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Fall of the Faculty : The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters

ISBN: 9780199782444 | 019978244X
Edition: 2nd
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Pub. Date: 8/12/2011

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Dissatisfaction with the academy runs deep in America. Despite-or perhaps because of-the fact that a far greater percentage of Americans have attended college than at any time in the past, distrust of the higher education system seems higher than ever. The most common complaints concern rapidly escalating tuition prices, affirmative action policies, and-not least-the allegedly left-wing professoriate that runs American universities. Indeed, much of the criticism of academia focuses on professors: they are too liberal, they care little about teaching, and they are too hyperspecialized. Benjamin Ginsberg argues that this common critique puts the cart before the horse and ignores a much bigger issue. In fact, faculty are not the primary problem with contemporary academia. Rather, the problem lies in the explosive growth in administration in US universities and the concomitant decline in faculty power in influence. Put simply, "deanlets"-administrators without doctorates or serious academic training-rule the roost, and professors do not have nearly as much institutional power as they used to. Their decline dovetails with another trend: the growing regimentation and corporatization of the university. The fallout, Ginsberg contends, is negative: a de-emphasis on intellectual rigor and the traditional liberal arts. A stinging critique of how universities are run today, this book charts how this happened and explains how we can revamp the system so that actual educators have more say in curriculum policy.

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