Recent criticism of administrative hiring at the University of Minnesota is not accurate, university President Eric Kaler told a state Senate higher-education committee Tuesday.
The university has taken heat ever since a Wall Street Journal article last month painted it as an overly bureaucratic system with too many well-paid administrators.
Kaler said he is unhappy with the status quo, but he told legislators the paper miscalculated the number of administrators hired at the university since 2001. Kaler said the Wall Street Journal used federal data that was flawed and out of context, making it difficult to compare universities, and it ignored data that put university hiring into perspective.
"That's why I'm dismayed about the Wall Street Journal's characterization of the University of Minnesota, about how they conflated some of the data, and ultimately how they misreported some of our administrative costs," Kaler said.
The president did say it was difficult to get information when he started his job in 2011 because of the way the data was organized.
"It doesn't mean that it was unorganized or poorly managed," Kaler said. "What it does mean is that the flow of data involving the executive decisions that I needed to make wasn't the way I needed it to be."
Kaler will give the Minnesota Senate an interim analysis on spending by March 15.
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