Why does Steven Schwartz think that people who are appointed to positions such as dean or head of department have more "dignity and authority" than if they had been elected (Soapbox, THES , March 7)? This is managerialist self-delusion. His university model seems based on a lumpenprofessoriat laboriously churning out research spurred on by a more intelligent managerial class.
Universities generate ideas. These are disseminated through publication and through teaching and are then fed back into society in different ways, many of them material, depending largely on which faculty they come from.
The role of managers is to enable this process to work effectively. The ideas themselves originate with academics.
School of English
University of St Andrews