Another Reason Not to Like the Word…..Bloat [REBLOG]

I have struggled with (and frequently get angry) at the ease with which “administrative bloat” is tossed around as a main contributor to rising costs in higher education.  If we truly want universal access (and completion), it necessarily means we’re admitting students who have more complex needs.  Students that may have traditionally been denied access or for whom the dream of a college degree never seemed possible.  Who is to do the work of supporting these students?  This is where I think the “bloat” argument goes horribly wrong.  Where is the middle ground?  If you think administrators are not educators or do not contribute to access and retention, then you don’t understand higher education.

The following post from Jodi Koslow Martin on the SAfeminists blog gives voice to some of these problematic issues…

Feminists in Student Affairs

by Jodi Koslow Martin

I am sensitive to a few issues in higher education. When I say “sensitive,” I mean there are a few matters in higher education that are incredibly important and incredibly challenging at the same time. From my own research, I’ve become sensitive to getting first-year students enrolled in classes taught by full-time faculty in their first semester of college. I’m sensitive to the needs in the lives of Resident Hall Directors; to live and work in the same place can make it really difficult to set essential personal boundaries. And, of late, I am extremely sensitive to the critique of higher education that the cost of college is so high because of administrative bloat. I already had an issue with the word ‘bloat’ for obvious reasons. The basis for my current touchiness to this word relates to my personal experience as a vice president at a…

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