Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Bales Featured on Juniority Blog Post

Bales Our own Rick Bales was featured on Jim Chen's MoneyLaw on the topic of Juniority:

A long time ago, I wrote about Juniority in this forum.  Courtesy of Rick Bales, I now write to extol the virtues of reaching academic administration at a young age.  Call it Juniority: The Administrative Version.

A recent column in the Chronicle of Higher Education reported this striking statistic: "Nearly half of college presidents are now over 60 years old (49 percent in 2006 as compared with 14 percent in 1986)." . . . .

To which blogger New Kid on the Hallway responded: "I have a hard time wrapping my mind around working somewhere with a 36-year-old dean." Shame on you, New Kid. And shame on those who reported similar sentiments at a conference that Rick Bales recently attended. ("I heard in the halls of last weekend's conference from a faculty member who admitted to finding it a bit difficult to adjust to a new dean who is, as I understand it, in his/her late 30s or early 40s.")

I strongly prefer Dean Dad's reaction:

[W]hat if, just for the sake of argument, we looked at performance and talent, rather than age? What if . . . we accepted the possibility that you don't need gray hair and an AARP card to know something about management? What if we stopped hiring the same faces over and over again, expecting different results? . . . .

If we're going to see progressive change, we're going to have to support getting folks with new perspectives into the roles to enact those changes. Sometimes, that will mean getting past the idea of only hiring people who look like Ted Baxter. If that makes you feel old, so be it. There's work to do, and I don't want to have to wait another ten years to do it.

Couldn't agree more and clearly Dean Bales concurs.



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I commented on this elsewhere, but at the risk of spamming your blog: yes, my comments were ageist. But what I was trying to get at (poorly) was the fact that in my field, being a full prof at 36 is very unlikely, and that unless you're a full prof, being a successful candidate for an academic deanship (which is what the columnist implied she was aiming for) is awfully unlikely. I was reacting more to the idea of a non-full-prof dean than to any inherent incapability of a 36-year-old. But the elision of the two was wrong, I'll acknowledge.

Posted by: New Kid on the Hallway | Oct 2, 2007 8:31:02 AM

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