Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Higher education and resource allocation

It is a powerful argument to reduce the concerns of your opposition by reframing their views into something that seems absurd.

Dean Dad writes:

Administrators may be the bearers of bad news, and sometimes the people who have to choose among terrible options. But to assume that we’re sitting on piles of money, cackling with glee while exploiting adjuncts and pocketing the savings for ourselves, is just otherworldly. It assumes a context completely out of keeping with anything I can recognize as reality. It’s so far afield that the only truly fitting rebuttal is a sigh.

I think that the issue is not that anybody is sitting on piles of cash. I think that there are two legitimate concerns. One, is the redistribution of resources (which is always going to be a feature of any organization that is not experiencing enough growth for all parties to "win" simultaneously). Two, is the concern about the growth of adminsitrative costs. Some of this growth is beyond the control of the administration (unfunded federal reporting mandates come to mind). But I think that it is a fair position to want to open a dialogue on this issue.

To dismiss these concerns out of hand doesn't seem to be the best way to encourage an open dialogue.

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