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‘Under New Management’

By Serena Golder

“While higher education is often spoken of in terms of crisis, this concept might be better treated as a critical juncture or turning point rather than a terminus,” writes Randy Martin. This sentiment appears in the preface to Martin’s new book, Under New Management: Universities, Administrative Labor, and the Professional Turn (Temple University Press), and it serves as an accurate summary of his stance on many of the issues the book explores.

Under New Management covers matters that prompt much debate in higher education: the decline of faculty autonomy and the rise of administration; the ever-growing emphasis on outcomes and assessment; the increasing focus on professional preparation (generally at the expense of the liberal arts); the promises and pitfalls of interdisciplinary work; and the inevitable rifts between faculty and administration. But the book is distinguished by its use of the work of administration as the lens through which to examine higher education; by the wealth of connections it draws among cultural and historical trends both inside and far outside academe; and by Martin’s inclination to see opportunities where many others often see only misdirection or plain disaster.

Inside Higher Ed conducted an e-mail interview with Martin, professor and chair of art and public policy at New York University, to gain a better understanding of the ideas detailed in his complex and ambitious book.

Continued at: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/09/02/new_book_on_the_professional_turn_in_higher_education

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