Universities are well known as great centers of knowledge production and dissemination. Faculty tend to be at the center of the production of both. But like other industries, administrators have increasingly assumed a larger role in the management of exploitation of knowledge production and dissemination by and through faculty to the greater glory of the institution. In the process there has been an increasingly large distance created between those who produce university wealth (faculty) and those who manage those productive forces and their product (the administrator) who produces no wealth.
Administrators produce a very different kind of knowledge than that produced by faculty. Administrators generate data from the productive work of others. And that data is then used either to (1) increase the productivity of wealth producers (appropriating the entirety of such increases in wealth per productive unit to the institution and their greater glory) or (2) ensure the separation of the means of production of knowledge-wealth (faculty) from its control (invested increasingly in an administrator class with no connection to knowledge production).
Within these new forms of production and control–the ownership of information, especially the ownership of information relating to the wealth production of the university becomes among its most valuable commodities. It is valuable especially in the sense that it represents the ownership fo the power to control the wealth generation by the university and to direct its form and expression. Information, then is power. Information, in this sense, is power.
This relationship between information, its control and power over an institution suggests bath the emerging hierarchical character of the university and the way that appropriation of control is used to reduce the role of knowledge producers to share in the governance of the university and in the control of their own knowledge production and dissemination. But this emerging relationship, as troubling as it may be int he context of shared governance, faculty de-professionalization, and the administrative control of a university becomes a tragedy when the same pattern is used by the administrators of a faculty organization against its own members.
This post speaks to the issue, increasingly problematic of administrators of faculty organizations from access to the archives of their own institutions.
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