Akron AAUP Protecting Academic Freedom For a Free Society
The University of Akron Chapter |
American Association of University Professors

We live, teach and our students study in a world where university administrators and state governments increasingly favor corporate models of “management,” regardless of how ineffective, how damaging to the university mission, or how utterly incompetent some university “managers” may be in implementing that woeful strategy.  And now this, an act one could easily have predicted, given increasingly narcissistic, self-congratulatory administrative postures.  We find in The Chronicle of Higher Education that:
The University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents has decided to merge two universities, homogenizing–in fact, eliminating–their individual histories, characters and identities.  The Board has decided to name the new university after itself: The Georgia Board of Regents University. This decision is not being met with approval by all.  See the story in the Chronicle for details.
We’d suggest, quite collegially, something more along the lines of “The Georgia Very Fine Faculty University.”  It is, after all, the faculty, and not the administration or state government overseers, that make for a good university with an attractive reputation.
Students first choose to attend a school for a variety of reasons: reputation, cost, proximity, programs.  Students return to their university because of the faculty. No student, to our knowledge, has ever, not once, been overheard to say “I’m returning to The Universty of  X because of their exemplary associate vice-presidential leadership,” or ” X State University, now there’s a board of regents for you.”
The relationship between faculty and students is the lifeblood of any university. If students stay home there is no point to a university.  If faculty stay home nothing can be accomplished at a university. If administrators and state oversight committee members stay home the faculty continue to teach and students learn
The appropriate role of an administration is to manage the business aspects of the institution: sign the time cards, balance the checkbooks, order pencils and grade books.  The principal goal of any university adminstration ought to be to facilitate and then stay entirely out of the way of the work faculty and students must do. How does that warrant naming rights?

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