For thousands of years, administrative bureaucracies have been seen as “necessary evils” by most taxpayers. Without them, it would be impossible to administer or defend cities and nations. But when they grow costly beyond their actual value — as in modern higher education — they become parasites on the institutions that support them.
All institutions need administration. But the bureaucratic nature and ideological bent of many college administrations is damaging academic freedom and flow of ideas that learning requires. Again, this is particularly true of policies based on identity politics. An example is the censorship of ideas, words, and attitudes that are deemed “offensive.” In practice, whatever subjectively offends “marginalized” students is censored without regard to the impact on the others.
Professors are not exempt, as the progressive Bret Weinstein recently discovered at Evergreen State College. Weinstein was waylaid in his classroom by a mob of screaming students because he objected to a student campaign to exclude whites from campus for a day. He called it racist. This offended the organizers. Weinstein was subsequently forced to teach his class in a park because he was not safe on campus. The college President declined to suspend Weinstein but agreed to comply with most other demands put forth by the outraged students, whom he called “courageous.”
Dissenting students fare no better and often retreat into silence for self-protection.
Because of “offended” students, works of classical literature by white males are discarded. Some law schools no longer teach about rape. Less than one third of top colleges require history majors to take a single course in American history because it is considered racist. Students are being denied exposure to necessary ideas.
Administrative bloat also crowds out core university functions. Because of administrative bloat, class sizes swell. Universities have innovated to cut corners instead of improve education. They turn to online courses and competency-based education, where students teach themselves and prove their mastery of the material, to cope with shrinking faculty numbers. Students are denied the guidance and mentorship of committed educators. __ https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2017/06/administrative-bloat-campus-academia-shrinks-students-suffer/
Just as a cable company bundles channels together and makes you pay for them all, whether or not you watch them, colleges have bundled counseling, athletics, campus activities, and other services with the instructional side to justify charging more.
“All of those things they are bundling are adding to the price of attendance,” he said. __ https://www.chronicle.com/article/Administrator-Hiring-Drove-28-/144519
The same type of parasitic bloat can be seen inside large corporations, government institutions, and other institutions where money flows are poorly accounted for and political patronage holds sway over merit and functional productivity. This strangulation by bureaucratic bloat occurs particularly around departments dealing with legal or governmental booby traps laid by careless or reckless government regulations around issues of gender, race, or other hot-button issue having almost nothing to do with teaching students to think for themselves, for example.
Decades ago, it was relatively easy for students in state institutions to pay for their own educations:
In 1975, a University of Minnesota undergraduate could cover tuition by working six hours a week year-round at a minimum-wage job, the Journal calculated. Today, a student would have to work 32 hours at minimum wage to cover the cost. __ https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/administrative-bloat-at-americas-colleges-and-universities/
Since the above article was written, the work requirement for self-paying students has shot up well above 40 hours per week — leaving little time for going to class and doing required study. As for extracurricular affairs, forget about it!
Now, thanks in part to administrative bloat, too many students are forced into debt that can last most of the rest of their lifetimes.
What is the Solution?
The solution to administrative bloat depends upon the nature of the institution involved. Universities are a special case, since it is easy to see how a university can burden society with huge costs while not providing much in the way of benefit — at least in the case of debtor dropouts and the growing legions of the heavily indebted underemployed who cannot get a job in their trained field.
The university degree no longer guarantees that graduates can perform the work that employers or societies need done. Clearly universities must be exposed to serious competition of a meaningful kind. Alternative methods of training and skills certification need to be provided and accredited by concerned employer groups in all sectors of the economy.
Learning is a lifelong process, with modern university too often becoming an obstacle to learning. This is particularly true if a student finds himself trapped in an institution of indoctrination that fails to help him think for himself or face the world without fear or victimhood. The huge debt at the end is just an added stab in the back from the administratively bloated institution of indoctrination and academic lobotomisation.
IN the US, student loan debt exceeds credit card debt as well as auto loan debt. Student debt forces graduates to postpone normal life progression to family and home. This postponement coming on top of the inherent worthlessness of more college degrees represents a double burden on the underlying society.
Remember, the solution for corrupt administrative bloat is the ability to bypass the corrupt institution in question. Many times when such problems are explored to their roots, the underlying problem is bad government regulation or bad policy by government bureaucracies which are themselves corrupt and bloated. This discovery raises the need to bypass the government agency in question.
As the investigation explores more and more deeply into such counterproductive institutional disasters, the scope of what is needed to solve the deeper problems grows rapidly larger.
These are deeply entrenched problems where the maxim “follow the money” would provide a lot of answers if only it were possible to follow all of the money and the corrupt connections between governmental and non-governmental institutions, contractors, and individuals.
For now, it is enough to think seriously about what is wrong, and what might be done to repair the problems thrust on society by corrupt administrative bloat.
More: Young people are not being psychologically prepared for their real futures . . .