ERIC Number: ED189916
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Can Department Structures Replace a Chair System? Comparative Perspectives.
Van de Graaff, John H.
The departmental concept, while widely accepted in the Anglo-Saxon nations as a way to organize educational institutions into homogenous groups, is not used in many continental European countries and elsewhere. This paper analyzes various structures for organizing academic institutions at lower levels in certain national systems, dissects the most prevalent views of the departmental concept, and explores certain efforts at departmental change which have been undertaken abroad since 1960, particularly in West Germany. Problems underlying departmental reform are: administrative efficiency; disciplinary specialization versus cooperation; teaching versus research; participation in decision making; and the extent of personal dependence of junior academics on individual senior professors for degrees, promotions, and career advancement. In contrast to the departmental systems in the United States and Great Britain, which have undergone few reforms, the chair systems of Germany and France, in particular, have been extensively modified and consolidated. The overall effect has been favorable, since the Germans, in particular, have developed more flexible structures for younger professors to work in. Each country, however, will organize its academic institutions according to its traditions and preferences, and it would be ill-advised for other nations to slavishly imitate American departmental structures. References are appended. (DC)
Descriptors: Administration, Administrative Change, Administrative Organization, Change Strategies, College Faculty, Comparative Education, Cross Cultural Studies, Cultural Influences, Department Heads, Departments, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Intellectual Disciplines, School Organization
Higher Education Research Group, Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University, 17A Yale Station, New Haven, CT 06520
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Yale Univ., New Haven, CT. Inst. for Social and Policy Studies.
Identifiers: West Germany