I don't doubt that's true; I see it at my college. But I also see at my college that the percentage of students who need extensive administrative attention has shot up in the past ten years. (I teach at a SLAC, so if I have a concern about a student then I call an appropriate administrator and they genuinely try to see if the student is OK. For instance, not too long ago I called about a student and it turned out to be a suicide risk and my call and others prompted an intervention, and the student is OK. I don't know how many hours of administrator attention was clocked on this one person but I expect it was a lot.)
Note: I am not at all saying this applies to suicide risks, which obviously are not new and which colleges have had support staff for going way back.
I'm sorry, I don't know that person. But we try our best to deal with who we have in front of us. I don't know what else we can do, in good conscience.
I am not saying that all additional admins are accounted for by this kind of thing. I don't know enough about it.
(Actually the cost is a mystery to me but I've never been an admin of any kind.) I'm only saying that some of the increase I see on the ground is in response to trying to meet real needs.
We've also added a lot of services for disabled students, transfer students, etc. All to the good, I would say give more students access to a quality education, but the services needed for 6,000 students of 80,000 applicants is way different from when they were enrolling 3,000 students of the 5,500 who applied.
Most students are hardly adults. They look it, but they are not necessarily yet fully equipped to manage themselves.
And what if the people the same age who didn’t attend college— well, I would push for more and improved social programs to help them. Of course then you could reduce the staff at the colleges.
I’m all for being proactive about rising needs like social and mental health issues, but I also think a reactive response needs to take place in the interim.
The approach of “here’s a helpline phone number, now deal with it” hasn’t proven effective so far so why lean into it?