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Picture of Administrative Bloat in Higher Education

Administrative Bloat in Higher Education

Author(s): J. David Johnson

Book Description

This book provides a detailed examination of the processes that lead to unsustainable growth of nonessential personnel in the modern university. It explores administrative bloat, a major contributor to the rising costs of a college education, comprehensively detailing its development through the examination of case studies. After defining bloat and considering many of the factors that contribute to it (and its associated consequences), a number of case studies are used to elaborate and expand on the themes developed in the initial chapter. The first case focuses on the complex infrastructures being developed to promote the strategically ambiguous focus on student success. Universities have developed a number of information dissemination programs in recent years. One such program that is also explicitly targeted at the commercialization of university research is the development of technology transfer offices. Relatedly, the next case focuses on the institutional pressures brought by various stakeholders to emulate the success of the famed Research Triangle in North Carolina by developing technology incubators and research and development parks that promote entrepreneurship. The final case study focuses on the promise of technology, particularly in the form of distance learning. The final chapter summarizes the book and addresses some more general issues, asking questions such as: What is success? What are the ethical concerns raised by bloat? How do they relate to the individual interests? What manifest and latent functions does it serve?


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-5358-3
ISBN-10: 1-5275-5358-2
Date of Publication: 01/09/2020
Pages / Size: 159 / A5
Price: £58.99


J. David Johnson, PhD, is a University Research Professor Emeritus at the University of Kentucky, where he also served as Dean of the College of Communication and Information Studies for 11 years. He has also held academic positions at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Arizona State University, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Michigan State University, and was a media research analyst for the US Information Agency. He has been recognized as among the most prolific publishers of refereed journal articles in the history of the communication discipline. He is the author of 11 books.