Reflecting on the Roles and Responsibilities of University Faculty and Management
Edited by Roger Sugden, Marcela Valania and James R. Wilson
Chapter 10: Cooperation and leadership in academia: the roles of non-academics
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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