ERIC Number: ED355873
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Feb-22
The Importance of Knowing Ourselves.
Farquhar, Robin H.
This speech focuses on the protection of institutional autonomy in higher education. The speaker opens by offering some of his own basic beliefs. The balance of the paper considers three key issues central to institutional autonomy. The first issue involves specific threats to autonomy: the socio-cultural mistrust of authority and institutions, the external control of most funding, and the rise of special interests groups within the university. The second issue focuses on how to find the right balance and establish principles or limits for determining how far the institution is prepared to go in sharing decision-making power before essential autonomy is lost. The final issue involves the causes of fear of encroachment including the danger of losing identity through losing autonomy, the awareness of the complexity and difficulty of responding to the threat, and finally a lack of confidence in decision-making abilities in key areas which must be the province of the institution itself. The paper concludes by arguing that the essential protection from damage through interference by others is to achieve internal consensus on values and priorities that is sufficiently precise to serve as a guide for concrete decision making. (JB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Association of Atlantic Universities Council's Special Session on "Autonomy and the Changing World" (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, February 22, 1993).