How the Creation of Too Many Academic Departments Stifles Creativity, Encourages a Silo Mentality, and Increases Administrative Bloat

27 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2018

See all articles by Hershey H. Friedman

Hershey H. Friedman

City University of New York - Department of Business Management

Date Written: January 2, 2018

Abstract

One college president remarked: "Colleges are very good at adding. They're not good at subtracting." This is not only true when it comes to creating academic departments but is also true with respect to hiring administrators. This paper demonstrates that reducing the number of departments via mergers may benefit a college or university in many ways. It can help reduce wasteful administrative bloat, eliminate the silo mentality, encourage interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary programs and research, and improve organizational agility. Moreover, merged departments have the ability to provide students with a broader outlook than those whose major departments are too narrow. Procedures for determining which departments to merge are also discussed. Colleges and universities have no choice but to become more efficient. One researcher asserts that half of the 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States will be bankrupt within the next few decades.

Keywords: administrative bloat, networking universities, merging colleges, hierarchical organizational structure, responsibility center management, reducing waste in education, silo busting, organizational sluggishness, and prioritizing academic programs

JEL Classification: C00, C10, C40, I20, L15, L21, L82, L86, M31, M37, O3

Suggested Citation

Friedman, Hershey H., How the Creation of Too Many Academic Departments Stifles Creativity, Encourages a Silo Mentality, and Increases Administrative Bloat (January 2, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3095370 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3095370

Hershey H. Friedman (Contact Author)

City University of New York - Department of Business Management ( email )

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