The conundrum might be stated follows: An institution must
first survive in order to educate; however, its only justification
for survival is determined by the quality of education it
am not using survival in the literal sense, but rather
as the most extreme result of inadequate institutional finance
or other resources. The conundrum perhaps more accurately
describes a division which often is an oppositional relationship
between operation and mission of an educational institution.
Operation as it refers to management is the responsibility
of administrators. Mission is the educational programs and
faculty are accountable for them. Although operation and mission
might be intertwined, they are distinctly different in terms
of objectives, means and values.
the purpose of my remarks, I am defining educational effectiveness
as processes, procedures or conditions producing a desired
end. Educational effectiveness is judged by student motivation,
commitment, productivity and proficiency in their field of
study. This is instructional efficiency and it is quite different
from operational efficiency which is measured by a comparison
of production with cost in terms of energy, time and money.
Among other responsibilities, administration manages
academic records and services, institutional finances, public
relations, building maintenance and grounds, student housing,
food services and so forth.
can be divided into two areas of operational and educational
management. Educational management is represented by Provost,
Deans and Department Heads. There are several factors that
affect faculty and educational quality. One being that academic
administrators tend to identify with, and serve institutional
administrators more so than they do faculty and educational
programs. Secondly, while most academic administrators come
from the teaching ranks, they often are ambitious individuals
who see greater prestige and higher salaries in administration,
and actively seek administrative positions. Authority or power
of office are attractive for some. Individuals with these
motivations seldom become administrators respected by faculty
members. Effective teachers usually enjoy the interaction
with students and find teaching rewarding. Consequently, most
have little inclination toward seeking administrative jobs.
The role for academic administrators change at
each level, and often there is not a clearly understood charge
at the various levels. The one that I believe to be most important
is also the one that is most controversial. This position
is that of Department Head. The Department Head has direct
contact with students, faculty and program. It is rare to
find an educational institution that defines the Department
Head role. Is the position the last outpost of an administration?
Or is it the first line of representation for students, faculty
and departmental program? I strongly support the position
that the Department Head is one who speaks for departmental
affairs, and is an aggressive advocate for students, faculty
I have always viewed Deans as being managers, but in those
areas of the university heavily involved with research, administration
today is looking for leadership. I am skeptical of present
use of the Provost's office and believe it has moved too far
into institutional operations. At one time, there was a Dean
of Faculty office that represented faculty at upper levels
of administration. The position was either phased out or combined
with the Provost's responsibilities. Faculty require representation
at the highest levels of decision-making to speak on their
behalf which is unencumbered by administrative or operational
between operational and educational matters begins with recognition
of efficiency as being essential to operation of the institution
and its many services, and effectiveness as being the top
priority for the instructional mission of the institution.
I think to achieve balance and both objectives, there has
to be some new definition for roles and responsibilities.
At present, many problems are the result of the mix of operational
and academic responsibilities combined within single offices.
This creates a situation best described by the old axiom about
the impossibility of serving two masters at one time.
vs. Educational Values
The foremost mission of the university is education
of youth. Regents, Trustees or Legislators make the final
decisions and establish key policies; administrators manage
institutional operations and teachers conduct instruction
of students. Successful operation of the institution requires
sound management. Effective educational programs require strong
leadership. The values and objectives of those who manage
are not the same as those who teach. For the purpose of making
more clear the distinctions, I have put the separation into
black and white terms when in reality it is many shades of
gray depending on individuals, conditions and situations.
it is extremely important to recognize that there is an underlying
and fundamental split between operation and mission as it
pertains to values and objectives. The separation does exist,
and that to some extent or another, it impacts on the quality
of educational programs.
is no question, but what we would do better if educational
institutions providing inferior instruction did not survive.
However, in public education, schools at all levels are maintained
regardless of educational quality. There are institutions
more successful at marketing than instructional quality, and
they too manage to survive.
implications of dichotomy dictate the necessity for balance
between operation of the institution and academic instruction
as the most logical and reasonable course to follow. Whenever
either one is pursued at the expense of the other, the institution
invariably is in trouble either financially or academically.
establishing balance are multiple and seldom identified. Perhaps
the greatest difficulty in understanding falls on the side
of educational performance. It does not require any special
genius to recognize financial problems, either money is there
or it is not or it is a fixed amount limiting what can and
cannot be accomplished. It is educational quality where identifying
goals, knowing what is required and how to achieve them that
is most perplexing. Operational matters are generally pragmatic
and readily identifiable. Dealing with instructional areas
tend to be idealistic, less precise, and the means are often
heretical or speculative with the outcome being uncertain.
of financial problems beginning during the 1970s, institutional
survival became a principal concern for governing bodies.
The response was emphasis on management. Since then, the growth
of administration in education has been phenomenal. Now, institutional
management is out of balance with mission. It is not only
that administrators are the most powerful force in education,
but it is that management values dominate.