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Reforming the Academic Culture

Reforming the Academic Culture

(p.161) 13 Reforming the Academic Culture
Saving Alma Mater
Ernst R. Berndt
University of Chicago Press

This chapter proposes ways to streamline university service activities by providing incentives to reduce committee size and eliminate marginally useful committee activities. The idea is to implement a simple budgeting tool that quantifies the actual costs of governance. Once the costs are known explicitly, committee service and other types of governance activities can be budgeted for as is any other expenditure, with the value of their contributions juxtaposed against other institutional priorities and needs. The chapter presents an example of Videojet Technologies to illustrate the importance of gathering information to improve the systems and processes of an organization. If Videojet maps out one end of an information-gathering continuum, most universities and colleges map out the other end. Institutions of higher learning are so decentralized and encompass such a diversity of activities that comprehensive data collection is a formidable challenge.

Keywords:   public universities, college education, higher education, governance, cost analysis, academic culture

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