Steve Klass is a good person and a fine administrator. But he does not need a chief of staff.
Common sense Ephs will assume that this is some sort of weird joke. Surely, they think, Williams is not about to start handing out chiefs of staffs to every Vice President at Williams? Think again. (Thanks to an anonymous Williams reader for sending in this pdf. Note the hand-written comments.) The Record reports:
An e-mail sent out to the student body on Friday afternoon offered a comprehensive look at which administrative offices will be relocating over the summer months. Vice President for Operations Steve Klass detailed the movements of a number of campus offices and departments …
Klass and his new team will then move to the second floor this summer once Klass takes on the new role of vice president for campus life. “I’m hiring two positions: I’m going to have an executive assistant and a deputy who will kind of be my chief of staff … in my new role as VP of campus life,” he explained. “So the three of us will move up into the space vacated by Financial Aid.”
1) Could someone post the e-mail in the comments? Future historians will thank you.
2) Would any reader care to defend the ludicrousness of a Vice President at a tiny liberal arts college needing a chief of staff? It is absurd. And don’t forget that students in the class of 2015 will need to take out loans. That makes sense!
3) And why does Steve Klass need a secretary and a chief of staff. Just how much paperwork does he generate? I spent a bunch of time lurking around Hopkins Hall a few years ago. It is not that busy.
4) And don’t forget that Dean’s office already has three secretaries! They are all so busy that none of them have time to open Klass’s mail or keep track of his schedule? The whole thing is absurd.
5) Longtime readers will recall that I have railed against the College’s ever expanding bureaucracy for years. Let the railing continue! The problem is never that these are bad people. On the contrary: Everyone I talk to likes Klass. I am sure that I would too! The problem is that Williams hires Klass to do a job that faculty used to do, and then he hires two people to support him, and then the Chief of Staff needs her own assistant and so on.
6) Are you a trustee that wants to do a decent job? Cap the number of non-faculty positions at Williams. Impose a hiring freeze and then allow for natural attrition to role things back to — Call me crazy! — the staff level of, say, 2000.
7) My anonymous correspondent talks about how Williams is turning into “Johns Hopkins North.” Tell us more . . . This correspondent should also join us as an anonymous author.