28.7.11

TRENCHANT OBSERVATION OF THE DAY.  Political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg understands division of labor.
Controlled by its faculty, the university is capable of producing new knowledge, new visions of politics, policy and society. The university can be a subversive institution in the best sense of that word, showing by its teaching and scholarship that new ways of thinking and acting are possible. Controlled by administrators, on the other hand, the university can never be more than what Stanley Aronowitz aptly termed a knowledge factory, offering some vocational training but never imparting to students the most important training of all-–the ability to think.
That observation comes at the end of a case that administrators use diversity as a wedge issue that plays to the faculty's liberalitas while reducing the faculty's role as custodian of institutional goals.  Left unmade are the cases that power accreting to administrators -- particularly serial administrators, careerists, and failed scholars -- in the service of strategic planning, potted educational theories, and slick marketing -- turns the product of the factory into something other than knowledge.

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