Sunday, July 23, 2006

UW-Mad Successful at Rejecting Wisconsin Students

It's not that long ago, because I remember this policy:

Flash back 25 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and you'd find admissions standards that are sure to shock aspiring Badgers of today.

The university guaranteed admission to all high school graduates in the top half of their class. It accepted more than 80% of applicants.

Now students are discouraged from applying without a grade-point average from 3.5 to 3.9, an ACT score of at least 26 and a class rank in the 85th to 96th percentiles. The acceptance rate for Wisconsin residents is 65%. No student is guaranteed a spot in the freshman class, no matter how good his or her grades are.

...In 1986, the Legislative Audit Bureau slammed the entire UW System for haphazard enrollment. While some of the state's four-year universities were accepting more students than they could accommodate, others had too few undergraduates.

"System Administration has not managed enrollment effectively," the audit said.
The system's response was to slash nearly 7,000 seats from crowded campuses over the next decade, with UW-Madison absorbing most of the cuts.

... From 1989 to 2005, the acceptance rate for Wisconsin residents dropped from 84% to 65%. The acceptance rate for Minnesota residents, who have a reciprocal agreement to pay tuition that is comparable to in-state students', dropped from 75% to 60%.


Don Mash, the current executive senior vice president for administration, foresees little changing unless the state Legislature increases support for the UW System.

"If we don't get reinvestment, there will continue to be limited growth," he said. "And that will be a problem for Wisconsin."

Well, I should think it would be a problem for UW administration. But it's a lot easier to blame it on the Legislature, I suppose.

Remember, part of the "cost" of running UW is hiring bozos like TinFoil Hat Barrett.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Think about this for a moment: it costs less to hire people like Barrett than it does to hire a real professor.

Barrett is a lecturer, paid to teach a single 3-credit class at $8000 plus change for one semester. (He is replacing a full professor on leave.) This is much cheaper on a per-class basis than relying on a full professor.

This is one of the tricks that a university like Marquette uses to keep costs down. Check the statistics on what percent of the teaching faculty on each campus is "adjunct" -- i.e. hired on a piecemeal basis -- vs. full time. Marquette comes out high on the lists of institutions which rely on non-faculty members to teach, which also helps explain the relative low rankings it receives -- vs. Madison -- from the various publications which rank the quality of universities. You get what you pay for.