When Power Corrupts: Academic Governing Boards in the Shadow of the Adelphi Casereviewed by William Phelan — 2002
This relatively compact book explores two interrelated themes.
First as a case study, it details the gross incompetence and
mismanagement by the Adelphi University President and the failed
oversight by the Board of Trustees during 1985-1996. Second, the
author argues that, contrary to popular perception, there is a
marked disparity between the power of a lay board of trustees and
that of the faculty in matters of academic governance. In Lionel
Lewis’ view the Adelphi case is not an aberration but rather
an extreme example of administrative control of resources and
information, a lay board with very limited knowledge of higher
education, and a faculty with no formal power.
As a carefully documented case study, the weight of the evidence
supports the first theme. Lewis examined nearly 8000 pages of
hearings conducted by the New York State Board of Regents and
hundreds of documents collected from AAUP, law firms, and library
achieves. He also interviewed some of the principal players.
The story of Adelphi, particularly of... (preview truncated at 150 words.) Title:
When Power Corrupts: Academic Governing Boards in the Shadow of the Adelphi CaseAuthor(s):
Lionel S. Lewis Publisher:
Transaction Publishing, PiscatawayISBN:
2000Search for book at Amazon.com
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- William Phelan
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Professor Phelan is Faculty Chair of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He has published articles and presented papers on academic engagement, school dropouts, and other topics in sociology of education. He is a former chairperson of the University of Massachusetts Faculty Council, faculty representative to the board of trustees, and president of the UMASS Lowell Faculty Senate.