November 13, 2017

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Professor details how a ‘cancerous disease’ has ruined liberal arts colleges.

Much ado has been made about administrative creep and bloat at big universities across the country, the proliferation of vice presidents and deans and assistant directors and supervisors and others with executive-sounding or middle-manager puffed-up titles. That cancerous disease has infected small colleges too, and its damaging effects are particularly pernicious there.

An autonomous managerial class has emerged whose immediate and ulterior motives are occupational as opposed to educational (a distinction that ought not to be collapsed), and whose mission is to serve administrative as opposed to teaching purposes. Perhaps worse of all, the managerial model of organization, in trying to bring small colleges into the fold of purportedly national “best practices” is destroying the distinctiveness, the very raison d’etrê, of small colleges.

Plus: “Regarding administrative bloat, Seery reports that at Pomona College the number of administrative positions has climbed from 56 in 1990 to 271 in 2016.”

And most poisonously, many of those additional administrators are “student life” educrats who are ginning up the protests and behavior that are destroying higher education’s brand.