Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hoffmann on bureaucracy

I know it hasn't been a week.

But I can't resist reproducing this remark of Harvard's Stanley Hoffmann, complaining at a faculty meeting in April about increasing bureaucratization of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences:
“I happen to come from one of the most bureaucratic countries in the world, France,” said Hoffmann, addressing [Dean] Smith following his Faculty-wide presentation. “And when I hear about new levels, each one with its own enlarged personnel of support, with expanded powers over what is under that level, I’m starting to think of all the reasons I had to come to this country.”
The quotation is from an April 23 Harvard Crimson article, "Profs Guarded on Reform," which, incidentally, mistakenly identifies Hoffmann as being in the history department.

P.S. No, more bureaucracy is not always and everywhere a bad thing (though in the case of Harvard's faculty it probably is). I'm not making a political point here; it was just an excuse to quote Hoffmann.

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