‘This device is licensed’: the material and immaterial bureaucracy of academic research

Posted in Life on June 22nd, 2017 by steve

“Derek Dunne draws attention to the hidden bureaucratic labour that is increasingly a part of academic life. Rather than see this as the ‘white noise’ to be tuned out of everyday working practices, he calls for us to question the forms that are put in front of us demanding our acquiescence, whilst also locating potential sites of resistance …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 22 June]


Technology is increasing teachers’ workload, union survey shows

Posted in Teaching on April 3rd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Almost three quarters of post-primary teachers surveyed by the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) believe the use of technology is increasing their workload. The online survey of 545 teachers highlights a number of related grievances of union members …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 3 April]

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Meetings vs. Management

Posted in Governance and administration on February 13th, 2015 by steve

Canada“It’s always difficult to make accurate observations about differences in national higher education cultures. But one thing I can tell you that is absolutely not true is the perception that Canadian universities are suffering under some kind of unprecedented managerialist regime …” (more)

[Alex Usher, HESA, 13 February]

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Bureaucracy, LEAD-ing to Mistrust, in the University sector

Posted in Governance and administration on May 26th, 2014 by steve

“Bureaucracy is like Kudzu – it is invasive, persistent, useful in small doses but when unchecked it is destructive and self-perpetuating even when it engulfs that which was supporting it. Take the LEAD programme designed for Irish universities …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 26 May]

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Bureaucracy is strangling third-level education

Posted in Governance and administration on March 4th, 2014 by steve

“A significant change occurred in Irish higher education during the time I was president of Dublin City University. Some time around 2009, the suggestion began to surface that universities had been given too much freedom and that the resulting ‘light touch regulation’ had not served the country well …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Irish Times, 4 March]

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A simple test for university bureaucracy

Posted in Governance and administration on February 5th, 2014 by steve

“Universities are actually fairly simple things. They are organizations where knowledge is uncovered and transmitted …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 5 February]

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University Bureaucracy Watch: About this Blog

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

“Universities are complicated organizations. A certain degree of bureaucracy is therefore not only necessary but desirable. However, most of us who have had any interaction with them will realise that there are many many instances where it seems that the bureaucracy is self perpetuating, and pointless …” (more)

[University Bureaucracy Watch, 31 October]


Not-so-smart cuts and bureaucracy are damaging our degrees

Posted in Governance and administration on September 24th, 2013 by steve

“Academic entrepreneurs are zealously driving a value-stripping raid. I’ve seen it many times but I’m always impressed by the enthusiasm and optimism of a fresh cohort of incoming students. At the same time, I’m saddened the experience we provide may be less enriching than it should be …” (more)

[Irish Times, 24 September]

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Universities are not Innovation Bootcamps

Posted in Governance and administration on September 8th, 2013 by steve

“Irish universities remits and units are shrinking in most areas, with one exception it seems. There has been a growth over the last number of years in university-based industrial incubators …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 8 September]

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‘The problem is the level of bureaucracy involved in teaching’

Posted in Teaching on October 2nd, 2012 by steve

“I am 48 years of age, and I have been teaching for two decades. When I started out I really loved my job and felt that I couldn’t have made a better career choice for me. However, over the years the nature of the job has changed …” (more)

[Irish Times, 2 October]

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Student Feedback

Posted in Life on December 8th, 2011 by steve

“One of the peculiar things about our system here is the process of student feedback. Students fill out a ridiculously long survey called a not-so-student-friendly ‘Q6A’ for each module and more usually for both of two lecturers in a module. This rates everything from the conditions of the room to the helpfulness of the lecturer …” (more)

[Michael Seery, Is this going to be on the exam?, 8 December]

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A Meditation on Bureaucracy

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

USA“When I was a university professor, before I quit to go back to school to become a nurse, I found myself nervous and irritated with pretty much everyone and everything all the time. That may be partially a result of temperament, but some of my constant sense of aggravation must have arisen from the nature of the work I was doing. What never failed to distress me was the endless string of faculty meetings. At least at the university where I worked, these meetings were never-ending and, like most things bureaucratic, were almost always pointless. I don’t think my experience was unique. Faculty meetings are pretty much the same everywhere. The size of an institution may matter some but probably not much …” (more)

[Amanda Emerson, The Revolving Floor, 2 September]

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Travel expenses: are academics on the fiddle?

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

UK“A few weeks ago I was puzzled why my $250 or so travelling expenses had not arrived from a ‘leading American University’ for lecture I had done in November. (It was, by the way, UCLA – but let me say that no blame lies with any of the Classics department staff for the little story I shall recount). I had submitted the e-ticket, and full confirmation that I had travelled (besides I had, after all. delivered the lecture, so I had got to LA from San Francisco somehow). There was a problem, they explained. They didn’t have full confirmation to show that I myself had bought the ticket on which I travelled, on my very own credit card. They could not reimburse me until they confirmed that I had paid for the ticket …” (more)

[Mary Beard, A don’s life, 23 April]

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