Growth in university *teaching* expenses has been roughly flat for the last 40 years. Most of the growth has been in middle-management: the explosion of deanlettes. Except for the most elite schools and rare 'academi-stars', tenure-track faculty compensation and benefits aren't exceptional for their education and training. It's nothing for lawyers and doctors to make $200-$400K/year (lots of variables here) but many, many tenture track faculty are making $40-60/year even with tenure. I started at a public uni 10 years ago at $47K/year (they offered me $43K) and am only in the mid-$60s now because we unionized and I got tenure. Faculty compensation is not the problem here. It's a shift in budget priorities away from direct instruction costs toward other areas of the university: sports, glamorous facilities, and administration.