Day 7 of our chart-by-chart march through the material on the 2010 Provost Report. Finally! Some details on Williams spending over time (archive here).

1) One of my purposes here is to highlight for our faculty readers places where Williams spends too much. Instead of whining about a faculty pay freeze, they should be challenging, privately and publicly, the Administration/Trustees about some of these line items. I would focus on two: First, the growth in Administration, much if it due to the Investment Office. Close it. Second, the spending on WCMA. We all agree that WCMA is wonderful. Can’t we just roll back its budget to 2004-2005?

2) It would be better to show a decade’s worth of data, or at least to add 5 and 10 year growth rates.

3) Instead of just knowing the total spending on Graduate Programs, we need to know the net spending. If the Masters in Art History and CDE bring in enough money, then no worries (although I would still close them). But, if they cost the College millions, then we should look more closely. (Again, faculty can have their raises or they can have graduate programs. They can’t have both.)

Back of the envelope, there are 30 CDE fellows this year (big increase?), each paying $50,000, thereby generating $1.5 million. This is a bit of a scam since most (?) of the money comes from emerging country central banks who are, more or less, just printing it.

The Masters in Art costs $40,000 but there is some (a lot?) of financial aid provided by Williams. There are about 20 students in the program. So, call it $800,000.

So, it could be that the funds generated by these programs come close to paying for themselves. And, moreover, most of those costs (professor salaries?) are fixed. The College is stuck with those professors even if it closes the programs. It is hard to make a sensible judgment without more information.

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