Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cal Poly Provost on Why Administrators Are Sacrosanct

At Cal Poly Pomona, CFA representatives and other concerned faculty have been meeting with our provost about the budget cuts and the programs he is trying to eliminate (such as Physics) in order, he claims, to save money.

The fact that academic services are facing more severe cuts than administrative services has provoked a lot of consternation among faculty. How can so many highly paid VPs be justified when classes are being cut, faculty are losing their jobs, faculty pay raises gone by the wayside, furloughs instituted, and students can't get into classes that they need to graduate? The provost's rationales for this disproportionality have been varied.

At one point he said that they have to maintain the size of the administrative ranks because of "regulatory requirements." When asked what those "regulatory requirements" were, his answer was that the university needs to report annually to the federal government the allotment of personnel and compensation and the university hasn't yet gotten back an adverse federal response on that report. In other words, because the federal government hasn't said to him that the university has too many administrators being paid too much money, the university is in regulatory compliance!

I'm reminded of what the Bush White House (aka Bush Regime) did when it informed a select group of Senators and Congressional Representatives in 2002 that it was a) waterboarding detainees, and b) wiretapping everybody in the U.S. As a result of that meeting, since they let some people in Congress in on their dirty secrets, they could then tell everyone that they were in "regulatory compliance!"

Our provost has also said that the numbers and compensation of administrators at Cal Poly Pomona are similar to peer institutions. This is rather like saying that we have similar numbers of people suffering from AIDS as other comparable countries, so our numbers are fine.

He has further justified the number of administrators by saying that someone is needed to keep the buildings running and the bulbs replaced. When it was pointed out to him that he was conflating maintenance and clerical tasks with administrators, who don't screw in bulbs, he said that someone has to supervise the people who screw in the bulbs.

Which provokes the question: "How many administrators do you need to screw the faculty and students?"

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