COMMENTARY: ADMINISTRATIVE BLOAT AND THE ATTACK ON CAMPUS FREE SPEECH

Paul Mirengoff
Power Line

Excerpt: Almost since the start of Power Line in 2002, we have reported with dismay the descent of American colleges and universities into a leftist bastion of illiberalism. Most of our focus has been on professors, and not without reason. They are the ones who have degraded the teaching of humanities through their obsession with identify politics and disdain for Western Civilization. However, I came away from this year’s ATHENA Roundtable Conference believing that administrators, not professors, are the primary culprits on American campuses today. The ATHENA Roundtable Conference is a program presented by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). ACTA is an independent, nonprofit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America’s colleges and universities. The threat posted by the ever-growing ranks of college administrators was pinpointed in an address by Samuel Abrams. He’s a professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College who has not only fought courageously for academic freedom, but also studied, as an empirical matter, the threat to it. You can read his AEI article about the subversive role of college administrators here. Abrams explained that, compared to administrators, college professors exert limited influence on the lives of students. They teach relatively light course loads, have limited visiting hours, spend most of the day on research, and then head home to their family (if any).