Can We Halt Administrative Bloat?
By Benjamin Ginsberg
In 2011, I published The Fall of the Faculty pointing to the problem of accelerating administrative bloat at America’s colleges and universities. The book’s reception exceeded my expectations with professors throughout the United States (as well as Canada and Europe) writing to me with stories of mismanagement, administrative incompetence, bureaucratic waste and fraud and the sheer arrogance and stupidity of their administrators. Many letter writers declared that I must have done my research on their campuses since everything I described had happened there. Others declared that my examples were not extreme enough and offered stories from their own schools that often topped mine.
Everywhere, it seems, legions of administrators are engaged in strategic planning, endlessly rewriting the school mission statement, and “rebranding” their campus. All these activities waste enormous amounts of time, require hiring thousands of new deanlets and, more often than not, involve the services of expensive consultants. This rebranding business is so foolish that it is difficult even to caricature. With the help of consultants, the University of Chicago School of Medicine rebranded itself “Chicago Medicine,” while my own university’s medical school rebranded itself “Hopkins Medicine.” I hope these new brands came with consultants’ warranties. I have a feeling that the next group of administrators will want to introduce their own brands after, that is, rewriting their schools’ mission statement. READ MORE HERE