Friday, October 17, 2008

A short theory of administration

There is more to the upper administration of a university than this (there must be), but if an anthropologist from the Planet Zog were to extrapolate data on what university administrations do based on the paperwork they generate, it would look something like this:

1. Schedule and hold meetings. At meetings, command that reports be written.

2. Require that vague questions be answered with specific numbers.

3. Collect reports from subcommittees and faculty members.

a. If report contains budget numbers, demand that the budget be cut by some percentage to fund other, wealthier parts of the university.

b. If report contains enrollment and class numbers, demand that the numbers be increased to create more efficiencies in terms of scale.

c. If report contains recommendations, ignore all but those that align with previously determined objectives.

4. Issue response to report.

5. Request another report based on new directives listed in response to original report.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

[This refers to any university, not a particular one.]


Bardiac said...

You've been spying on my university!

Except you forgot the endless meetings to determine the questions and the timeline for the reports and reports back.

You also missed the budget cuts that happen as a result of the reports, but happen over summer... when the faculty is mostly away and unpaid.

undine said...

You're right, Bardiac--those are absolutely the steps, especially the part about the important cuts happening over the summer when no one can protest. Ditto for administrators' salaries, which get raised to ridiculous levels and announced at about the same time.