Alan Watts on Universities

Mr. Watts on the age old battle between the faculty and administration.

[…] Everybody is busy keeping records of everything. It’s much more important to record what happens, then what happens. This is already eating us up. It’s much more important you have your books right, then that you conduct your business in a good way.

In Universities it’s much more important that the registrar’s records be in order then that the library be well stocked. After all do you know that your grades are all locked up in safes and they’re protected from thievery and pilfering? And they’re the most valuable property that the University has? The library can go hang.

Then further more the main function of the University is, a sensible person would imagine, to teach students and to do research. So the faculty should be the most important thing in the University. On the contrary, the administration is the most important thing. The people who keep the records, who make the game rules up. And so the faculty are always being obstructed by the administration and being forced to attend irrelevant meetings and to do everything but scholarship.

From the lecture “Man in Nature”