If you're wondering about the state of bureaucratic bloat in America — and, particularly, in education — look no further than Yale University.
As noted on the school's “By the Numbers” Facts page, the student and faculty count compare thusly:
Undergraduate Students: 4,664
Faculty Members: 4,962
And according to the Yale Daily News:
By contrast, the metrics at Auburn University:
Undergraduate students: 24,505
“Over the last two decades,” Yale's paper reports, “the number of managerial and professional staff…has risen three times faster than the undergraduate student body.”
And eight faculty members are speaking out.
They insist, per YDN, the administration's size “imposes unnecessary costs, interferes with students' lives and faculty's teaching, spreads the burden of leadership and adds excessive regulation.”
In an email to the outlet, Professor of English Leslie Brisman proposed a solution: Get rid of one deanship or vice presidency each year.
Leslie's noticed that hasn't quite occurred:
“[I]t has seemed to me that [President Peter Salovey] has created one upper-level administrative position a month.”
Some blame cross-country campus bloat on Washington.
According to a report from the American Council on Education, in 2013 and 2014 alone, the United States Department of Education added new rules and regulations on 10 new issue sets, including grants, loans and campus crimes. The report further details that, according to data from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, “the number of federal requirements placed on colleges and universities grew by 56 percent between 1997 and 2012.”
But University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos considers that excuse hogwash.
As stated by YDN, he surmises “the main driver has been the desire of administrators to accumulate power and influence within their institutions.”
More from Yale Political Science Professor James Scott:
“One [cause] is the tremendous increase in revenue generated by these universities that more or less has to be spent. This means that as revenues go up, there has to be found ways to spend them. And one of the most natural ways to increase spending is to increase administration, the size of it and the compensation of the top administrators in particular.”
David Bromwich, who teaches English at the school, blames administrative obesity on academic ego: Yale is striving to establish itself as a mecca of research and an “innovative corporate entity.”
“The swollen self-image requires expanded oversight, and administrators are the overseers.”
But Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Hanna Peck has a defense for the desk-worker dilation:
“Students have consistently requested more mental health support on campus and we are thrilled to be able to provide it.”
Of course, Yale is a private institution; but it strikes me as indicative of what's happening in education broadly.
Some occupational additions, of course, are compliments of our enlightened state.
As I covered this week, Southern Illinois University — which has declared itself a completely “antiracist” organization — employs a Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Antiracism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
The best I can tell, schools aren't exactly focused on traditional academics:
University President Sends a Letter Announcing the School's Top Priority: Racial Justice and Equity https://t.co/ZmmTyT7BvU
— RedState (@RedState) January 6, 2021
More cases in point:
It seems to me we've drifted from wheels-to-the-road function.
Not long ago, people educated themselves for the same reason others trained in welding.
From teaching to schooling, we appear to have jumped the shark where practical application is concerned.
Contemporarily, people go to college to absorb ideas that have no discernible real-world value. We're living in an age of symbolism.
Of empty acts.
Take a look across the culture — entertainment elites endorse socialism while living indulgent capitalist lives.
Those who rail against energy abuse charter private jets.
The recent planetary environmental summit was held in person — everyone in that room posturing against fuel-consuming travel…traveled needlessly.
— Ciaran Jenkins (@C4Ciaran) November 1, 2021
Our world is a woke university.
And a wasteful one.
But so goes progress.
Perhaps the tide will turn — in education and, above that, the bureaucratic mess we call government.
‘Til then, if you're embarking upon secondary education, see if you can find a school offering a major called “College Administrator.”
Four years from now, Yale should be happy to take your application.