Why are we hiring upper administration in a time of deep budget cuts?

Question

Why are we hiring upper administration in a time of deep budget cuts that include letting cutting programs and letting faculty go?  It would be great if we faculty could know what exactly all these VPs do.  Maybe they could develop annual workloads and then be evaluated annually on whether or not they perform well on three distinct, although related, areas of performance! Maybe we could understand better why they are paid at higher rates than faculty even though they rely on faculty to do a whole variety of work tasks that then get kicked up to upper administration to crow about?  Hey, maybe there could be some sort of process by which those people hired into VPs (and upper administration) could explain their jobs to all the rest of us who function on a day to day basis to work with the UAF student population in the most fundamental of ways so that over time we could know how our upper administration serves as a resource for us.

Response

Thank you for your questions. The vice chancellor for student affairs position manages many very important functions for the university, including the offices of Admissions and the Registrar, Financial Aid, International Programs and Initiatives, Residence Life, Dean of Students, and Disability Services; Wood Center; and the Student Recreation Center and Department of Recreation, Adventure, and Wellness. These areas have direct impact on UAF’s ability to recruit and retain students. (A description of the the duties and responsibilities of the vice chancellor for student affairs was advertised here.)

Similar to the situation for faculty positions, administrator salaries are set with reference to national averages for similar institutions. For administrators, the target salary is 0.9 times the peer institution median. Vice chancellor positions are at-will, and the incumbents receive only 90 days’ notice in the case of nonretention.

Administrators who supervise faculty are subject to a regular, Faculty Senate-supervised process of review. Also, all administrators are evaluated annually by their supervisor.

There is one fewer vice chancellor-level position now than there was in 2011, when there was both a vice chancellor for students and a vice chancellor for advancement. At that time, there was also a separate chancellor’s executive officer position, which has since been combined with the vice chancellor for administrative services position.

— Daniel M. White, chancellor