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Why the ‘customer service’ lingo in academe is bad for students

Why the ‘customer service’ lingo in academe is bad for students

For years now, corporate language and thinking has invaded academe, correlating with many other trends—the decline of public funding from states, the rising price of tuition, the amenities arms-race in student housing, the administrative bloat, the demands of assessment culture, and, most of all, the general saturation of corporate-speak into academic life. Institutions, especially branch campuses of public university systems and small private colleges, feel perpetually strapped for cash and desperate for tuition revenue.

In that context, the attempt to shift the world of higher education into the business paradigm seems rational to administrators: Without customers—i.e., students—faculty jobs will be cut, programs shuttered, and staff members “downsized.”

 

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