First Encounters of the Bureaucratic Kind: Early Freshman Experiences with a Campus Bureaucracy

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
William T. Markham, Retired (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: A study examined the early encounters of traditional-age freshmen with a campus bureaucracy. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with traditional-age freshmen at a state university and with staff in the offices that dealt with them. The results revealed that although students did sometimes experience their encounters with the campus bureaucracy as annoying, frustrating, and confusing, their actions were mediated by their relative powerlessness and their interpretations of their experiences and options; that students' comments about their problems with the bureaucracy related to lines and waiting, impersonality, rules, the fact that specialized offices were scattered across various buildings, and paperwork; that students generally chose to be nonconfrontational when dealing with the bureaucracy; and that staff members experienced difficulties in trying to make the system work and managing their sometimes conflictual relationships with students.

Additional Information

Journal of Higher Education, 67 (November/December, 1996), 660-691
Language: English
Date: 1996
Administration, Bureaucracy, Colleges and Universities, Students, First year students, College freshmen

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