Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Fallen! Fallen! The Faculty Has Fallen.

The Faculty Has Fallen

Actually, it’s been pushed down by hordes of money- and power-hungry administrators.

By Robert Weissberg

Like many academics of a “certain age,” I have long noticed the growth of the campus bureaucracy. For example, at the University of Illinois—where I spent 28 years—it seemed that half of all new construction was to house administrators. The administrative expansion was relentless even though enrollments remained almost unchanged and faculty salaries remained flat.

Fortunately for myself and other puzzled but similarly observant academics (of “a certain age”), Professor Benjamin Ginsberg’s The Fall of the Faculty brilliantly (and with great wit) explains this rabbits-in-Australia phenomenon. Even better yet is his account of why this population explosion undermines the university’s core mission of teaching and research. To repeat a point impossible to exaggerate: the intellectual costs of bureaucratic expansion far exceed the extra salaries and expensive, wasted office space.

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