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September 14 2018

Administrative Bloat Doesn't Promote Scholarship

by Charlotte Hays

AEI's Mark Perry wowed the audience at IWF's all-star panel Tuesday evening on the cost of a college degree. He talked about "administrative bloat" as a key contributor to the skyrocketing cost of a degree.

In his latest column, George Will takes up the subject of administrative bloat and explores what this expensive layer of bureaucrats actually accomplishes. Spoiler alert: they do not enhance the quality of scholarship.

Will explains:

Writing in April in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Lyell Asher, professor of English at Lewis & Clark College, noted that “the kudzu-like growth of the administrative bureaucracy in higher education” is partly a response to two principles widely accepted on campuses: Anything that can be construed as bigotry and hatred should be so construed, and anything construed as such should be considered evidence of an epidemic.

Often, Asher noted, a majority of the academic bureaucrats directly involved with students, from dorms to “bias-response teams” to freshman “orientation” (which often means political indoctrination), have graduate degrees not in academic disciplines but from education schools with “two mutually reinforcing characteristics”: ideological orthodoxy and low academic standards for degrees in vaporous subjects such as “educational leadership” or “higher-education management.”

The problem is not anti-intellectualism but the “un-intellectualism” of a growing cohort of persons who, lacking talents for or training in scholarship, find vocations in micromanaging student behavior to combat imagined threats to “social justice.”

Can anyone on a campus say anything sensible about how the adjective modifies the noun? Never mind. As Asher said, groupthink and political intimidation inevitably result from this ever-thickening layer of people with status anxieties because they are parasitic off institutions with scholarly purposes.

My bolding.

Will quotes from Heather MacDonald's new book, The Diversity Delusion: How Race, Gender and Pandering Corrupt the University and Corrupt Our Culture.

In addition to corrupting the university, in Mac Donald's view, they also cost a lot of money and make a college degree more expensive than it otherwise would be.

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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