There’s a gulf between academics and university management – and it’s growing

Posted in Governance and administration on July 27th, 2017 by steve

“It may be hard to believe, but there was once a gentler era when universities were administered rather than managed. How times have changed. As higher education has grown in size and complexity so institutions have felt the need to strengthen their management arrangements …” (more)

[Sue Shepherd, Guardian, 27 July]

Tags: ,

Senior managers at Ulster University second highest paid in the UK in a year of mass lecturer redundancies

Posted in Governance and administration on July 11th, 2017 by steve

“Senior managers at Ulster University are the second highest paid in the UK, according to the Times Higher Education Pay Survey 2017. Of the 162 universities in the UK, only King’s College London pays its senior managers more than Ulster …” (more)

[UCU, 10 July]

Tags: , ,

What’s wrong with management in higher education?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 1st, 2017 by steve

“Matthew Reisz reported for Times Higher Education on 30 March 2017 that ‘the results beginning to come in from the National Senior Management Survey are both startling and dismaying’. He said: ‘Early data from the National Senior Management Survey, which is being developed by academics at eight universities, find that barely one in 10 (10.4%) respondents is satisfied with the way their institution is managed; 76.5% are not’. This is fake news …” (more)

[Rob Cuthbert, srhe, 28 April]


Tips for Managing Curmudgeons

Posted in Governance and administration on October 26th, 2016 by steve

USA“I am a proud curmudgeon. Whatever hip new thing you’re promoting, I’m probably uninterested. Whatever buzzword you might be enamored of, I probably hate it. And whatever bureaucratic activity you want me to engage in, I almost certainly think it’s pointless …” (more)

[Alex Small, Chronicle of Higher Education, 24 October]


Academics Anonymous: an open letter to university ‘leaders’

Posted in Governance and administration on August 8th, 2014 by steve

“Dear leaders, I address you as ‘leaders’ because, for some reason perhaps manager comes too close to rhyming with janitor for your liking, you’ve increasingly taken to styling yourselves in this way. How grand. How imposing. How spurious …” (more)

[Guardian Professional, 8 August]

Tags: ,

Better educated – but women miss out on the top jobs

Posted in Governance and administration on July 30th, 2014 by steve

“Women are not being appointed to managerial positions despite them having more third level qualifications than men, a new report has shown …” (more)

[Claire McCormack, Independent, 30 July]

Tags: , ,

Searching for gender balance at the top

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

“Shortlists for leadership roles should have 30% representation of women. Statistics relevant to this should be published and headhunters should work with key sector stakeholders to develop a code of practice to make sure we play a positive role in improving gender balance at leadership level …” (more)

[Ben Tucker, wonkhe, 4 June]

Tags: ,

End the blame game: targeting managers won’t cure universities’ ills

Posted in Governance and administration on February 14th, 2014 by steve

“‘A misery narrative’. That’s how I heard the prevailing academic discourse on the current state of higher education described recently, as exemplified by an Anonymous Academic in a recent article bemoaning the sacrifice of academic ideals on the altar of corporatisation …” (more)

[Sue Shepherd, Guardian Professional, 14 February]

Tags: , ,

Incentives are a powerful tool, but do universities know how to use them?

Posted in Governance and administration on December 11th, 2013 by steve

“University management is meaningless without incentives, says Jonathan Jones, but they need to match official policy …” (more)

[Guardian Professional, 11 December]


Ian Diamond on university efficiency: ‘Is there a better way of doing things?’

Posted in Governance and administration on November 12th, 2013 by steve

“University efficiency. It’s not the sexiest of subjects. The word alone initiates the rolling of eyeballs in some quarters and full on protest in others. But with universities having to justify every pound of the public purse spent, efficient university procurement and practice is moving up the list …” (more)

[Claire Shaw, Guardian Professional, 12 November]


Does university management matter?

Posted in Governance and administration on November 12th, 2013 by steve

“It’s a commonly cited view that managing academics is like herding cats: difficult and ultimately pointless. But this view contrasts with growing evidence that good management increase productivity in both the private and public sectors …” (more)

[Carol Propper, Guardian Professional, 12 November]


University managers are not malicious, we are misunderstood

Posted in Governance and administration on April 30th, 2013 by steve

“It’s almost impossible to put out messages that aren’t seen to undermine academic values, says Andrew Derrington, but why not assume managers want to act in your best interests? …” (more)

[Guardian Professional, 30 April]


March of the managers at Scots universities

Posted in Governance and administration on March 11th, 2012 by steve

“Who runs Scotland’s universities? Most people probably assume that academics take most of the key decisions. You might also suppose that academics make up most of the workforce. Figures released last week suggest that both assumptions are wrong …” (more)

[John Field, Scotsman, 7 March]

Tags: ,

The Other End of the Pipeline

Posted in Governance and administration on November 1st, 2010 by steve

“Lately I have been losing some of my colleagues; specifically: senior female colleagues who either leave academic entirely or who dive into administrative positions, never to be seen again in a research setting or even a science conference …” (more)

[FemaleScienceProfessor, 1 November]

Tags: ,

Hiring Outside the Academy

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

USA“… It was at this point that I thought that perhaps in some areas the pools could be expanded by broadening the experience requirement to include work outside higher education. Search committees were at first nervous about this. How, for instance, do you assess the credentials of a candidate with little or no higher education experience compared to those with it, even, or especially when the former has more experience in the area of responsibility itself? What we found was that by encouraging non-traditional candidates to apply in operational areas such as finance, human resources, technology, government and public relations and even advancement, we started getting applications from creative people who otherwise wouldn’t have been interested, or if interested, would have had no way to engage us …” (more)

[Charles R Middleton, Inside Higher Ed, 30 September]

Tags: ,

Poll points to distrust of ‘petty’ managers

Posted in Governance and administration on December 18th, 2008 by steve

“‘Wholly ineffective and probably incapable of running a whelk stall,’ was one of the less flattering opinions of managers expressed in a survey of higher education staff. Other responses included a lecturer’s description of university leaders as ‘top-down petty bureaucrats whose main interest is in making money’, and a professor’s complaint that ‘at senior level the quality of management and leadership is unacceptable – there is a serious lack of accountability’. The comments were made to researchers who investigated levels of trust in higher and further education institutions. They presented their results last week to the Society for Research into Higher Education …” (more)

[John Gill, THE, 18 December]

Tags: ,