Harvard & St.John's University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 2449-2452
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
This paper will attempt to address the steady growth of numbers of administrators at Colleges and Universities in the U.S. since the late 1970's, and more importantly, what are the negative consequences of this unfortunate trend for society, the institutions, students, parents, and faculty. Prior to the late 1970's most administrators came from the faculty, as faculty were traditionally identified as those that were responsible for the college or university. Faculty that moved in and out of administration typically did an excellent job because they knew, and never forgot that the purpose of the university was the promotion of education and research. As administrators, they were always in touch with their own academic lives and disciplines.

When we moved through the late 1970's and into the early 1980's, the more commonly known administrator was created. The administrator of today is a "full-time professional administrator" that typically has no experience as an academic (professor/researcher), and is trained in management, and sometimes even views management as an end in and of itself. Given the advent of the professional administrator, it is only logical that they would not promote teaching and research, but rather expand their own administrative/managerial areas. This is obvious by the great numbers of administrators and consequently staff that are added to college and university payrolls every year, even as institutions are battling budget issues...which by the way "force" administration to reduce the number of their full-time faculty. Faculty have been and are continuing to be reduced in large numbers every year, and therefore they are having less of an influence in university affairs. The claim is that faculty don't know how to manage, that "campus management" including academic issues (as of late) is/are somehow now beyond them (faculty scope). What has been created is a web and hierarchy of vice presidents, associate vice presidents, assistant vice presidents, provosts, associate provosts, vice provosts, assistant provosts, deans, associate deans, assistant deans, and so on, each with large staffs and asssistants. A friend, and former dean of Harvard College, Henry Rosovsky once stated that the quality of an institution (college/university) is likely to be negativerly correlated with the unrestrained power of administrators. When faculty were charged with "running" the college or university, the institution was capable of producing not only new knowledge, and passing it on to students, but also new visions of society...showing by its teaching and scholarship that new ways of thinking and acting are possible. Today, with, Administrators controlling our colleges and univesities they are stating that our instiutions can never be more than a "knowledge factory", offering sophisticated and expensive vocational training. Obviously vocational training/education has its place in higher education, but not in dominating higher education.

With faculty losing power and influence over the last 35 years, our institutions have steadily been on the decline. What is needed at this time is a major effort to "take back" our colleges and universities. Our colleges and universities are incredible, necessary institutions that make enormous contributions to and have unmeasurable consequences on our citizens, and therefore are well worth fighting for and protecting from misguided professional administrators.
Administration, faculty, managing.