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Higher education is being attacked for many things from many different quarters. From the political spectrum, we hear things that colleges and univer- sities are “too liberal” or teach “useless things.” Those perceptions, paired with increasing calls for accountability, have generated a series of both fed- eral and state laws calling for more oversight of the operations of these institutions, ranging from where students sleep when going off campus on university business to how to assign textbooks to students.

This increased oversight, in turn, has created more administrative burden on colleges and universities, requiring them to spend more time, effort, and money on regulatory issues rather than on their main business: education. This has resulted in an increas- ingly large and complex administrative structures that faculty see, with suspicion, as “administrative bloat.” This creates sort of an unexpected alliance between those who are unsympathetic toward higher education (some politicians) and those who would be the most affected by outside interference (faculty).


This work was originally published in The Edwardsville Intelligencer.



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