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Set standards for administrative efficiency

A decade of unrestrained growth in the WCC administration illustrates the need for more critical Board oversight. The Board has added millions to the WCC payroll while realizing minimal gain by approving the personnel recommendations as a mere formality. Careless hiring approvals reduce administrative efficiency while taking away from instruction, program improvement and meaningful student support services.

Before approving any additional administrative hiring, the WCC Board should understand how much a proposed position will cost Washtenaw County taxpayers over the next five years. The Trustees should also insist upon knowing the value each proposed position is projected to return, and the metrics the administration will use to determine whether or not the position is producing its projected value.

Trustees should not grant indefinite approval for filling administrative positions. Instead, the Board should authorize each position for no more than five years. They should renew authorization for a position only when the administration has proven that the position produces the expected results. This will enable the College to identify and eliminate unproductive and under-performing positions.

While administration is necessary for any organization, excessive administration is costly and produces little – if any -genuine value. At best, administrative bloat consumes valuable resources and distracts from the organization’s core mission.

The Board of Trustees should establish formal guidelines that place a hard limit on the size of the administration. Once the administration reaches its established cap, it can only create a new position by eliminating an existing one. This approach will require the administration to constantly evaluate WCC’s administrative efficiency and eliminate positions that don’t return sufficient value.

The Board needs to apply restraint to administrative hiring, because this administration has demonstrated that has no intention of restraining itself.

Photo Credit: Dave Dugdale , via Flickr