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The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why it Matters Hardcover – August 12, 2011
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"This book takes a hard, clear-eyed look, with few holds barred, at the growing number and influence of full-time administrators in colleges and universities. It recognizes the large increase in government and other demands on the bureaucracy. But it dwells on the manifest fact--too often slighted--that administrators have their own fish to fry. Let us hope that his cautionary tale has a wide impact."--Morton Keller, Professor Emeritus of History, Brandeis University
"During my nearly 60 years as a professor, I believe this is the only comprehensive analysis of the academic civil war between the professors and the deans. Ginsberg demonstrates why and how we're losing--or have already lost."--Theodore J. Lowi, Professor of American Institutions, Cornell University
"Ben Ginsberg knows a thing or two about academic bureaucracy. He has had extensive experience with administrative impediments that come between his ideas and their realization. Instead of ranting, he has written The Fall of the Faculty, where he has employed his political insight to examine administrative bloat in higher education and to explain the many ways in which administrative authority has elbowed aside faculty governance in the running of today's colleges and universities. As a recovering deanlet and one-time acting dean, I know whereof he speaks."--Matthew A. Crenson, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
"In his lacerating "The Fall of the Faculty," Mr. Ginsberg argues that universities have degenerated into poorly managed pseudo-corporations controlled by bureaucrats so far removed from research and teaching that they have barely any idea what these activities involve. He attacks virtually everyone from overpaid presidents and provosts down through development officers, communications specialists and human-resource staffers but he reserves his most bitter scorn for the midlevel "associate deans" and "assistant deans" who often have the most direct control over the faculty. Mr. Ginsberg refers to them as "deanlets," but at my institution they are often called "ass. deans." The Fall of the Faculty" reads like a cross between a grand-jury indictment and a call to arms. Yet as bracing and darkly pleasurable as this call is, it is hard to imagine professors joining the resistance with so few weapons at their disposal."--The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Benjamin Ginsberg is the David Bernstein Professor of Political Science, Director of the Center for the Study of American Government, and Chair of the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University. His previous books include Downsizing Democracy, American Government: Power and Purpose, and We the People: An Introduction to American Politics.
Top Customer Reviews
When I taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1969-1981) every significant academic administrative post was held by a faculty member and all of the supporting positions (associate deanships, e.g.) were held by a part-time faculty member. Some associate deans served longish terms, some only three years. The requirement was that you would continue to teach and do research in your department while you held the administrative position and return to your department when your term was completed.
While not entirely gone and not entirely forgotten, that world has been replaced by a bureaucratized university filled with administrators and administrative staff. Dr. Ginsberg tells this story and describes its implications in this bittersweet book. The story is sad; fortunately, Dr. Ginsberg has not lost his sense of humor. Moreover, he has not lost his courage, for he names names and names institutions as he details the most prominent offenders.Read more ›
As Ginsberg meticulously lays out in his analysis (unlike the author of many a trade book, Ginsberg knows how to use a footnote), the number of academic administrators over the past forty years has been growing far more rapidly than that of students or faculty members, and the financial investment needed to support them is mainly responsible for many of the worst sins of higher education, including galloping tuition increases and the creation of an underclass of powerless and underpaid contingent faculty. Administrators and other professional staff now far outnumber faculty.Read more ›
Despite these excellent elements, I find myself unconvinced with respect to Ginsberg's central thesis: that the growth of administration in U.S. universities can be explained as a quest for power. There are two reasons for my skeptiscism. The first doubtless reflects the difference in our underlying disciplines. Whereas his (political science) tends to view motivation from a power perspective, mine (business) tends to rely more heavily on economic consequences. For example, I view money money as fungible. From my perspective, then, the complaint that FSU earned nearly $400 million from licensing pharmaceuticals to BMS (p. 189) but also laid off tenured faculty from several departments as a result of budgetary problems (p. 192) are necessarily related.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must-read for people in academe: students, faculty, and administration. Ginsberg backs up his claims effectively for the most part. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Ana Kothe
Is not surprising that a faculty member would be critical of administrators in higher education. Nor is it surprising that other faculty members would cheer him on, as happens in... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Tucker
An excellent book about an aspect of the corporate takeover of our U.S. university system. Ginsberg offers a well-researched, well-documented argument that there has been an... Read morePublished 11 months ago by D. Scott
I certainly agree with most of the assertions in this book. However, the writer expresses these sentiments in a way that does not even attempt to fairly represent possible... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Alexander Gruber
If you are a university professor in America, you will love this book. It is nice to know you are not alone having your head pounded in on your campus by overpaid moronic... Read morePublished 12 months ago by J
This book is right on target, full of specific examples and "tongue-in-cheek" sarcasm. The examples and commentary are at times hilarious but so true to what is happening... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Robert Gardner
Loved it. A friend gave me this book and I was so impressed I bought one each for my children. One is a well known university professor, the other a business consultant who had... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Wolfgang Gunther
Very interesting and true as administration outsizes while faculty shrink and have less voice. Any academic will find this timely, interesting and well-written.Published 17 months ago by Judemeister