Subject: A & M data
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 12:55:14 -0400
From: Adam Brandon
To: <wgselby@statesman.com>


Gardner,

 

...we are in the process of writing a detailed study on the subject.   External and internal grants and overhead reimbursement rates vary from school to school, so the amount that goes to an individual researcher varies quite a bit.  The main point is that great researchers should be rewarded for bringing in lots of research dollars, rather than having them siphoned off to support less productive researchers. 

 

The easiest back of the envelope calculation might be to assume that if a researcher brought in more funding than his salary, he would have “paid for himself.”  Incrementally this might be true, but neglects the full costs of running the university.   To do a full cost analysis, you have to burden the compensation with overhead.

 

The latest Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data available was 2008.  This is the foundation for the analysis that only 49 researchers paid for themselves.   The IPEDS showed that for every dollar spent on salaries, $2.71 was spent elsewhere by the university. 

 

Each dollar of research creates some additional costs elsewhere in the university to support such overhead.  We calculated that each $1 of salary + 25% benefits must bear $2.71 of overhead.

 

Running these calculations,  we found that over a five year period, only 49 researchers paid for themselves. 

 

Adam Brandon

...