It’s August, and university students from all levels of society are set to return to or begin studies at a university.
Many students are entering environments that operate as independent police states within the authority of a state legislature or a multi-billion-dollar endowment fund. This refers to college administrations for private and public campuses.
In recent years, the higher education workforce has seen a bloat in administrative staff across the country. One projection argues that over a multi-decade period from 1978 to 2008, the increase of administrators rose substantially to match the population of full-time faculty members. Add the affairs of the present day, and the administrative bloat reaches even higher numbers as dozens of campuses across the United States have taken up the calling to establish deanships in diversity, multicultural affairs and inclusion.
I believe that the intentions behind this trend are entirely well-founded and should be commended. However, the increased campus bureaucracy is now trampling on the freedoms of students and professors.
For this, these university administrations affect the cost of tuition, the curriculum of the campus and even the culture.
Liberal and conservative professors aren’t the most understanding people when it comes to dissenting opinions in their classes. But the case of the administrative bloat threatens the existence of academic inquiry, debate and diversity of views.
Take the case of Yale University. We The Internet TV ran an excellent video expose on how freedom of speech and belief on campus are threatened by an administrative hierarchy that perpetuates one societal narrative over the other. The result, according to the expose, resulted in the removal of professors who challenged the student body with subject material that broke through the societal narrative of the campus. In turn, more administrative staff were hired to address the apparent “triggering” of the campus community.
What should’ve been done is reminding students why they are in college: to learn and be exposed to a variety of opinions and beliefs.
In the public sphere, universities have created “bias response teams.” In fact, these organizations are structured in a manner that seems to counteract the concept of diversity of opinions.
But disagreement is not a crime, either.
Administrations use these bias response teams as a thought police. And when these teams operate at a public institution, it’s your tax and tuition dollars being used to perpetuate a narrative that isn’t receptive to challenges.
University of Oregon has made headlines multiple times for this type of behavior from unaccountable administrators.
We can’t forget the amount of power these administrators have over students and professors. Almost every deanship in the country carries a level of discretion in hiring and firing staff, expelling and suspending students and dictating campus policy.
College presidents and chancelleries stand by, letting their giant machine work without any oversight.
These people can even exercise their authority over students’ private lives. Must I bring up the abuse of Title IX sexual assault accusations and the lack of due process in campus kangaroo courts?
We can’t control what a private institution will do without significant push-back. However, we can fight hypocrisy on public campuses.