Howard Bunsis, an accounting professor and AAUP union organizer at East Michigan University, gave a good presentation about how to analyze university finances. It was at the Occupy space on Cermak on July 30, organized by CACHE and mostly attended by their members.
His immediate goal is to cut through the claims of “crisis” and “financial exigency” and see if the cuts that are being called for almost everywhere are really justified by the situation of each given school. Beyond that, his work shows really well how bloated the administrative sectors have become, and it calls for a return to the “core missions” of teaching and research, which, for Bunsis, ought to account for at least 50% of the budget (and they currently don’t!). The work does not critique the uses which are being made of the university by the corporate/financial/defense sectors, nor does it ask how the university could produce a different kind of society than it does now. But still it’s a good starting place.
The presentation is entirely self-explanatory, and it’s basically a how-to that could help anyone who wants to do this kind of investigative work. It can be downloaded here: