“Recent studies reveal a disturbing trend in higher education: colleges, both private and public, are increasingly devoting a significant amount of time and money to public relations,” writes Alex Contarino in today’s Pope Center feature.
In the University of North Carolina system alone, $10.1 million is spent each year on salaries for administrators working in campus marketing offices. That’s in addition to those offices’ budgets, which often go toward questionable projects, such as ones marketing campus “diversity” initiatives to prospective students.
But what about the day-to-day spending on things such as university magazines, newspaper ads, and TV spots? Contarino says universities are stuck in the past, and would save a lot of time and money – and actually reach their target audience – if they instead used social media.
“Unfortunately, administrators find it easy to justify these wasteful marketing expenses by claiming they will improve their school’s image or increase enrollment. But as state-run institutions, public universities should work to be better stewards of taxpayer money. Trimming bloated PR offices and halting dubious advertising projects would help along those lines,” writes Contarino.