October 12, 2011


Benjamin Ginsberg, The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters (Oxford & New York: Oxford U. Press, 2011) ([W]hether or not they hold MBAs, many deanlets' managerial savvy consists mainly of having the capacity to spout last year's management buzz words during meetings, retreats, and planning exercises. I often ask for clarification when I hear a deanlet using such acronyms as SWOT, ECM, TQM, or MBO, the term 'benchmarking,' of the ubiquitous 'best practices.' . . . And, why not? In the all-administrative university it is entirely appropriate that mastery of managerial psychobabble should pass for academic vision." Id. at 65-66. From the book jacket: “Until very recently, American universities were led mainly by their faculties, which viewed intellectual production and pedagogy as the core missions of higher education. Today, as Benjamin Ginsberg warns in this eye-opening, controversial book, ‘deanlets’—administrators and staffers often without serious academic backgrounds or experience—are setting the educational agenda.” The Fall of the Faculty examines the fallout or rampant administrative blight that now plagues the nation’s universities. In the past decade, universities have added layers of administrators and staffers to their payrolls every year even while laying off full-time faculty in increasing numbers—ostensibly because of budget cuts. Many of the newly minted—and non-academic—administrators are career managers who downplay the importance of teaching and research, as evidenced by their tireless advocacy for a banal ‘life skills’ curriculum. Consequently, students are denied a more enriching educational experience—one defined by intellectual rigor. . . .”. When education becomes merely a business, education itself loses and becomes corrupt.).