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Apr 28 2011

Academic Randism

Academics are very foolish to the extent–which can be quite extreme–that they fail to attribute value to the organizational and administrative acts and actors without which their scholarship is totally impossible. As Dr. Crazy pointed out quite vividly in her post yesterday, those things are just as “real” and necessary a component of academic life as sitting with your nose in a book. The academic’s utopia of “kill all the administrators and dissolve all the committees” is nothing but a petulant piggish child’s fantasy no different than those of delusional anti-government Randite fuckebagges.

11 comments

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  1. 1
    Spiny Norman

    Bullshit strawman argument. The problem is that adminstrative staffing levels, and asministrator salries, are both outpacing the growth of other functions in the university. E.g., this.

  2. 2
    Kaleidoscopp

    Thanks Spiny Norman for providing the link. It is both revealing and obvious. Sometimes “things need to get worse in order for things to get better”. Except that, in this case, things cannot get worse than what they have been and are right now. And the UC’s report is just one example

    Yes, “kill all the administrators and dissolve all the committees” is not a delusional fantasy but a needed outcry by responsible academics. They are those who recognize the value of an organizational and administrative task force that place intellectual and social values first and are aware of the boundaries delimiting justice, social progress and privilege.

    Yes, “kill all the administrators and dissolve all the committees’ working to maintain and enhance the privilege of a few. Enough is enough

  3. 3
    Jade

    “kill all the administrators and dissolve all the committees”

    Sometimes I feel this way about marketing.

  4. 4
    anon

    As my job as an assistant professor (basic science) was crumbling, I was asked to consider some bullshit assistant dean position. The last thing the Univ. needed was another fuckin dean or dean’s asst. I was also pissed that they had money for that position, but none for struggling jr faculty. In more professional language, I told them to go fuck themselves and found work elsewhere.

    There seems to be a rampant problem with efficiency (lack of it..) at administrative levels. I really hope you enjoy all those hours of your short life participating in those endless committee meetings.

  5. 5
    recent Ph.D.

    Can I quote you? I have to deal with those “delusional anti-government Randite fuckebagges” in my nonacademic job every day. Any academics who hate administrators and want to trade jobs, just let me know.

  6. 6
    Z

    I think the “I hate to sit on committees” talk is just a way to remind everyone that “I love research.”

    I love it when people whose jobs I have been sitting in committees to defend, tell me how they think service is a waste of their time.

  7. 7
    Z

    …I should write a post on this. Yes, administrative bloat is part of adjunctification and the corporatization of the university.

    And there are committees which exist to obstruct work and progress, and people who hijack committee meetings for bitching and socializing instead of treating them as work.

    However, it is also a fact in my view that it’s an affectation to say you hate committee work, the same way it is to say writing is hard. It’s all part of the suffering academic image people feel they must project.

    And, if you want something done, like a smart classroom built, or a smart hire made, and you don’t want more administrators, then you have to be the person to get it done or help get it done. (Or maybe not — maybe we can all just randomly teach out in the fields like Jesus — but remember what his salary was like.)

  8. 8
    Comrade PhysioProf

    (Or maybe not — maybe we can all just randomly teach out in the fields like Jesus — but remember what his salary was like.)

    On the other hand, he did earn tenure!

  9. 9
    Z

    But still has to live on handouts! ;-)

  10. 10
    Spiny Norman

    Look at the fucking numbers: salaries, number of senior management staff, ratio of administrative staff to faculty and ladder faculty positions.

    This is not rocket science.

  11. 11
    Z

    Read my lips: shared governance. People who do not want to sit on any committees, yet want certain things to happen, are effectively asking for administrators to do them.

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