Administrators - They're Just Like Us! by Maureen Mancuso

Article Info

Title: Administrators - They're Just Like Us
Author(s): Maureen Mancuso
Publisher: University Affairs Magazine |
Publishing Date: June 11, 2014 (online)


Administration is a word that seems to make most academics cringe. In his introduction to The College Administrator's Survival Guide, C.K. Gunwales describes the traditional "knowledge worker's attitude" of the academic who takes on an administrative role as having lost twenty IQ points just by doing so. I enjoyed reading Maureen Mancuso's article Administrators - They're Just Like Us in the Canadian publication University Affairs magazine because it attempts to give a thoughtful and introspective glimpse into the life of academic administration.

Mancuso, the Provost and Vice President Academic at the University of Guelph (at the time this article was published), paints the modern day academic administrator as both student and teacher because administration is fundamentally about learning. Her message: administration, although sometimes viewed as a "necessary evil" - isn't so bad, and in one sentence she is able to sum up this profession so beautifully that I wish I had written it myself:

One great privilege of university-level administration is that you are perched at the ideal viewpoint to perceive the truly expansive scope of impacts that universities and their faculty, staff and students have upon the community and the world.
— Maureen Mancuso, University Affairs Magazine

Commentary & Views

The one thing that has drawn me to educational administration is the unique perspective it gives me on the overall functioning of the university, which I have always found fascinating. I am intrigued by the magic of the academic experience of which administration is a vital aspect, and in my opinion this article captures the spirit of what I think administration should be. Somewhere along the the line, administration seems to have become about something seriously lacking in intellectual rigor. This needs to change.

C. Valentine