From Jacques Berlinerblau’s They’ve Been Scheming to Cut Tenure for Years. It’s Happening, I clipboard:
We also became aware of “administrative bloat”, or the mushrooming of an academic labor force whose mission was neither teaching nor research. A number of upper admins were hired to manage — some might say “rule” — the faculty. Some of those who accepted this task were scholars themselves. A novel hybrid creature, the everlasting tenured admin, was sparked to life. No three-year stint as vice dean and back to teaching freshman composition, for this guy! He was in it for the long haul.
The significance of this development is underappreciated. The decisions which ravaged the future for coming generations of Ph.D.s were made not just by consultants and suits, but by those with Ph.D.s and likely a few peer-reviewed publications. This was scholar-on-scholar violence.
Why is our vocation so vulnerable to fratricide? Maybe spending a doctoral decade in a moldy archive doesn’t heighten your sense of empathy. Maybe repeatedly venting your spleen as anonymous Reviewer Number 2 doesn’t sharpen your sense of solidarity. Maybe class consciousness can’t blossom when our final work products are, in many disciplines, solo recitals.