Without getting into the details, I have enjoyed a window recently into the root of the tensions between faculty and administration. The gist is that some administrators wanted to add another bureaucratic requirement for student midterm grade reporting. I think, to their mind, it was a simple request and would take faculty only an extra half an hour or so a semester to do. The problem, though, is that we are asked to do many, many, many simple and brief things like this in the course of our work. It is no one thing that is necessarily unreasonable; it is the sum total of all the little things that become unreasonable together. It's death by a million paper cuts. For administrators, this is their job, but faculty are supposed to teach and research and serve. These bureaucratic requirements are intrusions on or distractions from, not the substance of, our work.
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