Confessions of an Habitual Administrator: An Academic Survival Manual

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9781882982868: Confessions of an Habitual Administrator: An Academic Survival Manual
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Today’s institutions of higher education are complex organizations, some easily comparable to small cities. While we pay much attention to their eager students, their esteemed faculty and researchers, we often overlook the people who make them run—the administrators. On a daily basis, administrators manage the ins and outs of the often behemoth organizations for which they work, each in its particular set of circumstances, its individual people, and its peculiar assets and liabilities.

Confessions of an Habitual Administrator offers practical principles for survival based on a clear concept of what a university should strive to be. These principles are distilled into some general rules, called "Bryant's Laws," that are designed to produce good administrative decisions and to prevent bad ones. Based on the author's 46 years in academe, this book is a candid and often humorous look at one administrator's experiences and the lessons he learned. These lessons are relevant to a variety of settings and will help administrators to understand their opportunities and to avoid pitfalls.

Contents include

  • How professors become administrators, or, where did I go wrong?
  • The selection process
  • Doing the job: Administrative concepts
  • Doing the job: Staff and students
  • Doing the job: Faculty
  • Accountability and academic freedom
  • The budget and resources maze
  • What is a university? Or, what should it be?
  • Who should govern a university?

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Author:

Experience is a good teacher, but sometimes expensive. My Confessionsoffers what I have learned from years of experience in a variety of administrative positions at four colleges and universities. I hope the book will help younger administrators profit from my experience without paying the price I sometimes had to pay. It offers no overarching theoretical framework, but rather simple guidelines to avoid some pitfalls that await the unwary academic administrator. These guidelines (I call them Bryant’s Laws) are illustrated with actual situations I encountered . Had I known and applied these laws beforehand, I might have coped more effectively, or avoided the problems altogether. That is what I hope Confessions will help others do.

The book also tries to help college and university faculties understand the administrator’s role and appreciate effective administration. To do this, faculties and governing boards must understand what a college or university is, and how it works. I have sketched this broader picture and shown how administrators fit into it.

Finally, I hope the book will help faculty considering administrative assignments understand the challenges they may face and the possible consequences of choosing an administrative career path.

—Paul T. Bryant

From the Back Cover:

On a daily basis, individual administrators have to deal with a single, specific organization, its particular set of circumstances, its individual people, and its peculiar assets and liabilities. Confessions of an Habitual Administrator offers practical principles for survival based on a clear concept of what a university should strive to be. These principles are distilled into some general rules, called "Bryant's Laws," that are designed to produce good administrative decisions and to prevent bad ones. Based on the author's 46 years in academe, this book is a candid and often humorous look at one administrator's experiences and the lessons he learned. These lessons are relevant to a variety of settings and will help administrators to understand their opportunities and to avoid pitfalls.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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