Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Somebody doesn't understand the theory of value 

And of course, it's Stanley Fish.
Of the many complaining questions that faculty members ask, the one I used to hear most often was, "Why do you administrators make so much more money than we do?" The answer is simple: Administrators work harder, they have more work to do, and they actually do it.
The correct answer can be found at any department meeting where a department chair is selected. It's like looking for volunteers to attend a Bee Gees tribute concert. You have to pay them much more to get anyone to take the job. The same is usually true with deans. The ones who take the job are bribed out of positions they really like. The work is "harder" only in the sense that it isn't what you really want set out to do (very few academics had aspirations of deanships when they were in graduate school.)

For further reading, see "Take This Job and Shove It, at the Margin."