Most of the nation’s colleges are gradually paring back their investments in classroom teaching, an analysis of federal data shows. And all colleges have in recent years been spending a greater share of their revenue on expenses other than instruction, including computing centers, student services, administrative salaries and lawn care.
Overall, spending declined or remained flat from 2002 to 2006, the report found. Most private four-year colleges now spend more on administrative and academic support than on instruction. Research universities, protected by large endowments, have bucked the trend but those endowments’ values have fallen with the stock market.