Friday, January 19, 2007

Why should faculty defer to university presidents? (A post from Tony D'Amato)

Hi, all: Tony tried to comment on my post on the NYT story about university presidents, but the intricacies of Blogger are such that neither he nor I could figure out how to make his comment work, so I'm posting it here for him, below. And now, to his post:

Universities got started when various scholars, tutoring pupils, began living close to each other so that students could cut down the travel time going from one professor to another. Then the faculty, out of the fees they collected from the students, built a central building. They got donations. They hired janitors to upkeep the building.

The head janitor is now the president of the university, deemed to be someone with greater knowledge than any faculty member or, given Arrow's theorem, smarter than all of them put together. He hires hordes of sycophants, called vice-presidents, who make more than the professors because they, too, are what the university is really all about. Profs are fungible, but a CEO walks on water?

And you want us to defer to these administrators? Are we talking Animal Farm here?

Anthony D'Amato
Leighton Professor of Law
Northwestern University

No comments: