Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Praphrasing Shakespeare "First Get Rid of the ASU Administrators

  As most of you are aware, last year a tenured faculty member Jammie Price was put on leave by ASU administrators.    Because her views were diametrically opposed to mine, I was asked my stand.  I replied “I would be up to my eyeballs” in her support. 

Once upon a time,
universities belonged to the faculty.  We hired the administrators to do the paper work and free us to do the real job of teaching.   However, very much like administrators centralization of power in Washington, over time university administrators did the same in the universities.   Finally, today’s administrators believe they are the university and the faculty works for them.

Historically, Price’s case, belonged to her colleagues just as with other professionals.  ASU administrators ran rough shod over proper procedure.  They took unilateral action, risking damaging faculty morale.  

Now we learn what we have always suspected.  Administrators not only create mischief, they are the real reason college costs are exploding.  In last weekend’s Wall Street Journal’s article:  “Deans List: Hiring Spree Fattens College Bureaucracy–and Tuition,” examples are given.

Using the University of Minnesota as their example,  over the past decade, “paid for by a steady stream of state money and rising tuition,” the payroll swelled beyond. . .19,000 employees nearly one for every 3 ½ students.”  Administrators ranks had grown 37%.  That was more than twice as fast as the teaching corps and nearly twice as fast as the student body!  Across the country, the number of employees hired to manage increased 50% faster than the number of instructors between 2001 and 2011.  That is why college costs have risen faster than healthcare costs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you need a visual, I invite you to take a look at an earlier map of administrative buildings on the ASU campus.  Then study the number and size of buildings now devoted to just administrators and their staffs.  The visual does not even include little enclaves of administrators and staff in each department.  It is mind boggling.

If, to paraphrase Shakespeare, we could first get rid of the administrators, not only would costs decline, but entropy and a lot of mischief could disappear. 

The Jamie Price matter did not belong to administrators
.


14 comments:

NewGuy said...

It is extremely rare for Blogger and I to disagree ...it does happen from time to time but, the fact is, we pretty much share the same opinion on nearly every topic.

This one is apparently a huge exception! Dr. Price has, since she joined the faculty at ASU, done nothing but criticize the institution she is part of and disrepected her colleagues and department chair as well as most of the rest of the administration. She has told Black students in her classes that ASU did not want them there; She has, by her own admission, smoked dope with her students and she has generally opposed the institution at nearly every point in her career there.

I understand that many of the faculty there believe that they have free rein to do as they please subject only to what the other monkeys in their zoo think of as "limits". I just disagree.

This is a professor that, given her record at UNCW, should never have been accepted on the ASU faculty. There are some on that faculty who, like Blogger, apparently believe that once granted tenure, a faculty member should not be subject to any of the normal rules nor be held to any standard of conduct.

Almost everyone who supports her is accepting her version of the facts; few have seen the correspondence from the university (some of which has been published on this blog previously) ASU, for it's part, is restricted by privacy rules from answering many of her accusations about how they have handled her case. Dig into it a little deeper and you will find a woman who is working against the best interest of the organization which pays her salary.

How many readers of this blog have had jobs where you could constantly and publicly attack your employer and denigrated your employers product to it's customers?

For those who haven't followed
this case, keep in mind that her complaint isn't about being disciplined - although she claims it to be a disciplinary action what it was was an aministrative action to take her out of the classroom pending university investigation of some allegations against her. She was given full pay and benefits during this brief period.

My suggestion to Mrs Price is that, if you hate your employer so much and you think your job is so horrible, try another line of work. You are making over $71,000 a year for part time work PLUS benefits most Wataugans would love to have. Maybe a little gratitude and some positive support of the TAXPAYER FUNDED organization that supports you would be worth a try?

(I first "met" Jammie Price when she took a group of her students to a County Commissioner meeting in an effort to get the county to set wages for Wal Mart employees. When everyone rose to Pledge Allegiance to the flag, she remained contemptuously seated. Not even enough respect for Flag or Country to bother standing! I give her the same respect she gave those who rose that day!)

guy faulkes said...

Blogger, while I agree with you that administration at the university is to large and is tending to grow larger, you are not correct in saying administration has no role in the Jamie Price matter. This matter is one of the legitimate reasons for having administrators at all.

While I have no problem with faculty testifying for other faculty, they should not be the people that decide upon the verdict of a charge of misconduct by faculty.

If they are, sooner or later, anything would be allowed because matters would deteriorate into a system in which no one would vote for justice in fear of a retaliation by other faculty. All it would take would be a trumped up charge.

A system of checks and balances has to be used. Internal investigations by those with a vested interest in the outcome do not provide the protection from a witch hunt and the ability to punish misconduct needed.

I beleive you are talking about two different subjects. One is the undeniable observation that the administration is growing to fast and is actually sticking it nose into things not its concern. The other is the issue of misconduct by faculty which is a legitimate concern for administration for the reasons listed above.

I guess it depends on if you consider administration to be used as a term for mundane housekeeping or if it is used as a term for a decision making body. Both are legitimate uses of the word. What was and is the correct usage?

Anonymous said...

She could be making bombs in the classroom and instructing students how to blow up public buildings and some of the faculty there would defend her right to do this without "interference" from the Admin!

Some think that she should be allowed to continue blowing things up until an investigation is completed. I would submit that the logical thing to do is to place her on paid admin leave until the full facts can be ascertained.

Faculty governance is fine - but their are limits!

Blogger said...

Guy, are you saying administrators are smarter and more noble than faculty members? It is that kind of thinking that eventually led to those in Washington thinking themselves smarter than those in the states and then those in the states wiser than local. Over time, accepted by people, that has led people to be thinking we would be better off with a dictator. What would make you think that administrators are classier than professors? As a faculty member I had no fear of my fellow tenured colleagues. I did fear administrators though because they are genetically wired to seek power.

Blogger said...

Guy as usual your observations are very astute. Addressing more of your astute observations: “I believe you are talking about two different subjects. One is the undeniable observation that the administration is growing too fast and is actually sticking its nose into things not its concern. The other is the issue of misconduct by faculty which is a legitimate concern for administration for the reasons listed above.” Bingo! Except for me, sticking its nose into things that originally were not its purview has been far and away more perilous–just as it has been with the growing hegemony of central governments. Chalk it up to my Libertarian streak. (And never forget the high cost of government both in its original costs and the tendency to create entropy.)

You asked: “What was and is the correct usage? I guess it depends on if you consider administration to be used as a term for mundane housekeeping or if it is used as a term for a decision making body. Both are legitimate uses of the word.”

Guy, as a very old timer who remembers better days, the administrators were originally the mundane housekeepers we hired to do the clerical work and keep the monies flowing. Like staff, they carried out our decisions not the other way around. But just like I believed in Federalism and states’ rights, today I am a dinosaur.

Guy, Note how Anonymous even uses the term Admin as if the administration is the university and the faculty are chopped liver.

Blogger said...

All of you are saying that you think that there is a species called administrators and one called faculty. One is more committed to higher values than the other and therefore can be more trusted than the other. No thinking can be more dangerous.

NewGuy said...

You didn't ask me, and I won't answer for Guy Faulkes, but ..for myself..Yes. I believe administrators are in a better position to enforce standards of conduct and require minimum levels of performance than faculty members themselves are.

I think that, when you let people like Jammie Price, decide for herself how she will represent the university to the students and to the public at large, you make a big mistake. Incompetent faculty members - of which she is only one - are hardly in position to establish competency of others. Logic tells me that their self preservation instincts drive them to lowering standards to a level which provides safety and refuge for themselves.

I found it distressing to hear about professors who invited Obama campaign workers into their classrooms to "register" students. Of course, no other faculty members had any problem since they are pretty much all of the same mind. Even after a few students complained, no action was taken against these professors (to my knowledge.) There should, in my opinion, be some rules about how are public facilities and taxpayer funded universities behave! Those rules should, in my opinion again, be established by the taxpayers and enforced by the adminstration.

Now, I don't argue that their aren't too many administrators. Their probably are. That isn't to say that there isnt an appropriate number or that there isn't an appropriate role for some to run the organization.


guy faulkes said...

Blogger, I do not claim that administrators are necessarily smarter (or less smart) than faculty members. I do think that they have less of a vested interest to blindly support any faculty decision than does a faculty member. This means they are more likely to reach a just verdict when it comes to an accusations of malfeasance by a faculty member.

They are not more likely to effectively judge specific measures taken within a department as to funding, etc. They might be able to say you have this much of a budget, but one would assume the faculty would have the greater input into how that budget is spent for their individual department. As all departments compete for funding, one would hope that they would spend their monies wisely if left to their own devises. If not, then their department would suffer and their influence would also.

Of course, I guess you could say the same of administrators. I am just of the opinion that those doing the work know where the money is needed more than than those that administrate a department. If the work does not get done and the department is faltering, then it would fall back on the administrators to determine why.

I think that in order to have an efficient operation both sides have their purpose.

Johnny Rico said...

Dr. Price fosters the following mentality among college students. Read this article that describes Price's dogma:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2257715/Study-shows-college-students-think-theyre-special--read-write-barely-study.html

Very telling.

Johnny Rico

NewGuy said...

JR...You might enjoy this column by Mike Adams. It's on topic and Professor Adams is one of the very few professors in the UNC system who has common sense conservative views. He is probably the ONLY Sociology professor with these attributes.

At any rate, I would like to hear your comments on this article!
http://townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/2006/04/03/your_mother_was_wrong/page/full/

guy faulkes said...

Rico set the stage for NewGuy as well as Martin ever did for Lewis. The only difference is that Rico and HewDuy are making a point that is not only not funny, it is deadly serious.

Wintergreen said...

Unfortunately, both sides have focused on secondary issues in regards to Ms. Price's actions: college students should be comfortable discussing the porn industry, certain topics are inappropriate for classroom discussion, the administration did too little, the administration strong-armed a professor, etc.

The real issue is showing any movie in class.

When I was a student the cost of each class was $30 - $50 (the price today is certainly much higher.) Each student in Ms. Price’s class paid well over $50 to see a movie – this is disgraceful whatever the movie topic.

After this story broke, I checked to see if the movie Ms. Price showed was available on NetFlix. It was. A NetFlix subscription is $7.99 per month (first month free). If Ms. Price, or any other professor for that matter, intends to discuss a movie in class, they should make the content readily available or inform students they will be required to purchase a subscription from an online provider.

Students are required to purchase supplemental texts for countless other courses. These supplemental texts are used at home, and discussed during class – this is what students and parents pay for and expect.

Ms. Price is lazy. She is a charlatan. She pocketed money from students and taxpayers without providing the services she promised.

And she is not alone. Universities today are in large part run by, and staffed with, lackluster individuals.

Why should we be surprised campuses are hotbeds of liberalism? The vast majority of professors try to do as little as possible for as much as possible. They think they are entitled to special treatment because of their “high” status as “enlightened” individuals - it makes me sick.

Do you and your children a favor; consider community college.

Johnny Rico said...

New Guy,
Great article. Mike Adams hit on one salient point of a larger problem. Being told one is special has aided the “me generation” to believe the world exists to serve them. I see this constantly in today’s workforce. New entries into the job market are not in it for anything other than personal gain. Pride of work, ethics, and most especially tried and true traditions are shunned as both archaic and unneeded. Yes there are a few exceptions, but those exceptions are not the rule. Quite often the “millennials”, as they are also referred to by Dr. Hershey (developed the Situational Leadership Model), have never seen nor felt any type of discipline. When they get into the workforce where there are consequences, trouble inevitably results.

Liberal professors, like Dr. Price, counter these types of observations by saying the millennians are actually smarter than all previous generations due to their affinity with computers and software. This is simply an excuse failed parents use to justify video games, Facebook, and cell phones. It amazes me every time I hear this smartest of generations talking loudly on a cell phone so the rest of us get to hear their conversation. Or watching children playing video games on hand-held devices every waking moment. Can’t remember the last time I witnessed children playing outside. It doesn’t happen anymore. Traditional activities like sled ridding, sandlot baseball, or kickball are but distant memories. Guess the rest of us stupid people had it wrong all those years.

New Guy, the special generation is the most entitled, spoiled and maligned generation to hit the record books in my always humble opinion. They will our undoing. They will their own undoing as well. I often wonder what would happen with the special breed if we fell into a depression or worse. Honestly, I think many of them would simply give up. No fault of their own though. They had help getting to where they’re at now. Baby Boomers started this with poor parenting, the ERA (caused latch key kids), and other liberal mandates. The gift just keeps on giving.

Johnny Rico

NewGuy said...

Wintergreen...excellent post and I certainly would agree with you regarding the showing of films in class. It's a lazy way for a professor to fill time without much effort.
But, don't make the mistake of believing the Jammie Price propaganda blitz in which she has convinced the media and the casual readers to think that her "issues" with ASU are as a result of her showing the pornographic film in class! Mrs Price, after wearing out her welcome at UNCW, came to ASU and almost immediately upon her arrival, began to denigrate the school and act in an insubordinate manner toward her department chair and ASU administration in general.
The film was only one of the more recent incidents in a series of confrontations with ASU.

ASU is prohibited by state privacy laws from providing much in the way of details and background - Dr. Price is free to publicize her version of events while the university is not allowed to respond or explain - this, of course, results in one sided media coverage and requires readers to reach their conclusions without benefit of all the facts.

Keep in mind that Dr. Price's contempt for her employers was previously demonstrated at UNCW and has been well documented here at ASU since at least 2008. It isn't about showing a film; it's about a pattern of contemptuous behavior dating back many, many years. We don't need this drama queen here!