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Interesting reflection. IMO, administrators focus on gross revenue, as opposed to focusing on revenue and costs (i.e., net revenue), because it's much much easier to do so. One student = $X in tuition and $X in provincial grant. Attributing cost, let alone measuring it, is incredibly difficult, especially if you are trying to build consensus around a "net revenue" model. Professors are your major cost. But they have multiple tasks - how much of their cost do you attribute to teaching, research and service? How much do you stick with the department or the faculty and how much gets charged to central? Administrative staff, your next major operating cost (let's leave capital and infrastructure budgets separate for simplicity's sake) also serve dual roles. Is the HR rep in a faculty a creature of the faculty or the central administration or both. Merely imagining the potential indirect or associated costs with program development, significant enrolment change, etc., is hard enough. Agreeing on amounts and assigning them correctly, well that's a whole other kettle of fish. Much easier for administrators, and thus the sector, to chase revenue, hope for the best and adjust after the fact.

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