Sure, it might be cathartic to post anonymous whinges at College Misery, or to vent about the hacks in administration.  Ultimately, though, professors get paid to say no and uphold standards.
You want your students to work harder? Assign them more *and then hold them accountable.* Give pop quizzes on the reading–and make it clear that if you aren’t in class to take the quizz, you automatically fail. Call on students in class–and if they aren’t there to answer your question, they lose points. If they are there but can’t answer your question–or can’t make a good effort at it–they also lose points. Assign papers–and *really* grade them, as in, comment extensively on everything from grammar to argument to documentation, and give the crummy ones crummy grades. Give in-class tests that are actually challenging.
Indeed. And if headquarters pushes back, well, we speak of academic work because there is a certain fatigue one must undergo.

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