Friday, August 21, 2009

fantasy conversation

I suppose everyone has made-up conversations in their own heads, and I suppose further that they do especially with people they expect confrontation from: ex-lovers, parents, people in authority. I tend to have them with college administrators.

I had one today, in which an administrator on our campus (whom I shan't name, not out of fear but out of a random attack of discretion) asked me why I'm so repulsed by administrators, why I assume all of them are out to get us.

"Well," I said, in my head, "like managers and executives in corporate America, college administrators are basically unaccountable to anyone whose lives and careers they affect. For one thing, their incredible degree of vertical and especially horizontal mobility means that they move on somewhere else before they can be taken to account for what they've done. But perhaps even more significant is that the administrators who aren't overtly, gleefully malfeasant have a direct self-interest to protect - displaying total obedience and fealty to executives. The entire system of management rewards base aspiration and punishes moral autonomy."

To which, in my imagination, the administrator replied with portrayals of shock and dismay.

I put it differently in my head another time: "The basic problem is that the executive class bears no responsibility for its actions, relations with other constituencies, and so on. They simply move on, having 'fixed' (in a veterinary, not a mechanical, sense) the university, to 'fix' another one."

I just wanted to vent a bit. Thanks.

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