Brian Galle of Boston College is doing a survey of the budgets at several hundred US colleges and universities. His data cover the years 1999 through 2007, and are adjusted for inflation.
During this time, he finds that both gross and net tuition revenue rose by nearly 40% in real, inflation-adjusted terms. How did university administrators decide to spend this money? If you guessed “on hiring lots more underlings, and giving enormous raises to themselves,” you have just won an authentic Gordon Gee bow tie. Gale finds that University president salaries rose by 50%, and total employee compensation went up by 22%, yet full-time instructor salaries (this includes both tenure-track and non-tenure track people) barely rose at all. Indeed the latter category may well have declined if non-full time adjunct faculty had been included.