New report shows Virginia Tech with low administrative costs
November 9, 2011
A report prepared at the request of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors shows that university’s administrative costs are below average as compared to peer institutions, other Virginia schools, or national research universities.
“Virginia Tech has long maintained a cost conscious culture sensitive to administrative costs. I’m glad the board asked for these data. It is the first time we have prepared a comprehensive comparison on so many metrics,” said M. Dwight Shelton, Virginia Tech’s chief financial officer.
The study evaluated administrative cost as a percentage of “core” expenditures, administrative costs per student full-time equivalent (FTE), and administrative staffing levels per student FTE. These costs were then compared to the averages for the 14 other Virginia public institutions of higher education, the 25 State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) designated peer institutions, and 72 public research universities.
With 13 percent of core expenditures devoted to administrative costs, Virginia Tech compared very favorably against other Virginia schools’ average of 22 percent. SCHEV peers and research university’s devote 15.5 percent of core expenditures to administration.
Virginia Tech spends about half that of SCHEV peers per student FTE on administrative costs ($3,343 versus $6,543). Other Virginia colleges and universities spend, on average, $4,184 per student FTE and public research universities spend $5,821.
When comparing employees per 100 student FTEs , Virginia Tech has about 30 percent less than SCHEV peers, 20 percent less than public research institutions, but about 17 percent more than other Virginia institutions.
Administrative costs include both institutional and academic administration. The latter would include college and academic departments administrative costs, academic computing, libraries, and the veterinary hospital.
All data were pulled from the Integrated Postsecondary Education System database (IPEDS). The study was developed using common methodologies long employed at Virginia Tech and nationally (admin costs per core expenditure), or using SCHEV sponsored methods (staffing per student FTE), or the Delta Project on Post Secondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability (costs per student FTE).