As Benjamin Ginsberg details in his 2011 book, ‘‘The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters,’’ a constantly expanding layer of university administrative jobs now exists at an increasing remove from the actual academic enterprise. It’s not unheard-of for colleges now to employ more senior administrators than professors. There are, of course, essential functions that many university administrators perform, but such an imbalance is absurd — try imagining a high school with more vice principals than teachers. This legion of bureaucrats enables a world of pitiless surveillance; no segment of campus life, no matter how small, does not have some administrator who worries about it.It's hardly a new idea, but still worth noting, again, as it becomes someone's job to urge professors to serve cookies to students waiting in line. The only solution I can think of (other than fewer administrators, period) is fewer career administrators, and fewer administrators with no teaching load at all. Administrators who are, or will be, subject to their own decrees are far more likely to be reasonable.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
One key to the problem
Okay, so it's getting almost as old to blame administrators for everything that's wrong in higher ed as it is to blame professors, or students. Still, I rather liked this point from an article in the NYT magazine's Education issue: