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IPFS News Link • General Opinion

What's the Point of the Administrative Class?

•, By Thomas Buckley

Nothing would get done without the smooth operation of the internal mechanics of a company, a government agency, any group you care to mention. Tasks must be performed, memos sent, regulations and procedures codified.

And plans must be – and are – made just in case something goes awry. In theory.

But if society has learned anything over the past five or so years, it is that emergency plans are not implemented; they are tossed aside in moments of panic when they are most needed.

The point of the administrative class – the bargain the public has with it – is that it makes sure to run as smoothly as it can and is ready for the unexpected.

But it never is – time after time we have seen supposedly professional members of the nomenklatura either go tharn or embarrassingly and loudly and incompetently clusterfluster when the calm guiding hand of experience – the hand administrators claim they are – is most needed.

From college to Covid, administrators have consistently and utterly failed to respond in the manner expected, in a manner that alleviates the problem.

Columbia University, UCLA, and USC all have rules and regulations and guidelines that have been thoroughly digested and created by the ever-expanding number of administrators at every college.

Plans exist for how to deal with the recent campus mayhem. But while absurd rules on microaggression and allowable speech and even how to date appropriately and inclusively are zealously enforced, when facing actual physical dangers administrators are stopped in their well-worn tracks, absolutely unsure how to handle an event so, well, real.

Because for all the student gripes and faculty advocacy and silly thoughts and even sillier positions and the layers and layers of bureaucracy created to address non-issues, college is not typically, well, real. It is find yourself time for the kids, it is express yourself time for the faculty, and it is gloriously meaningless minutiae time for the administrators and, in a day-to-day sense, little of it matters – at that time – beyond the campus gate.