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Bureaucratic Bloat Surges Nationwide

Monday November 14th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 11:33am PST   •  

13447990 - high school graduation hats highNovember 5 marked 20 years since Californians rejected race, ethnic and gender preferences through Proposition 209. As we noted, a major purveyor of state-sponsored discrimination was the University of California, which during tough financial times has been bulking up on vice-chancellors for equity, diversity and inclusion and such. As Stephanie Keaveney of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy notes, this is part of a national trend.

By her count, the number of non-academic administrators has more than doubled in the last 25 years, far outpacing the growth in students and faculty. Administrators will increase by 19 percent through 2020, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Every year, Keaveney writes, universities find a “need” for new administrators for everything, especially diversity. This results in “a vast bureaucracy living high on the hog at taxpayer expense” and it is going to get worse because new degree programs aim to churn out new administrators. As Keaveney sees it, this will create “an army of bureaucrats who have little or no connection to improving student learning.”

Likewise, the administrative courses “lack scientific rigor and have an ideological slant.” Keaveney cites a PhD thesis titled “Difficult Dialogues: How White Male Graduate Students in Student Affairs Preparation Programs Make Meaning of Their Whiteness, White Privilege, and Multiculturalism.” Another thesis, “Love and Hip Hop” dealt with “urban reality television.” Despite the lack of rigor, the newly minted administrators enjoy high placement rates that, “starkly contrast with those of graduates of other, more academic, advanced degree programs in the humanities and even science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.” Many scholars and scientists, “are unable to find academic work” and Keaveney sees this as a consequence of “administrative bloat.” If left unadressed, the nation will see “more and more universities churning out more and more overpaid, over-politicized, and over-credentialed administrators.”

Meanwhile, not a single major newspaper marked the twentieth anniversary of Proposition 209, when Californians dumped diversity dogma. Major papers also took a pass on November 4, thirty years since Californians voted out Chief Justice Rose Bird, along with state Supreme Court judges Joseph Grodin and Cruz Reynoso. All were appointees of Jerry Brown, then and now the governor of California.

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November 2016