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For an early call on the result of massive expansion of the US universities at a time of confusion about the desirable house rules for "the house of intellect" see "The American Unversity" by Jacques Barzun. Better still, see the four books that Barzun wrote on this topic "Teacher in America" (1946, 1983), "The House of Intellect" (1959), "Science, the Glorious Entertainment" (1963) and "The American University" (1968).


Your call for managers being able to manage, do you really mean that? Do you really want to see more power in the hands of university administrators than in the hands of faculty? Really?

The complaint about consumers who don't buy, producers who don't sell and owners (Boards and trustees) who don't control probably arose from memories of the time before the explosion of numbers when universites had a skeleton staff of administrators and management was in the hands of the faculty. Or at least they got to make the decisions on things that they really cared about.

Barzun saw all this happening (he is 101 years old) and he even became involved in admin at a very high level, which adds some street cred to his commentary. He didn't just write 20 or 30 books and teach.

How is it that incentives are aligned? You say you want to insulate the department, but isn't the problem that academics are insulated in the first place? I don't know if university management would do a better or worse job, but insulating a department from them in addition to the market wouldn't give managers more control relative to employees.


I agree with Barkley Rosser. I, for one, do NOT want to see the power in the hands of the university administrators.

This is one of the situations Jeffrey Friedman is talking about in his article in Society.

It's short, read it

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