Administration Reduction NecessaryIs it really necessary to lay off a single professor to reduce Institute headcount by 400? According to the Planning Office's MIT Factbook, in 1969, MIT employed 962 faculty and 622 administrators. By 1989, the ranks of administrators had doubled to 1,217 despite the fact that faculty headcount was practically unchanged at 988.
How could we get by with only 800 administrators? The first reductions would be easy. We'd have "mit.harassment.sexual" instead of 60-page glossy books. Various new deans and provosts would have to go (former dean James R. Tewhey and/or his replacement would be logical candidates for removal from the payroll). After that, we would have to apportion some responsibilities to support staff (i.e., secretaries), faculty, and students.
It is education and research that made this institution famous, not brilliant and comprehensive administration. If we consciously decide to focus on education and research, I think that there is little doubt that we can survive without 400 of our 1,200 administrators. More things might fall between the cracks, but those are likely things that didn't need to be done in the first place.
Imagine for a moment that we cut 200 more administrators, returning their number to the 1969 level. If each administrator costs $100,000 per year (salary, benefits, overhead, etc.), MIT would save $20 million annually, or enough to cut tuition for each undergraduate by $4,000.
Philip Greenspun G