"Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be administrators."

There are others, but three situations in my experience underscore the futility of expecting guidance from "campus leaders" in matters of ethics, research related or otherwise. Most, or at least some, may not be as sad as these three cases, but there seem to be a lot of moral midgets, "just following orders" (policies).




I would like to tell you that these three executives of their universities were summarily sacked and sent to walking the streets forever. Alas, it doesn't work that way: each of them left to take a step up the career ladder elsewhere. Shifting to a new portfolio to cover up a mess is not a strategy employed only by politicians.

Your mileage may vary, but I could add others, such as the Stanford president a few years ago who was using grant funds to upgrade the presidential yacht, or an institution who hired as an affirmative action officer a person who was dismissed from their former job for sexual harassment. Some stories make "dumb criminals" seem dull. Others make campus governance look dumb. No, these are not isolated cases, The Shadow University details the administrative "leadership" of various other heroes defending academic freedom.

"Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be administrators."