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Under New Management

Under New Management: Universities, Administrative Labor, and the Professional Turn

Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    Under New Management
    Book Description:

    Faculty members who care about the institutions of higher education where they work are often at odds with university management. In his forceful book,Under New Management, Randy Martin takes a novel, evenhanded approach to this gulf between professors, who feel a loss of autonomy, and administrators.

    Martin imagines a political future for academic labor based on a critical understanding of the administrative work that faculty already undertake. He considers the differences between self-rule and specialized expertise and provides a case study of a New York City public school to show how kids and families respond to the demands of managerial productivity that is part of preparing students for college.Under New Managementalso considers changes faced by students, faculty, and administrators in light of this reworked social compact of professionals.

    eISBN: 978-1-4399-0697-2
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  5. 1 The Ends of Education
    (pp. 1-26)

    Higher education today seems to reside in the two cities of Dickensian fame. More students, faculty, and campuses. Bountiful endowments. Its own celestial beings. A program for every proclivity. Lifelong learning. An abundance of patents, strategic partnerships, and product lines. Whether these attributes make for the best of times or the worst is the subject of considerable debate. The same might be said for escalating student debt, erosion of tenure, commercialization, heightened accountability, and outcomes assessment. The queasy mix of celebratory expansion and fitful proclamations of crisis that comprises the current range of opinion on the topic speaks above all...

  6. 2 Getting There
    (pp. 27-50)

    Time was, higher education could trumpet its own new beginnings and govern its own ends. Learning was rigorous, comprehensive, original, enlightening—but above all, autonomous. Whatever values were attached, college could claim authorship. Now primary and secondary education have become preparatory to an unprecedented degree, not only because increasing numbers of people wind up attending university but because the anticipation of college increasingly structures how the early years of schooling are conducted and made accountable to the student’s presumptive future. That future is a moving target. And it is getting closer. As higher education loses its autonomy, is no longer...

  7. 3 What Is a Student to Think?
    (pp. 51-80)

    Students seeking a self-made college experience find themselves navigating between implied market coercion—higher ed as obligation—and sustained cultural criticism, which says education is hopelessly compromised, not worth the cost, and a waste of time. Yet beyond the pincer grasp of economic instrumentality and wholesale devaluation, there remain many reasons to go to college and many aspirations to be realized by it. While long touted as an engine of opportunity, higher education is both highly stratified and stratifying. Enrolling older students and those who would not have attended college, propriety schools now enjoy huge growth, as state schools and...

  8. 4 W(h)ither Academic Freedom? Revaluing Faculty Work
    (pp. 81-106)

    Immanuel Kant begins a personal exchange with King Frederick William II of Prussia by offering to give an “account” for “having misused my philosophy.” His aim is to wrest a measure of authority away from state power so as to render the professoriate a kind of incorporated scholar. “The University would have a certain autonomy (since only scholars can pass judgment on scholars as such).”¹ This nascent notion of academic freedom based upon professional expertise would trade rule over the cloistered and restricted domain of the university for recognition that knowledge must not usurp the power of the state. Kant...

  9. 5 The Work of Administration
    (pp. 107-132)

    The shift in value of higher education from a public to a private good centers power and authority on senior administrators, who are taken to be responsible to delimit a particular brand of excellence that will maintain the health of the enterprise. At the same time, faculty governance under the sign of the proletarianization of professions is transcribed into ever more time-consuming administrative duties. The tension between a centripetal management manifest in an increasingly centralized administration and a centrifugal managerialism—evident in the diffusion of accountability protocols among faculty and staff—generates all manner of fault lines as to which...

  10. 6 Conditions of Interdisciplinarity
    (pp. 133-167)

    Interdisciplinarity appears in so many guises and hails from so many quarters that it might seem to be the organizing universal within the university. From on high or at the margins, the formulation covers innovation—whether through administrative consolidation or critical initiative. Ambiguity as to its intentions jostles with ambivalence toward its end. To move inside the work of interdisciplinarity and disclose where its greatest possibilities lie requires breaking from the either/or logic of co-optation and rupture, futile assimilation and celebratory congratulation. Interdisciplinary conditions, the intellectual and institutional circumstances that shape academic work as we know it, are pervasive but...

  11. 7 Registering Organization
    (pp. 168-201)

    The dream of autonomy is that you can do what you want when you want: lingering over the perfectly crafted cappuccino and conversation with a colleague, reading well into the night, briskly writing in the morning and attending an intimate seminar in the afternoon, flying overseas as an invited lecturer, engaging in an incisive phone consultation. The idyllic professor’s life is the epitome of the inner-directed existence. It is a tour through the intellectual division of labor once associated with the utopian itself—a data miner in the morning, a philosopher in the afternoon. Taking the same credit, sharing the...

  12. 8 (Out) from Under New Management?
    (pp. 202-216)

    That new management would spell trouble for faculty comes as little surprise. That it would press us into something other than service, something perhaps unwanted but entirely more serviceable, is rather more unexpected. Making these latter prospects legible might require some narrative sleight of hand. Let us return to the Dickensian figure of best and worst times for higher education with which this book opens. The trick in retelling the tale is in seeing whether we can get to a different ending. On first glance, those who see education as experiencing its best years would most likely be its principal...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 217-246)
  14. Index
    (pp. 247-253)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 254-254)