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What does the adminspeak phrase "best practices" mean?

An illustration of the use of the phrase:


For all practical purposes, best practices are the way things are done somewhere else that administrators would like to do here without having to provide justification.

q: Why should we do it this way?

a: Well, this is a best practice.

So, to use a completely arbitrary example, we need to re-organize the graduate school according to best practices at universities x, y, and z. [Where x, y, and z do it the way the administrator would like it done here.]

Moral: Be very suspicious when an administrator claims to be here to help you and show you best practices for how to do something.


I love this!! That phrase has always given me such heebie-jeebies. The utterly unexplained ascent to "best" from "somebody's" boggles my mind. Everyone using this phrase should be immediately challenged (prove it) or chastised (go sit in the adminspeak time-out chair!).

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