The multiversity today; We Run It
For eight hundred years Western societies of turn to universities for the teaching discovery and preservation of advanced knowledge. From small beginnings in Bologna and Paris men have built giant educational complexes to serve not only students but governments industries and the general public as well. The huge American Multiversity these are the subject for this series the Multiversity today. The programs were produced in the studios of WRAL the University of Illinois Broadcasting Service. Dennis Corrigan is your host for today's program about what's going on inside the Multiversity today. Have you ever wants to campus I mean sat down and
observe the activity. Of people walking by the traffic the class is changing. The deliveries the hundreds of things that make up each day in the life of a growing Multiversity. It's a complex and bustling community that has behind the exteriors commotion some overall direction. The responsibility for this overall direction lies in what we all call the legislative and executive arms of the institution. A board of trustees and the administration. Between these two groups lies the responsibility for determining University goals and putting these goals into day to day practice in a very real though somewhat limited sense. The trustees administrators can say of their Multiversity we run it.
You're. Howard W. command is a prominent Chicago attorney and a member and past president of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. When we talked with him in his office Mr. Clement had this to say about the functions of a Multiversity trustee prestige generally are in the what you might call the legislative and the university. They're concerned principally of course with policy terminations. They spend what seems like an inordinate amount of time on things that might be regarded housekeeping the letting of the contractors and all the detail of the financial operation a big corporate entity I think. This is very good policy questions relating to education. So far
the greatest function and the most demanding job you're probably going to get lost. The board of trustees or other governing body grants the administration the authority to carry out the decisions of the board. Within the context of the day to day activity of the university. To put it in more specific terms a contract with a professor means that the administration through department heads must assign his classes provide him with office space a staff Card and building keys and office equipment a board decision on the number of students to be admitted to the university. It means that the administration must process applications assign rooms keep student records and handle the details of enrollment. Obviously these examples represent only a part of the responsibility of the administration. One of the most demanding and difficult positions inside the Multiversity today.
With. Administrators occupy in an inviable position in any institution of higher education because they must take the general goals of the university and turn them into specific actions. Administrators are courted by nearly everyone and usually loved by none. The result can be sharp divisions between administrators and faculty and students. The size of an institution is also a factor in this. Ruben Cohn professor of law at the University of Illinois discussed one problem that he feels is particularly important. The weaknesses of a motel University. Why is a science silly in the fact that there was an unavoidable vast at Ministry of apparatus.
That is the memory of the mere size of a university compels an apparatus both the pure administrative level and at the faculty level I'm not tying this to the administrative level only which had the personal impersonal ises education to some extent the very size and structure of our faculty and of our physical plants requires that there be delegation of decision making authority and policy making authority to small units within the university and normally this is carried on through principal executive officers or principal faculty officers but appropriately created committees within the university community as a large one to a large extent diffusion of this kind means that there was ultimately control within this total apparatus of power or power making decision within a few hands and to some extent the involvement the important involvement of other people might have contributions to make in the
formulation of policy is therefore lost. This I think is an unavoidable consequence of a large university as it did it is the unavoidable consequence of a large state. The restrictions on decision making authority the increasing number of advisory groups the necessary proliferation of rules and regulations the growing paperwork are all symptoms of large institutions none of the symptoms is more onerous than red tape. The problem is of course an old one that has plagued universities for decades. But despite complaints the red tape problem is not only still with us but grows each year and seems to further separate the administration from the rest of the university. Eric Roberts a senior at radio and television at the University of Illinois had this to say about the relationship between the administration and the student body.
I think the only thing that I would change about the University of Illinois I would be. I think it's gotten a little bit to be a little bit too bureaucratic and impersonal. But this is not necessary. This is the fault of the university but not necessarily one that is one that can easily be seen. I think it's partly our fault of the students too. I think the students should stop looking at the university as a huge blob and start looking at it as a group of people who are trying to achieve a common goal and that is educate the students. But I think the University of Illinois has made several steps to. Combat this huge bureaucracy and the what I might call him quote The Blob way of thinking about the university administration by having such things as the chancellor chats where the chancellor goes out and talks to the university students and and things like this and the university I think and as students has made a lot of steps too. Towards getting closer to the
administration by let's say I mean I don't want to say a lot sound like I'm advocating the demonstrations or anything but I mean this is this is like instead of sitting in the chair and you know doing nothing. They've gotten out and they've gotten closer to the university and now we see that the university administration just isn't this huge blob but it's made up of people like to have surveillance and then DL it. And Professor Arno Hill and the president the university and such things like this. And then we start to find out that the blob isn't so horrible after all and they're just people just like you and trying to do things and trying to exist in society and in this manner it doesn't seem like such a huge university you know anymore. But just a little small area. Just how serious is the breach or alienation between the
administrators and the student body. Dr. Norton long Professor of Politics at Brandeis University tackled this question during a discussion of ghettos in universities for a symposium held on the University of Illinois campus in the spring of 1960 sump'n. Certainly. The alienation. Is one of the most talked of things on the American campus. I regard it as a play for copping out on the part of people who. Are sufficiently lacking in intestinal fortitude to try to do something about facing up to the administrative mess that most universities are. I don't camp we take the lead for either the Floridian cop out of alienation of the latest leftwing pop or what they call repressive toleration which means the system pushes enough lettuce in your mouth so you choke with a gun but you choke. And you choke very comfortably to. Sense one of the major jobs of most
universities is to make it comfortable for upward mobility people to be upward mobile in the system they affect to despise and do nothing about changing. But that is the difference between the ghetto and the university because the people in the ghetto are characterized by a lack. Of upward mobility characterized also by an acute sense of powerlessness. And this is certainly one of the major and difficult characteristics of the campus because people on the campus by and large have a sense of being manipulated by the kind of the last impersonal bureaucratic machine that profess that God is more and more characteristic of a society. Machine which is not a single machine but really a set. Of extraordinarily sophisticated highly developed corporate bureaucracies. And once you have man very sophisticated decisions made about matters of technique
with almost nothing done in the way of overall responsible concern for purpose or direction in terms of the total enterprise I would say that's a pretty good description of a university. Almost no really effective sense of overall purpose of what the enterprise about. Is it really this bad. Dr Robert E. Coralie Dean of Student Affairs for the Chicago Circle campus of the University of Illinois was asked if his urban commuter campus was dehumanized. I'm not. Sure of this. But. That of course as a number of students would say. Spoken like a dean. They say you have a vested interest in saying that it doesn't but it was just curious about an hour ago I had a young lady and that was interviewing me for the student newspaper as he was a freshman girl. I'd come from a Catholic Girls High School. And after she got
through interviewing me I decided to interview her and I said it's interesting that you came here from a Catholic Girls High School I said How do you like she called a circle. She says I like it very much I said Oh you do and she said yes. And she volunteered this information. And I didn't even ask for it she said. A lot of students complain about this being very big and very cold. She said we were told that even by visited by a long night it would come back to our high school. And she said we were told that she called the circles a very big and cold place and so I haven't found it that way at all. And I said well I wish you would write an article in the student newspaper to that effect. She says I think I will be just as it really is friendly for anyone who puts out any effort at all to make friends. Although she agreed and I agree with her that where you do not have the advantage of dormitories and people living on campus that it is more difficult to make because close friends as you do on a residential campus. I don't know what you can do to overcome that. But I'm not so sure that it is
that bad. A situation as a great many people would have us believe. But I do think it is one of the problems that the urban commuter campuses have to face. And thought. But no matter how serious the problem really is number of students feel that administrators are manipulating them and manipulating them with little sense of purpose. During his discussion of the ghetto in the university Norton long described the feeling this way. There are people who are merely the subject of manipulation. They're not in any significant sense self-directed power and they're lacking in any basis of feeling that they count or have any worth. This is the principal problem of the slum. Is the acceptance
of your own worthlessness and the adjusting toward. The systematic degradation that occurs. With respect to Papal. Whose state depends uniquely. Those who are dependent on others for handouts they are given a. Gratuitous way. Without any sense of it being a matter of right. And it will have and the society no meaningful occupation that produces respect from others produces respect. For themselves by themselves. What is even more tragic any respect by their offspring for their parents or the condition in which they live or the future to which they can hope. Surely the university is not all that bad. I don't know why. It's not all that different. Because the kids you know and I supposed to be old enough to discuss communism or have anybody from the outside discuss communism because as such. Numskulls.
Weaklings incompetence that they are not in a position to disguise what their country stands for or what have a political philosophy or have any ideas. And the university of course is too weak. To stand up to expedient politics and say business is the business of readying people with self direction self decision self determination. Or in the business of trying to turn out adults and not running a swaddling nursery in the local Qur'an is for parents who never do the job anyhow. The university ought to be a place where people grow up. And they only grow up if they're given a chance. To deal with dangerous things. They run their own lives. Have a capacity for managing their own private life. There's all up and become adults. The American university is unfortunate. In the fact that it comes from a totalitarian monastic tradition. And it might
be fine to run a monkery on a totalitarian vices. This is scarcely a model for a free society. So that in a sense the ghetto and the university. Just because you have powerless people who don't govern themselves that were managed by us. And they're not even in a sense really managed by others. Because the others don't really have a well-thought out programme of action which they can intellectually defend is the rationale of the post. What you have is an expedient system of pressures where this bureaucracy and that bureaucracy and there's concern about the press in the media and the legislature and the governor and what will the neighbors think and what will the parent think and what will the alumni think in the hall ring around the rosy until the kids have no sense than anybody in the place has any guts. Perhaps in an effort to force the administration to have some guts or perhaps out of a general feeling of powerlessness or perhaps for altogether different
reasons students are demanding a greater voice in the operation of our universities. When we talked in his office Dean Corley discussed student power. Student power is like black power or faculty power or administrative power if it's understood properly I think it's a perfectly legitimate concept. I think that I probably am going to reflect my age here I am over 30 and I think as people very often those who are over 30 that the primary purpose is that the student here is it is here for is to try to get an education and that he should spend most of his time doing those things that he can do here that he can't do other places. That is basically going to classes studying doing is experiments in these laboratories looking up book references and libraries and things of that sort. I realize however that.
Much of education is obtained in ways that are not traditionally academic in terms of classroom library laboratory work. And he learns a lot by taking part in whether it be extracurricular activity and I think he learns a great deal by taking responsible roles in some of the university decision making positions. It's a very difficult thing to know just how to incorporate the student into this. If he is spending as much time as he probably should be on studying it is very difficult for him to give the time to that is necessary to take part in the academic decision making position positions but if you can do it it's a real educational experience for him and I do think that the university will benefit in the long run. Our problem is
and it's always the case as to how black students do you put in these positions. How do you use them. What kinds of responsibilities and where they should be limited and I'm not clear myself. You've given a lot of thought to this as all Student personnel people have as well as faculty in this traitor's in recent years as to what is appropriate for student responsibility in terms of let's say running the university. My own feeling is and I don't think most students really want to quote take over the universities but I think they want to be heard and they want to be treated as adults and they want their opinions to be seriously considered and not just considered thought to be unimportant because they come from students. This is very often enough for students. But by the same token
I've had a great many very good ideas that I've gotten from students and I'm quite ready to admit it. And I hope that the universities will find the proper role for them without let's say turning them over to students who are not around the next four years to assume the responsibility for the consequences of the decisions they make. Sure you are. The size of a multiverse today strongly influences the character of the relationships between university groups particularly between faculty and the administration. Dr Joe R. Burnett professor of the philosophy of education at the University of Illinois I had this to say about size and faculty administration cooperation.
Well it's much more difficult and you have to formalize your procedures much more by virtue of the size of the university. I think that we do have this going for us at the university level but in ministration generally was pulled from the faculty ranks so there is no but there is a basic identification. And other universities such as Illinois. I think there are some of the system some of the publish or perish some drone which you find affecting the administrators as well as the stuff that is to say they usually try. Well they have to keep their hands in their professional fields. And so you have been into ministration which is it. Very basically committed to each one is carrying forth his own specialized endeavor. He's trying to remain a scholar while being an administrator. Moreover on the basis of size I think this university and some others have a very definite advantage you can find academicians who do have administrative interests you
can find a quite a large number of them and they can commit themselves to administration and specialize in it as such in a small university or smaller college. You tend to find that the professors the academicians often have more of a ruling happened on the basis not of being specialized administrators but on the basis of making academicians here I think we. We want our administrator is to be both to maintain a direct mission orientation but also if they like Administration to work diligently at it for a long period of time. Size makes Multiversity administration complex and rapid growth such as the development of a new campus
can make the situation even more complex. Dr. Karley we have a particular problem or we have had a particular problem here because we've had to try to get staff when we could get it which means I think at the present time according to some standards we're a little bit over staffed in some teaching areas. I would say having come out of the teaching area recently and into the administrative area we're likely to be a little understaffed in some of the administrative areas had to try to get staff that may be stockpiling for the future. Rapid growth in Multiversity s and almost all institutions of higher education has forced administrators and boards of trustees to take a fresh look at their restitution CSE and how they are administrator Mr. Clement. I think probably one of the most significant
results of this kind of growth is the need for decentralization administrators procedures. The addition of a new campus of the magnitude of the universe you know you've got a campus brought about the need for changes in the overall administration of the university. This I guess is the obvious outgrowth of this kind of expansion but it's not always immediately recognized. There's a great tendency to run things in the same way that they have been run in the past. I think we've responded very well at the university although I am instituting a new administrative structure that recognizes the need
for this kind of change. We of course are instituted. The chances are sure that our three campuses and have given each of the campuses a substantial autonomy. This requires a substantial amount of readjustment you are administrative set up and of course the relationships between the various officers who make up the administrative team. It does make substantial sense to in the sense make each of the campuses and then the private entity with the board of trustees playing a substantial part and in relating this three campuses. This therefore becomes a new or
consideration in the trustees operation. Or or changes within our society an increased demand for higher education and growing student enrollments. But changing attitudes of faculty and students. These things are forcing changes within the administrations and governing bodies of our giant institutions of higher education. What are these changes going to be and how will they have fact be American higher education. These are the questions that administrators and trustees must grapple with. While at the same time dealing with such a day to day problems is parking room assignments admissions and Roma promotions salaries contracts scheduling and budgets.
And it's this combination of long range and everyday problems. That makes it ministration so demanding inside the Multiversity. Or a. Place. To go. During the past half hour you have heard the seventh program in a series about what's going on inside the Multiversity today next week at this time we'll hear what citizens and alumni have to say about their schools on. We pay for it. Your host for today's program was Dennis Corrigan. The music was performed by the University of Illinois somebody's Orchestra under the direction of Charles Delaney. The program was produced and directed by Louise Geissler is in the studios of WY L.L. the University of Illinois Broadcasting Service.
- The multiversity today
- We Run It
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- University of Illinois
- WILL Illinois Public Media
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- For series info, see Item 3648. This prog.: We Run It. Administrators and trustees discuss their responsibilities, goals and problems.
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Producing Organization: WILL Illinois Public Media
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- Chicago: “The multiversity today; We Run It,” 1968-10-21, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 16, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-ms3k210d.
- MLA: “The multiversity today; We Run It.” 1968-10-21. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 16, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-ms3k210d>.
- APA: The multiversity today; We Run It. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-ms3k210d