Co-op or Co-opt?

Interesting thoughts on governance as the site of neo-liberal struggle

ag foghlaim

Governance. Obscure, arcane structures peppered with titles fully worthy of the faux-medievalism of many universities – that’s the view of many working in academia towards this issue. But, governance is precisely where the ideological battles around the role and future of higher education are being played out. Changes in the balance of representations from internal to external interests, from public service to business and ‘entrepreneurs’, from elected to appointed, from autonomous to ‘steered’, from values to products.

Management. Increasingly built on business models, the shift from President/Principa/Vice-Chancellor to CEO; after all aren’t universities multi-million Euro operations, don’t they need the discipline and efficiency of the private sector, or at the very least a form of ‘public accountability’ that isn’t reliant on academic values, personal integrity or something as unreliable as a sense of public service? So we’re told.

So what form then should a university take in terms of its…

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