Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher EducationSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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15. The administrators, of course, are shown to be evil. Deans Barbe and Hardscrabble and the ones from Old School, Accepted, and Animal House, are all stuffy, traditional, and out to fail and expel. They talk about handpicking their students from the “crème de la crème” and they have absolute power and authority over everything from the size of the lawn to individual admissions decisions. They have lots of money and they are invested in maintaining their privilege. Dean Martin is shown to be a pushover, out for the money, but the other deans are also shown to be in someone’s pocket—usually the Greek system or the football coach. Dean Barbe is the only dean who seems to also teach. Kieran Healy seems to agree, pointing out that “the role of Dean Hardscrabble in the everyday life of the university is particularly disturbing. She seems to feel it her right to observe and even interrupt lectures in progress, to overrule the teaching decisions of tenured faculty monsters, and to generally interfere with the curriculum’s content and standards whenever she feels like it. It is a generally accepted rule of university governance that the faculty control the curriculum, and yet here we can recognize administrative interference on a very worrying scale. She also is clearly far too involved in the extracurricular life of the school, and in particular with its powerful fraternity and sorority culture. Moreover, the fact that there is a statue to Dean Hardscrabble placed inside the main lecture theater of the school which she administers bespeaks of a level of administrative hubris rarely seen outside of certain English universities. It is difficult to see how the faculty could be expected to work under such a dysfunctional managerial style” (n.p.).
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