Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Harrisburg University spends $6000 per student in administration costs for one year. President, Provost highest paid, worst performing.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is a system of survey components that collects data from nearly 7,000 institutions that provide postsecondary education across the United States. IPEDS collects institution-level data on students (enrollment and graduation rates), student charges, program completions, faculty, staff, and finances.These data are used at the federal and state level for policy analysis and development; at the institutional level for benchmarking and peer analysis; and by students and parents, through the College Navigator, to aid in the college search process.

Every year an IPEDS Feedback Report is sent to each institution's administration. The Data Feedback Report is intended to provide institutions a context for examining the data they submitted to IPEDS. The goal is to produce a report that is useful to institutional executives and that may help improve the quality and comparability of IPEDS data.

In other words, in order for the school to gauge how they are doing, they can see what/how similar schools are doing. For Harrisburg University the characteristics include Carnegie Classification of Baccalaureate Colleges--Arts & Sciences, private not-for-profit and enrollment of a similar size. The 26 schools are:

Source: 2011 IPEDS HUST Feedback Report

I examined the data from other institutions in Harrisburg University's peer group. You can find the information at Guidestar and the College Navigator. Here is what I found in the Key Employees and Highest Compensated Individuals section of each institution's Form 990 coupled with current retention rates:

American Jewish University (Los Angeles, CA): Compensation: President $205K, VP $188K, VP $150K. Retention rate: 100%

Beacon College (Leesburg, FL): Compensation: President $145K, VP $46K, Treasurer $34K, no other administrators. Retention rate: 82%

Bryn Athyn College (Bryn Athyn, PA): Compensation: President $188K, VP $190K, no other administration. Retention rate: 71%

Burlington College (Burlington, VT): Compensation: President $165K, no other administrators. Retention rate: 40%

Pine Manor College (Chestnut Hill, MA): Compensation: President $198K, no other administrators. Retention rate: 65%

Shimer College (Chicago, IL): Compensation: President $236K, COO/CFO $69K, no other administrators. Retention rate: 70%

Thomas Aquinas College (Santa Paula, CA): President $106K, no other administrators. Retention rate: 92%

Wesleyan College (Macon, GA): Presidnet $46K (yes the figure is correct), VP $144K, VP $106K, VP $80K, Controller $57K. Retention Rate 78%

You can look up the others if you like. I'm sure you get the idea. Most of Harrisburg University's peers budget a few hundred thousand a year for administration. Some more and some less.  So how did Harrisburg University do? The most recent data we have is from 2009 when HUST had a total enrollment of 215 (IPEDS Feedback Report 2009).

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (Harrsiburg, PA): Compensation: President $237K, Provost $229K, VP of Finance $157K, Director of NCSCE $158K(See footnote 1), Director $132K (see footnote 2), Director $123K (see footnote 3), Associate Provost $116K, Director $112K (see footnote 4). Retention rate: 34%

Footnote 1: David Burns is a "professor of general studies at the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology".  Although he has never conducted a single class. Apparently he has time to be a Director at HUST's expense, teach at another college in New Jersey and be the principle investigator for SENCER. He doesn't even live in Pennsylvania. I've never even seen him on campus. Have you?

Footnote 2: The Executive Director of  Harrisburg University's Center for Advanced Entertainment & Learning Technologies/Associate Professor of Multimedia at Harrisburg University does not hold an advanced degree. His Associate Professor title is wholly honorary as he lacks the credentials and he didn't earn the rank.

Footnote 3: The Director of Learning Technologies and Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies at Harrisburg University does not have a Ph.D, but he does have a business degree. He's supposed to teach graduate studies, but that would be a no-no for someone without a terminal degree.

Footnote 4: The Director of the Management and eBusiness degree program and the Information Systems Engineering and Management (ISEM) programs at Harrisburg University does have a Ph.D, he also apparently has time to teach at another university, run his own business, self-publish books and do some outside consulting. 

Let me say emphatically that this is not a personal attack on the directors, it's an attack on the absurdity of their positions. None of the programs are STEM programs and they were all championed by our idiot Provost as part of his Sandusky management style. (You know, the management style where he screws the students.) He clearly has no idea what he is doing. We have one director who is MIA, two directors that aren't exactly qualified and one director who works part time. And they all make six figures. And an Assistant Provost? Seriously? For what? Our Provost who made $229K couldn't handle 215 students? Is he an idiot?

Harrisburg University has the highest paid president and provost of all the peer schools and the largest administration staff. Harrisburg University spent over $1,260,000 just on the top administrators. And that's not even including other VPs and directors. That means Harrisburg University spent over $6000 per student for a single year in administration costs. Is it paying off? Nope. Harrisburg University has the lowest retention rate of the group and declining enrollment, both strong indications of a failing institution.

We need to oust this administration.


  1. This is all I'm going to say: It's all true.

  2. Thank you for posting all of this information. It's alot to understand though. I didn't think it could all be true, but everyone I talk to at school seems to agree that the stuff on this blog is really happening. I think we should have a big meeting like they do in high school with the teachers, students and the provost. Maybe someone from the board could even show up. I think we could get a lot of this stuff worked out. i'm sure there is another side to many of these issues.