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UW-Milwaukee employs about one administrator for every five students

ANALYSIS: UW-Milwaukee lost students but has not cut jobs as fast

The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee employs roughly 1.5 administrators for every 10 undergraduate students, according to an analysis conducted by The College Fix.

This is a 12 percent increase between the 2013-14 and 2023-24 school year, according to data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. 2023-24 is the most recent year data are available.

UWM had a total of 92 administrators per 1,000 students in the 2013-2014 school year. By 2023, the university employed 103 administrators per 1,000 students.

Administrators include public relations, administrative support, IT, student and academic affairs, and legal and other non-academic departments.

Part of the reason for the increase in this ratio is due to a gradual decrease in enrollment.

In 2013, UWM enrolled 18,942 full-time undergraduate students. In 2017, this number decreased to 17,076. During the 2022-2023 school year, the enrollment slipped to 14,909 students.

Though the ratio of administrators to students has increased at UW-Milwaukee since 2013, the number of administrators has decreased. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee had a total of 3,007 full-time administrators during the 2013 school year. By the end of the 2023 school year, this number had decreased to 2,657.

Decreasing enrollment led the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to announce the closure of its Waukesha campus, a smaller 2-year community college connected to UWM.

However, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee ratio of administrators to undergrads is lower than other universities analyzed by The Fix.

Earlier this year, The Fix reported the University of California Berkeley employs one full-time administrator for every four undergraduate students.

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The University of Florida has a similar ratio of administrators to students. According to an analysis by The Fix, the public university employs one administrator for every four undergrad students.

On the other hand, Florida State University’s ratio is 1 to 10, The Fix found.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee did not respond to an inquiry on April 8 that asked about potential cuts to diversity, equity, and inclusion staffers as well as other personnel reductions. It did not respond to a subsequent voicemail and email last week, asking for comment.

UWM’s Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion spans eight different offices and programs, including the American Indian Student Center, the Black Student Cultural Center, the Center of Equity/Diversity Services, and the Roberto Hernandez Center.

Additionally, the department has 23 full-time staffers listed on its website.

For example, the university paid Jamie Cimpl-Wiemer, the current director of equity/diversity services $87,063 in 2020, according to OpenPayrolls.

Similarly, Alberto Maldonado, the director of the Roberto Hernandez Center at UWM had a salary of $94,902.97 as of 2022 according to OpenPayrolls.

Legislators want to see the University of Wisconsin campuses cut spending on DEI and crafted a deal to boost funding for pay raises and infrastructure.

According to Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity scholar Preston Cooper, the strategies of the Wisconsin legislature are encouraging.

“The Wisconsin legislature is adopting a relatively novel strategy of linking university appropriations to administrative bloat,” Cooper told The Fix. “It’s encouraging to see lawmakers tackle this issue so directly.”

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IMAGE: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee/Facebook

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About the Author
College Fix Contributor Emily Fowler is a student at The Master's University, where she studies music. She previously received an associate's degree in arts and sciences at Wabash Valley College. She also writes for Campus Reform, where she is a senior correspondent.