why don’t they tell the students?”
The new positions don’t stop there. The hierarchy of Academic Affairs since 2008 has increased by nine positions. Interim College Assoc. Dean/ Title III project Director, College Assoc. Deans of the school of Nursing, Inst. Technology, Faculty and Professional Advancement, Continuing Education and Special Programs have all been added, also the College Director for ESL Programs, College Director of EOP and its assistant have been added. Having a Dean for almost every program could help the school, but it comes with a cost. Are these nine new positions completing more work than the previous three? Student Affairs has also seen a tremendous increase in positions. Added positions include College Assistant Director of Master Scheduling and Registrar, College and Assistant Director of Special Events and Programs, Director and Assistant Director of Fire and Public Safety, College Assistant Director of Disability Services, College Director of Career Services, College Coordinator of Multicultural affairs, Directors of the Children’s Learning Center and the Theatre and the Counselor for the ‘Get There From Here Scholarship’ making 12 new positions since 2010. This amount of administrative bloat is amazing. The College Organizational chart does nothing to make this information easy to obtain, and renaming positions and job titles makes it even more confusing.
The bloat does not stop there, the Institutional Advancement, Eastern and Grant Campus Executive Dean Hierarchy, have all doubled in size, and the Planning and Institutional Effectiveness has tripled in size. All of these new jobs have to find paychecks somewhere, and it might as well come from the students.
The 2008-2010 Course catalog states that the school employs “479 full time faculty, and 1,368 adjunct faculty.” compare that to the current catalog that states that the school employs “481 full time faculty, and 1619 adjunct faculty”. There has been an increase in the number of teachers at the campus, but why have there only been two new full time positions added when there have been 251 adjunct additions? Administration is increasing employees where students don’t see it, and it isn’t in the classroom.
Newsday ran a story in April that documented the tuition increases, and it states that the “SCCC trustees adopted a $215.3 million budget, a 3.2 increase, that will raise tuition for full-time local students by $180 annually”. $180 may not seem like much when talking about thousands of dollars per semester, but where is this money going? Through this research, it seems inevitable that the money would be going to pay for salaries of administrators hired and all the new administrative positions created. Increasing tuition to create more teaching positions, new technology, better public safety, or create a better environment for students would be justified; creating new jobs with new titles, shifting positions around and creating a web to navigate what job goes where is not.
This research regarding administrative bloat is not known by most students. The few mentioned were unaware of the number of new administrative positions and it shocked them. They thought they knew where their money was going. Seeing the actual numbers of how many positions were created in approximately five years is astonishing, and the tuition needs to go somewhere the students can see it.