Schumpeter on Fools, Asses, and Academic Committees

(p. 225) The longer Schumpeter taught at Harvard, the more he came to resent the bureaucratic routines of academic life that impinged on his research and writing. He especially disliked departmental meetings, and after several years he began to refer to his colleagues as the “fools” (full professors, a play on the German pronunciation of “full”) and “asses” (associate and assistant professors). “These committees!” he wrote a friend, “This mentality, that believes that the core of the world is that one committee dines and makes a report for another committee, which in turn dines.”

McCraw, Thomas K. Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 2007.

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