The humble calculator has emerged as a powerful weapon for faculty members battling administrators over spending.
When university leaders say they need to hold down instructional spending because of a budget crunch, the American Association of University Professors often seeks to debunk their claims by crunching numbers.
Nearly always, the AAUP’s financial analyses produce figures showing that the university in question remains in solid shape and has much more money to pay the faculty than its administration lets on. The analysts argue that the university’s real problems are skewed spending priorities, with too much money going to support administrative bloat and athletics programs.
In recent months, for example, the analysts have accused the administrations of San Jose State University and the University of New Hampshire of exaggerating the financial pressures on their institutions in entering contract talks. Both concluded that “any claims of financial hardship are not supported by the evidence.” <Read more.>