To Properly Engage with the ‘Trinity Bureaucracy’, We Need to Understand Its Staff

Posted in Governance and administration on July 25th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The state of our university is often criticised. Whether it is cuts to services or a grindingly slow bureaucracy, Trinity is often the butt of frustration and scorn from students and staff. Indeed, The University Times has never been slow to point out and criticise decisions of the Trinity administration …” (more)

[University Times, 24 July]

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Time to cry out for academic freedom

Posted in Governance and administration on November 18th, 2015 by steve

UK“Giving staff and students a say in how institutions are run would strengthen governance and clip the wings of administrators, argues Colin Macilwain …” (more)

[Nature, 18 November]

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Travel in TCD

Posted in Governance and administration on November 1st, 2013 by steve

“Travel is an essential part of a research academic workload. In TCD we now have the following process to travel overseas, or more than 100km within Ireland …” (more)

[Brian Lucey, University Bureaucracy Watch, 1 November]

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Forget MOOCs – Let’s Use MOOA

Posted in Governance and administration on June 16th, 2013 by steve

“As colleges begin using massive open online courses (MOOC) to reduce faculty costs, a Johns Hopkins University professor has announced plans for MOOA (massive open online administrations) …” (more)

[HT: Stephen Schwartz]
[Benjamin Ginsberg, Minding the Campus, 13 June]

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Some thoughts on efficiency of Irish Universities …

Posted in Governance and administration on February 4th, 2013 by steve

“Despite being a multibillion euro industry Irish higher education has received scant (published) attention as to its cost or productive efficiency. This is despite the acres of space devoted to issues around the funding of education …” (more)

[Brian Lucey, Irish Business Blog, 4 February]

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Best apps for university administrators?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 10th, 2012 by steve

“This does presuppose that every university administrator is equipped with an iPad. Which is not necessarily the case. Anyway, if you are fortunate enough to be issued with an iPad in support of your administrative duties there are a number of key apps you will want to get hold of …” (more)

[Registrarism, 10 May]

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Irish lecturers work longer hours than European counterparts, says IFUT President

Posted in Governance and administration on April 21st, 2012 by steve

“Lecturers in Ireland spend longer hours at work than their European counterparts, while a greater portion of their time is taken up with administration, according to President of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT), Marie Clarke. Dr Clarke said that both senior and junior academic staff in Ireland spend too much time on administration, which is the result of an intensified audit culture …” (more)

[Irish Federation of University Teachers, 21 April]

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Universities, society, and the law

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on November 14th, 2011 by steve

“The essentially mediaeval structure of universities has yet to address the existence of the printing press, let alone confront the revolution in power-sharing that the internet inevitably brings along …” (more)

[Seán O Nualláin, University Blog on Academic Tenure in Ireland, 13 November]

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‘The Fall of the Faculty’

Posted in Governance and administration on July 15th, 2011 by steve

“… In his polemic, The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters (Oxford University Press), Benjamin Ginsberg, David Bernstein Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University, takes stock of what ails higher education and finds a single, unifying cause: the growth of administration …” (more)

[Dan Berrett, Inside Higher Ed, 14 July]

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Elevator Pitch Series: CampusIT

Posted in Governance and administration on February 3rd, 2011 by steve

What problem does your product or service address? CampusIT eliminates unnecessary student administration tasks that add expense and no value to critical processes that are central to university operations …” (more)

[Keith Hampson, Higher Education Management Group, 3 February]


Too many committees clog up the system and hamper good governance

Posted in Governance and administration on November 2nd, 2010 by steve

“You know the old saying: if you’re going to eat a bar of chocolate, you’re much better off not knowing too much about how it was made. For most people who come into contact with a university or college, they won’t know or care much about decision-making in the institution, but if they did know they might find it unsettling; better to remain ignorant …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Irish Times, 2 November]

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Dashboard Fever

Posted in Governance and administration on October 22nd, 2009 by steve

USA“As public and political pressure have built on colleges and universities to prove their performance to increasingly questioning external audiences, many institutions have realized that they must start by better understanding their own strengths and weaknesses. That has led increasing numbers of individual institutions, public university systems (like the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities), and state higher education entities (like Indiana’s Commission of Higher Education) to collect and organize data from massive and complex data warehouses in easily digestible forms, resulting in an explosion of dashboards and other mechanisms. Most of them relate to things such as finances, facilities and, increasingly, student persistence …” (more)

[Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, 22 October]

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Collegiate spirit drives us to help advance the academic enterprise

Posted in Governance and administration on October 22nd, 2009 by steve

UK“Administrative staff do not deserve demonisation because they too are committed to the university’s unique mission. In 1976 I attended an introductory course for university administrators in Leeds where Sir Edward Boyle, who was vice-chancellor then, solemnly advised us that we should look at ourselves in the mirror every morning and recite: ‘I know I’m an evil, but am I a necessary evil?’ …” (more)

[David Allen, Times Higher Education, 22 October]


Universities face academic exodus as corporate culture takes hold

Posted in Governance and administration on October 2nd, 2009 by steve

Australia“Australia’s academics are disillusioned by corporate management cultures at universities, threatening to drive many away from the profession and worsen a looming staff shortage as thousands of them approach retirement. About 5000 senior academics are set to retire in the next 10 years but a study released by the University of Melbourne’s LH Martin Institute warns that widespread dissatisfaction with academic life means there is unlikely to be enough new blood to replace the losses …” (more)

[Andrew Trounson, The Australian Higher Education, 2 October]

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Management Innovation and Online Higher Education

Posted in Governance and administration on May 17th, 2009 by steve

UK“What’s Holding Online Higher Education Back? People working in online higher education are an aspirational lot. Through new and better technology, practitioners hope to improve higher education on a number of fronts … I share their aspirations. These are great objectives. But, frankly, it’s difficult to be thrilled with the progress that’s been made on these and other fronts over the last 10-15 years …” (more)

[Keith Hampson, Higher Education Management, 16 May]


How universities are run

Posted in Governance and administration on April 30th, 2009 by steve

Ireland“It seems to me that one of the big debates that should take place, both in Ireland and elsewhere, over the next few years is what model of governance and management is most appropriate for higher education institutions. There are of course many different possible models, and many points of view amongst all the stakeholders. But one might say that on the opposite ends of the spectrum are, on the one side, those who would argue that universities are communities of scholars who should direct their own affairs by consensus, presided over by a primus inter pares with mainly ceremonial functions; and on the other side, those who argue that today’s universities are modern organisations that need to be led by a strong management responsible to corporate-style governing boards, with appropriate functions and powers delegated to a series of middle managers …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 30 April]

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The Governance and Administration of Irish Universities

Posted in Governance and administration on April 24th, 2009 by steve

Ireland“There are seven universities in the Republic of Ireland, with a combined annual budget in excess of one billion euro. While the sources of their funds vary from one institution to another, it is estimated that more than ninety percent of their combined budgets is derived from public sources. Given the significant public funds involved, the way in which universities are governed and administered should be a significant issue for public debate. Regrettably, there has been little public debate to date of the effectiveness with which Irish universities are governed, and of the day-to-day administration of a major national public resource. The issues involved fall naturally into two groups: the legal and statutory framework within which universities operate, which is discussed below in Part I; and the political and administrative structures in which the universities operate, which is outlined in Part II. Finally, Part III offers a brief review of what happens when things go wrong …” (more)

[Watchdog on Higher Education in Ireland, 23 April]

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Move over dons, administrators now rule, says v-c

Posted in Governance and administration on April 9th, 2009 by steve

UK“The days of the ‘donnish dominion’ are over and university administration is perhaps the key profession in higher education. This is the view of Sir Peter Scott, vice-chancellor of Kingston University. At the annual conference of the Association of University Administrators this week, he said that despite being a ‘pretty mixed bunch’ in terms of professional responsibilities, administrators probably had greater claim to being the crux of the university endeavour than academics, vice-chancellors or governors. He said that he regretted the erosion of the power of the senate, and suggested that the influence wielded by senior academics was now more ‘executive and managerial’ than ‘academic and collegial’. “As for the donnish dominion,” he said, ‘I’m not sure there’s much of that left outside Oxford and Cambridge’ …” (more)

[John Gill, Times Higher Education, 9 April]

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A Crowning Indignity

Posted in Governance and administration on January 27th, 2009 by steve

“At one time a faculty was viewed as more than just a group of teachers. Faculty members were the essence of a college or university. They set the intellectual tone of the school, and as a result, the institutional agenda was centered on ideas, learning, values and bringing students into the realm of the mind. A college education was once intended to bring about a comprehensive transformation of the entering high school graduate, yielding an incipient scholar four years later. Students at a college were expected to absorb its culture and attitude and identify, however subliminally, with its mission. Those majoring in a department established a sense of identity with the field, and professors exhibited a sense of responsibility for their welfare and progress. Even in larger institutions, majors were viewed as individuals, and sometime as colleagues, not just numbers. Full time faculty members became advisers, confidants, and sometimes, friends. It’s different now …” (more)

[Bernard Fryshman, Inside Higher Ed, 27 January]

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The world of committees

Posted in Governance and administration on January 14th, 2009 by steve

“According to a report I read recently, there research that has revealed that, in all the universities in the world, there are an estimated 4,610,000 committees. I stopped briefly to consider how many that might be, on average, per university, and I concluded that the figure was probably about right. On the assumption that each of these committees meets several times a year (and of course many will meet very frequently), and making certain assumptions about the number of academic working days in the year and so forth, I concluded that, today, there were probably 184,400 university committee meetings across the world …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 14 January]

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