Trust Me, Don’t Trust Me: Administrative Governance and the Shift to Big-Time Athletics at Towson University

Ryan King-White – Towson University
Adam Beissel – Miami University
Samuel Clevenger – Towson University

Neoliberalism on American college campuses has undoubtedly shaped the way administrators, faculty, staff, and students experience contemporary education. This manuscript utilizes extensive archival research at Towson University to examine the inception of neoliberalism influenced leadership by the President, his staff, faculty, and students in the late-1960s thru the early-1980s as they relate to intercollegiate athletics. We argue that the way(s) they reacted to socio-political arrangements and political movements during this time had an impressive a/effect on how University life is experienced today, particularly the ways in which intercollegiate athletics. In so doing, the goal of this manuscript is to reveal some of the positive aspects that neoliberal governance has had at Towson, whilst maintaining a critical eye on the unfortunate outcomes of such an approach. We conclude by arguing that not only is our analysis of intercollegiate athletics development at Towson important to better understand collective decision-making processes and logics that played out historically, it is instrumental in understanding the ways University, and its athletic programming, is organized and experienced today.