“Ex-UWS Academic” here again.

Re: “While getting unambiguous data on this one is difficult”. There is data out there on the atrocious waste of UWS resources on administration. This data illustrates one of the key reasons for my decision to give up and resign. Inundated with administrators dictating in areas that are for academics to decide. Imposing ever-increasing workloads. Allowing less and less time to devote to giving a high quality university education, research, and publication. Eventually, requiring academics to devalue the degrees and the educational experience of those admitted. That process has continued and you are now facing a three semester year, a 20% increase in student staff workload, and closures of many of the courses you have put your souls into creating.

That’s all argument and opinion!

Here though is the data!

The University of Western Sydney “MyVoice Staff Engagement Survey” of March 2012 gives the total UWS headcount at 2,487. Of these 1,101 were outside the Schools and 1,386 are in the Schools that are the divisions responsible for teaching and research.

That’s 44.27% of staff administering the producing staff!

But it gets worse! Within each School at UWS there are administrative staff. In the School of Business an analysis of the staff telephone directory on the web site shows a further 56 administrative staff which is 27.58% of the MyVoice headcount for that School.

So if we assume 27.58% of UWS Schools’ staff are administrative, the number of administrators rises by 382 to give 1,483 administrators, which is 59.63% administrators.

And of course, the “real” academics, who are educating, researching, and publishing also have to perform administrative roles. Even if you only allow the 40.43% “real” academics 10% of their time as administrative, that brings you 63.37% of those “employment time” spent on administration.

But it gets worse than that! UWS has, over the years, contracted out some of the services that it previously used to employ staff to do. Notable among these are security and cleaning. Whatever way you chose to cut it, UWS is spending at least 2/3 of salaries bill on administration.

If you pass now to the audited accounts for 2011, you’ll find a published figure that shows approximately 50:50 split of academic and administrative salaries. The difference between 59.63% by numbers and 50% by salaries is accounted for by the fact that academic salaries are higfher than administrative. Those published figures however, don’t take account of the labour content of contracted out services and neither do they take account of the amount of administration that the academics do. I would also like to see how they classify “academic”. Is it defined in terms of current roles of educating, researching, and publishing?

All those figures are from publicly available documents.

Of course, Davros is not to be blamed for exterminating the academics. He has get inside the budget allocated to him from above. Many of the 27.58% of SoB administrative staff are performing roles that assist academics; if only they had been allowed to remain close to the staff they were helping!

UWS administration has long been inefficient. UWS academics are to be congratulated on their efficiency. That change document sent out by Davros shows 2012 student staff ratio of 42:1 in 2012 and after closures of economics and other units will rise to 48:1.

Interesting, from that change document is that with 2012 Revenue of $76mil each member of staff “earns” $547,000. And that is only the revenue that is “given” to the school. Those staff and their colleagues in other schools are also earning the revenue that is being extracted by (non-teaching, researching and publishing) units outside the schools.

Educating, researching, and publishing academics are almost invariably putting in many more hours than they are paid for. When you on campus befor 9:00AM, after 5:00PM and at weekends, it is academics that you see! The administrative buildings are deserted! Many academics spend hours of time working at home. Very few put in less than the regulated number of hours. Whether those hours are productive will always be a matter of debate but you can be certain that the out of hours work of “rea” academics far exceeds that of the administrators.

I resigned rather than take EVR because EVR of someone putting in 70 – 95 hours a week wasn’t ethical and I also wanted to be completely free to speak out and not be accused as an employee of bringing the university into disrepute.

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