The Daily Princetonian’s latest “Who Runs Princeton” special issue highlighted many prominent figures on campus, but one in particular stood out: the nearly 1,200 non-faculty staff the university has hired over the past decade. most of princeton peer institutions There was a similar increase in the number of administrators and they faced backlash from students. As one Harvard student noted, calls “fire them all” This stems from the belief that more administrators are increasing tuition and increasing the diverse and complex levels of bureaucracy that students must navigate when trying to create change on campus or simply getting answers to their questions.
But students did not pay enough attention to the many benefits of greater government. Administrators manage most of Princeton’s day-to-day operations, including working directly with students to address personal and systemic issues, planning events, and generating new ideas to advance the University’s mission.
More administrators mean more people managing important issues on campus, from housing crises to free speech debates. While a larger administration may mean more people in power who can hear students’ voices, a smaller administration will certainly increase each employee’s workload and reduce the time they can devote to one-on-one work. Often, just one person is needed to help resolve a problem: reopening a closed registration form, advocating for a student’s right to accessible housing, or advising on the most effective next steps in a stressful bureaucratic situation.
These administrators can also provide new ideas on how to solve University problems and work more effectively with students to achieve collaborative change. For example, last year a very new Forbes College administration initiated activities such as: Melanin Mondays Responding to calls for increased Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) social spaces. Increased non-teaching staff also provides greater diversity of knowledge, experience, and skills among those making decisions on behalf of the entire campus community and increases the extent to which the administration is truly a representative body. While faculty, students and local residents also provide valuable and distinctive perspectives, and the University should focus on elevating them to decision-making positions, the new group of administrators has the ability to further hear and amplify the voices of the community.
All of these make for a more positive campus experience; There are more people to hear our complaints and suggestions, and there are more ways for student voices to reach the desks of those who can voice our concerns. Here’s a personal example of the power of great, caring management: Last year, I had a stressful issue with a reserved room that I brought to Housing’s attention. Instead of simply offering me a solution (or worse, ignoring the problem entirely), they offered me the chance to sit in the chair. Undergraduate Dormitory Advisory Board. This gave me the chance to help influence housing policy for all students by actively preventing problems like mine in the future, rather than putting a metaphorical Band-Aid on the situation.
The tuition question remains: How does the university accommodate these new hires? While it is true that tuition has increased $56,750 with $83,140 In the last 10 years, this is partly due to inflationAs anyone who has been reading the news lately can tell you, it has become very common, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began. financial aid It has increased generously, too: Princeton now meets 100 percent of the demonstrated need for all students from families earning less than $100,000 a year. Families that see the bulk of the tuition increase are not the least advantaged. We should expect some kind of increase in tuition for better, more diverse programs, which directly leads to a more positive campus experience.
The university also recently undertook a project to increase Princeton’s class sizes; this project requires more administrators to manage and serve the hundreds of new Princetonians who will soon arrive on campus. This is no small task, and an administration without 1,200 new members will certainly be overworked and do a less effective job of ensuring that all students have the chance to have their voices heard for answers to their questions.
While concerns about tuition increases are reasonable, especially in the wake of Malcolm Gladwell revelation Since Princeton doesn’t actually need to charge tuition, the new group of administrators shouldn’t be the target of ire. Their roles are important and necessary to provide a better student experience as class sizes grow. Before making sweeping value judgments about the work of 1,200 people, students should keep in mind increased financial aid offers and the proven benefits of greater management.
Anna Ferris is a sophomore columnist who plans to major in English with a certificate in Values and Public Life. She can be reached at email@example.com.