Leadership and Cooperation in Academia

Leadership and Cooperation in Academia

Reflecting on the Roles and Responsibilities of University Faculty and Management

Edited by Roger Sugden, Marcela Valania and James R. Wilson

Across the world academic institutions are being questioned by their stakeholders and pressured to change. Answering these questions requires that academics and professional managers in universities think about their work, its value and organisation. The book highlights the need for space and stimulus to reflect on the responsibilities, roles and expectations that they identify for themselves, and that others place upon them – then, they might be better able to understand and to act. Similarly, policymakers and higher education commentators need the space and stimulus to reflect on the role of universities. This book will provide this space and an invaluable contribution to the stimulus.

Chapter 10: Cooperation and leadership in academia: the roles of non-academics

John Rogers and Eileen Schofield

Subjects: business and management, management and universities, education, management and universities, politics and public policy, leadership


Discussion of the roles of non-academic staff, in academic and practitioner literature and the media, has tended to emphasize and so perpetuate a deep and unhelpful divisiveness within university communities. The many functions and activities of staff within higher education institutions whose primary employment is other than in research and teaching are not generally discussed in terms of their nature, merits or contribution. Rather, they tend to be portrayed as an impediment to the pursuit of scholarship. Unless addressed, both the rhetoric and realities of such division work to the detriment of the academic endeavour, frustrate the development and achievement of shared objectives, and so inhibit the success of institutions and their constituent parts. Fundamentally, universities are concerned with the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and ideas, placing clear responsibility on leaders within them, of every category and at every level, to ensure that all available resources and talents are directed towards those ends. Given the ever-increasing complexity of both academic work and the external environment within which it is undertaken, this responsibility presents substantial and growing challenges to leaders and managers within academia.

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