Fish or fowl? Collegial processes in managerialist institutions
MetadataShow full item record
Academic promotion is a curious fish. Most employees - including general staff in higher education institutions - would expect that an appointment to a middle management position (with responsibility for managing 20 staff and a budget of $2 million) would be made for the medium term if not indefinitely, and only after systematic selection from amongst candidates with extensive preparation for the post. On the other hand, they would expect that a pay increase for meritorious performance, if available at all, would be decided annually, largely at the discretion of the employee's supervisor, following a largely informal process. For academics, however, the position is almost completely reversed. As we shall see in greater detail below, appointment as head of a school or department is usually short term, still largely by an informal process for which the main qualification seems not to be management experience and expertise, but the confidence of one's peers. Heads of school might be described in short hand as collegial appointments, although to a managerialist they would appear to be the amateurish appointment of amateurs. In contrast, academics' pay increases for meritorious performance - academic promotions - are made after the most thorough scrutiny of applicants' performance and academic merit. This paper compares the processes for appointing heads of academic schools or departments with those for promoting academic staff in Australian higher education institutions. It considers the future of these largely collegial processes within increasing managerialist institutions.
Australian Universities' Review
© The Author(s) 2002 Griffith University. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. It is posted here with permission of the copyright owner for your personal use only. No further distributions permitted. For information about this journal please refer to the publisher's website or contact the author.