Current Reading

This blog is primarily for me to blog my responses to books that I'm reading. Sometimes I blog about other stuff too, though.

I'm currently reading Edward Teller's Memoirs.

Word cloud

Word cloud

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Metzger: Administrations and Bureaucracy

Now Metzger is discussing the growth of university bureaucracy and the backlash against it.  As universities expanded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries they inevitably became more bureaucratic.  Metzger has no problem accepting Thorstein Veblen's decision to blame boards of trustees (mostly businessmen) for some of it, but also notes that it helped to protect academic freedom to the extent that professors were subject to rules and procedures rather than the whim of the president of the university.  I definitely need to read something by Veblen at some point.

I also like how Metzger notes that expanded PhD production had an effect on the academic job market.  (Page 454)  This is something that some people still can't wrap their minds around, even though the National Science Foundation just released a report on how many new PhDs are taking jobs as postdocs rather than industry despite the alleged need for more PhDs in industry.

All of this has happened before and will happen again.


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