While the rest of state government eliminated 10,000 jobs during the Great Recession, the University System of Georgia added more than 5,000 employees.
Some schools increased staff by as much as 45 percent while students faced larger increases in tuition and fees. Colleges say they needed to hire additional staff to keep pace with increasing enrollment.
During the same period, the state cut nearly $300 million from University System funding, and the system turned to students to cover hiring costs.
Like other state agencies, the University System receives state money, but unlike other agencies, the State Board of Regents can raise tuition and fees to offset cuts.
System spokesman John Millsaps said the system is making several moves to make the system more efficient.