Some Personal Reflections of an International Business Economist
Chapter 10: ‘And so he Plays his Part’: The Rutgers Years
10. ‘And so he plays his part’:1 the Rutgers years As I have described in Chapter 8, by the mid-1980s I was ﬁnding the headship of the Department of Economics increasingly frustrating and unrewarding. The ﬁnancial cutbacks, which began in the 1970s, showed no signs of abating. At the same time, universities were being subject to the most intense scrutiny from a variety of sources, and having to justify every pound of the income they received. The University Grants Committee (UGC), which distributed the central government grant between the 45 UK universities,2 was becoming increasingly selective in its allocative strategy, and was demanding the most detailed information on the teaching and research programmes of university departments. Performance targets were now the name of the game – for example, with respect to the deployment of Faculty time; the range of and content of courses taught; the justiﬁcation for purchasing new, or upgrading existing equipment; and the content and quality of degree results. Almost every new or replacement teaching post seemed to bring demands for numerous referee reports and masses of information of one kind or another; or for the monies so allocated to be drawn from other resources, for example secretarial facilities, administrative overheads or research funds. Committee meetings at various levels multiplied. Appointment and promotion committees became increasingly paperdriven, and more formal; and staﬀ–student meetings took on an ever widening agenda. There was, however, one bright side to these events, but even this was a two-edged sword....
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