Sunday, August 16, 2020

Diversity Adminstrators

Surely there must be a small college on the ropes out there that is willing to take a swing at "We're going to just hire good faculty, not make them crazy checking for stupid stuff, let lots of administrators go and their programs slide, and hope it works out. We're seriously embracing College: Back to Basics."  Even if the industry as a whole can't do that, it has to work for a few.

Does anyone know anything solid here?  It does not look like my alma mater, the College of William & Mary, is going down that road.  But they probably don't have to.  When I went they were "The Harvard of the South," and along with Duke and maybe Vanderbilt were active Ivy Wannabees. They seem to have somewhat succeeded, and in doing so are now much more of a mid-Atlantic than southern school.  They can survive doing what they're doing already, even though they are now a fairly expensive college rather than eminently affordable one.

My two oldest went to Asbury in KY, which had that attitude when they went there.  It may have changed by now, as that was long ago.


james said...

When the college is growing, you need more administrators to manage the growth.
When the college is in trouble, you need more administrators to manage the downsizing.
If is neither growing nor declining, you need more administrators to figure out how to do better.

dmoelling said...

In the 1970's it was easy to get into just about any College or University and tuitions were modest. Today if you were to push a low cost school that depended less on foreign students, you might have to convince students you were for real (and employers would feel the same).

But another issue is faculty acceptance. If instructors stray too far from the herd, it might be difficult to get a new job. We see this in TV news as well as other news options.

So preserving your acceptability to teach might be a problem for staff.

Sam L. said...

My university went crazy in 2015. I'll have nothing to do with it.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

dmoelling - Yes, that strikes me as true. There is a level of risk for the professors. With the competition the way it is now, and getting worse, my suggestion might be acceptable simply because of market pressure. But you would have a hard time attracting anyone who still harbored the dream.

My younger brother harbored the dream of remaining in academic theater even after that market collapsed in 2008. It almost killed him.

dmoelling said...

A few years ago I got from the Yale website the breakdown of the current graduating (undergraduate) class by major. It was very interesting. There were almost no politically trendy majors (womens/black/ethnic studies) so these must be minors or mostly graduate students. Disappointingly there were very few language or obscure literature majors, since I always hoped places like Yale still had them. The bulk of the class was in three areas:

1. Biology/Premed/Biochemistry: Future MD's, Pharma researchers (most of the Asian students)
2. Pre-Politics/Law: History majors, political science majors, Engineering (yes Yale has a tiny engineering school)
3. Pre-finance/legacy students: Economics, Business, a few other majors.

The other sciences are relatively small especially considering Yale had good graduate departments in many of these disciplines

So even the Ivies respond to the demands of their market. It must be an odd place. The traditional legacies are placed to keep donations and the traditions alive. Yales role as a US equivalent of the French ENA producing government people in State and Treasury is kept up, and bio/pharma to keep new donations in play. The faculty loonies are tolerated to keep the attention off the pipeline to elite status for most graduates.