I’d love to do an update to that post, but after I wrote it, UM stopped publishing their financial information, specifically what people are paid.
When I try to contact them, they won’t reply.
This is your public institution, operating with your public dollars, but they won’t tell you where your money is going.
Rich, entitled, elite.
At UM, they’re better than you, they know it, and they’re not afraid to let you know it. They know you’ll put up with this; that you’ll just go home and let that Netflix wash over you, forgetting all the ‘problems’ in the world.
And they’re right.
Let’s dig into the numbers we do have.
Back in 2016, MSU had nearly 14,000 students. That same year, UM had around 11,000.
Let’s fast forward to 2020. MSU had 15,000 students and UM had 8,600.
2020 was a tough year, we all know it. But while UM lost 7% of its students, MSU lost just 0.4%.
The big story in the media here in Missoula over the past few years is attrition, and the university asking professors to retire early (administrators are never asked such).
What has that done to the ranks?
Well, here in Missoula we know that UM had 1,350 people on staff in 2016, but by 2020 that’d fallen to 1,205. Yep, in the span of just four years, UM lost 145 people.
In Bozeman, MSU had just over 1,500 people on staff in 2016 and in 2020 they had close to 1,800. So over the course of four years, that school hired an extra 300 people.
And let’s be completely honest - if you’re a professor or administrator or even a janitor, you want to work in Bozeman, not Missoula.
In Missoula last year, $128 million was spent to pay the staff. In Bozeman, they spent $222 million.
How does that affect learning? Well, quite a bit, actually. You see, when you’re not taking in as much money as you used to, you have less to spend.
Who takes the hit? Well, it’s certainly not Admin. If you follow the money, you find that the students are hurt the most.
Back in 2016, UM spent $76 million a year on instructing its students. By 2020, that’d fallen to $67 million.
Over at MSU, they spent $98 million instructing students in ‘16, and by ‘20 that’d grown to $118 million.
When you factor in things like academic support, student services, institutional support, operations & maintenance, research, public service and scholarships...you see that UM is spending $128 million a year, while MSU is spending $222 million.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that MSU is moving in the right direction, UM is not.
It’s been this way for years, and shows no signs of changing.
But by golly...the top brass at UM still pays themselves like it’s the early-2010s, when enrollment was hitting records and the school could do no wrong.
My, that was a long time ago, and so much has changed. Just not in the eyes of the administrator.