Larry Page for Provost.

1 02 2012

Yes, I know it’s probably all corporate doubletalk. And yes, I know that Google’s relationship with evil has changed of late. Yet for once, just once, wouldn’t you like to hear an academic administrator say something like what Larry Page of Google says here?:

It’s important that the company be a family, that people feel that they’re part of the company, and that the company is like a family to them. When you treat people that way, you get better productivity. Rather than really caring what hours you worked, you care about output. We should continue to innovate in our relationship with our employees and figure out the best things we can do for them.

Seriously, I’d settle for being placated like this even once in a while. It wouldn’t even have to become policy for my morale to improve!

While administrators will always thank us for our service, academic culture is designed to degrade the contributions of individual faculty to all but the best universities so that nobody will get up the nerve to ask for more money. You are replaceable is their silent motto, and the existence of contingent faculty is the proof. Therefore, an administrator at any campus which employs adjuncts (which basically means every campus now) should be laughed out of the room if they ever actually talk like this. Family means everybody.

Google knows this. Why then does your provost probably take their labor policy cues from the Robber Barons?

PS An added advantage if Larry Page were Provost: You know he’d get the IT department running right.




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