Respect admin staff 3

May 4, 2007

I was staggered by your anonymous letter-writer's insensitive and inaccurate depiction of university administrative staff as "fourth-raters" to whom we ought to "stop being deferential".

Without doubt, administrators can be just as overwhelmed with constant staff and student demands, over or underenthusiastic about the latest Quality Assurance Agency initiative or just out of touch with the wider repercussions of what they do. But surely this makes administrators just like academics?

Rather than treat them as a separate caste, academics ought to realise the centrality of management to any academic enterprise and regard administrators with the professional respect they owe all other members of their institution.

James Martin
University of London

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