23 SES 06 B, New Modes of Governing HE and Their Effects
There have been profound changes in university governance within the past 35 years or so, not least of which has been the adoption of corporate and network modes of governance in addition to aspects of the more traditionally practiced collegial forms (Ferlie, Musselin & Andresani 2008). However, although it is argued that multiple modes of governance both can and do operate simultaneously (Rhodes 1996), the notion that collegial and managerial governance are at opposite ends of a spectrum is fundamental to traditional and contemporary understandings of university power relations (Tight 2014). As a result, discourse around managerial versus collegial forms of governance remains a powerful driver of research and scholarship in this area. This belies the experiences of the very many senior academics who have taken up executive leadership positions within their universities and the resultant diminishing separation between academic and administrative work and between academic governance and management (Macfarlane 2015). Rather than them and us, it suggests the existence of in between spaces within university governance (Rowlands 2014a). However, although a number of scholars have coined phrases describing academics and managers working across these boundaries, such as the managerial professor (Macfarlane 2012), manager academics (Deem, Hillyard & Reed 2007), and manager deans (Henkel 2000), this remains contested space.
This presentation commences with the notion of academic governance as involving the oversight of teaching and research and the establishment and protection of quality and standards for their conduct. It takes as its theoretical starting point Rowlands’ notion of managerial hegemony within radically altered collegial governance systems (Rowlands 2014b) and draws on Bourdieu’s concepts of academic and intellectual capital (Bourdieu 1988) and field (Bourdieu 1985) to highlight that within contemporary higher education, academic (or management) capital is largely dominant (Rowlands 2013). This conceptual framework is in contrast with structural models of university governance that have traditionally dominated this field but which can also underplay the centrality of asymmetrical power relations within both internal and external relations (Kezar & Eckel 2004).
The idea of hegemonic managers working within the vestiges of a collegial governance system raises the issue of a community of scholars. Within traditional collegial governance this community largely comprised the professors and although there has been substantial criticism of the tendency to marginalise female and more junior academic staff (Middlehurst 1993), the dominant voice was academic in form (even if severely limited in scope). In contrast, the community within contemporary institutional-level academic governance appears largely to comprise manager academics as envisaged by Deem at al., or variations thereof. This is because a substantial proportion of members of the academic board (also known as academic senate or faculty senate), the key academic governance committee within many universities in Western democratic nations, are now ex officio or there by virtue of office held (Shattock 2013). These staff may once have been academics but they are no longer practising teaching and research. The key issue here is not collegial versus managerial governance but the role of practising academics and the degree of academic voice within contemporary academic governance. The presentation asks how institutional level academic governance within Western universities is currently being defined and practiced and who is practising it? What is the role of the academic voice within that practice, if any? Do in-between spaces exist within university governance and, if so, how are they navigated? In exploring these questions, it also asks, in what ways can Bourdieu’s notions of academic and intellectual capital, in conjunction with his theory of practice (as it relates to academic practice) help us to understand contemporary academic governance?
Bleiklie, I 2012, 'Collegiality and hierarchy: Coordinating principles in higher education', in AR Nelson & IP Wei (eds), The Global University: Past, present and future perspectives, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, pp. 85-104.
Bourdieu, P 1985, 'The social space and the genesis of groups', Theory and Society, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 723-44.
Bourdieu, P 1988, Homo Academicus, Polity, Cambridge.
Deem, R, Hillyard, S & Reed, M 2007, Knowledge, Higher Education and the New Managerialism: The changing management of UK universities, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Ferlie, E, Musselin, C & Andresani, G 2008, 'The steering of higher education systems: a public management perspective', Higher Education, vol. 56, no. 3 pp. 325–48.
Henkel, M 2000, Academic Identities and Policy Change in Higher Education, Jessica Kingsley, London.
Kezar, AJ & Eckel, P 2004, 'Meeting today's governance challenges: a synthesis of the literature and examination of a future agenda for scholarship', The Journal of Higher Education, vol. 75, no. 4, pp. 371-99.
Macfarlane, B 2012, Intellectual Leadership in Higher Education: Renewing the role of the university professor, Routledge, London.
Macfarlane, B 2015, 'Dualisms in higher education: a critique of their influence and effect', Higher Education Quarterly, vol. 69, no. 1, pp. 101-18.
Middlehurst, R 1993, Leading Academics, The Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press, Buckingham.
Rhodes, RAW 1996, 'The new governance: governing without government', Political Studies, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 652-67.
Rowlands, J 2013, 'Academic boards: less intellectual and more academic capital in higher education governance?', Studies in Higher Education, vol. 38, no. 9, pp. 1274-89.
Rowlands, J 2014a, 'Present but not counted: the tenuous position of academic board chairs within contemporary university governance', International Journal of Leadership in Education: Theory and Practice, DOI 10.1080/13603124.2014.925978.
Rowlands, J 2014b, 'Turning collegial governance on its head: symbolic violence, hegemony and the academic board', British Journal of Sociology of Education, DOI 10.1080/01425692.2014.883916,
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.