The rise and fall of management fads in higher education
- University of North Carolina at Wilmington Assistant Professor Kevin McClure says that crisis creates an urgency for change in leadership vision in higher education, which typically follows a model of implementation and high possibility for failure.
- Citing examples like incentive-based budgeting and consolidated administrative services, McClure details how universities have sought to increase revenue or to save money using these strategies, and how they have eroded reliable traditions of student-faculty relationship building and innovation.
- New strategies can work, but require intense research and transparency with campus communities prior to implementation.
Transparency is the core of so many elements of university administration, but particularly in the intersections of budget and academic production. Without transparency on how faculty can better help students to meet graduation requirements for the lowest possible costs, and clarity for students on how they are receiving the best that money can buy, the university enterprise is doomed to suffer from a lack of investment in enrollment or giving.
University leaders can benefit by showing students how each dollar from tuition is invested, from faculty pay and benefits, to technology and research services, administration, debt servicing and other elements. By exposing the business of higher education, the need for stakeholders to question its value is greatly diminished.
- Association of American University Professors The next generation of higher education management fads