According to Provost Alan Harrison, Queen’s reduced faculty positions by 47, or 5.8%, while increasing administrative positions by 5, or 12.8%, between 2007 and 2012.
The Provost was recently asked in Senate about recent additions to the Administrative complement, in view of recent faculty attrition.
His written response, included in the Senate Agenda for March 2013, was:
This question requests an historical analysis of administrative positions (number and cost) relative to faculty positions. The catalyst for the questions is a number of recently announced administrative positions. For completeness, I provide in my written answer an explanation of how each of these positions is to be funded. My office could not, however, complete an analysis of positions in time to submit it as part of the written answer, so I shall provide orally to Senate what we have ready by the time Senate meets.
Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning): No additional funds were requested or granted to provide for this position because it was made possible by a reallocation of existing funds within the budget for the Office of the Provost.
Associate Vice-President (Research): No additional funds were requested or granted to provide for this position because it was made possible through a reallocation of existing funds within the budget for the Vice-President (Research).
Chief Communications Officer: Funds for this position were requested during the most recent round of staffing and budget submissions. Approval of the request for funding for this position was recommended by the Provost’s Advisory Committee on the Budget. The submission that contained this request, which came from the Office of the Principal, made no other funding request.
In the Senate Agenda for 30 April 2013, he added this further information:
In 2007, there were 813 faculty members (not including clinical appointments and continuing adjuncts), at a total cost of $89.3M. By 2012, the number of faculty members had fallen to 766, but the total cost had risen by 19.2 percent to $106.2M. Over the same period, the size of the executive rose from 14 to 16 people. The total cost rose by 17.7 percent, from $3.0M to 3.5M. The number of Deans/Associate Deans positions increased from 25 to 28. The total cost rose by 17.9 percent, from $4.4M to $5.2M.
In sum, based on the Provost’s figures:
- Between 2007 and 2012, Queen’s cut faculty positions by 47, or 5.8%, while increasing Administrative positions by 5, or 12.8%.
- It decreased its faculty-administrator ratio (counting only deans, associate deans, and the “executive”) from 20.8 : 1 to 17 : 1.
- It increased its administrator-faculty ratio by 21%, from .048 to .058.
Taking the Provost’s figures on average, the cost of five new administrators might have saved over seven faculty positions. But administrators are in charge of hiring, and in the face of austerity budgets they have shown a proverbial wisdom: “when it rains, look to your roof.”
 “D. Woolf expressed that there was continued concern regarding the global economic situation and that federal Finance Minister J. Flaherty is expected to deliver another austerity budget later this week” (Senate Minutes, 19 Mar. 2013, p. 5).