Tamar Lewin reported in the New York Times (April 7, 2014) on a recent study released by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)which reported that from 2001-2011, “…while spending on instruction, research, and public service declined or flattened, most colleges and universities rapidly increased their spending on sports…”
This increase in spending is not limited to NCAA Division I universities, but includes community colleges, and in Division I and II. In fact, the surge in spending is most dramatic at the community colleges, and Division II and II institutions, which has many in the higher education community concerned.
For example, during the period of the study, spending on athletics at public four-year colleges increased 24.8%, adjusted for inflation. The most dramatic spending increase took place at Division III colleges without football programs, where median, inflation-adjusted,spending per student doubled, perhaps in an effort to improve enrollment.
These increases in spending come at the cost of the academic delivery. The study also showed the the number of adjunct professors and administrators was growing far faster than full-time and tenure-track faculty. At the same time, noted the study, faculty salaries last year increased an average of 2.4%, while those of top administrators saw large raises.