Michigan leads the nation in hiring of part-time faculty, administration

Increasing tuition, devastating cuts in state aid to higher education, and an increase in student loan debt are not the only problems facing higher education. According to a report by the Delta Cost Project at the American Institutes for Research, the ratio of full-time faculty per 1,000 students is declining while the ranks of administrators and professional staff in student service-related jobs at public and private colleges and universities is growing. 

Michigan is above the national average when it comes to the increase in professional staff and the decrease in faculty. The rate of full-time faculty per 1,000 students dropped 4 percent while the rate of part-time faculty increased 10 percent. The rate of professional staff per 1,000 students increased 20 percent while the rate of non-professional staff dropped 16 percent. 

Grand Valley State University has the highest increase of any four-year Michigan public university in the rate of professionals per 1,000 students-an increase of 92 percent. 

The report finds that colleges and universities have invested more in professional jobs that provide non-instructional students services like academic advising, career guidance and grant administration-services that were once delivered by faculty.

Gov. Snyder has proposed a 6.1 percent increase for state universities and a 3 percent increase for community colleges in his budget proposal. Those increases are based on tuition containment measures and meeting certain performance criteria. But, if the money isn't going to be used to support full-time faculty hiring, it brings the quality of higher education into question. 

The American Institutes for Research is a non-profit organization that studies issues related to college affordability. The Delta Cost Project data is based on Education Department data showing employment changes at different types of colleges and universities from 2004 to 2012.