Graphic: Organizational chart for a manufacturing corporation, 1896 (from J. Slater Lewis, Commercial Organization of Factories) via wikimedia.org
This is the third in a series of posts inspired by reading a little book full of very big ideas: Páll Skúlason’s A Critique of Universities (University of Iceland Press, 2015). The book is thought-provoking and extraordinarily lucid. In this series I’ll share a few points from the book, with my own thoughts, but there’s no substitute for reading the book yourself (links below the post).
The university as an organization: collegial or hierarchical?
My first posts in this series dealt with Páll Skúlason’s thoughts (and my own) about what a university is for, and about what a university is. Today, some thoughts about that that means for how a university is organized – and for our cherished notion of collegial governance.
Until I became accidentally entangled in university administration, I was remarkably uninterested in the university as an organization. I had an office and a lab and some classrooms in which I went about my business of research and teaching, and if I noticed the organizational infrastructure supporting this, it was mostly to grouse about how idiotic it all was. Continue reading