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ERIC Number: EJ797598
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul
Reference Count: 3
Universities Are Funny Places!
Australian Journal of Adult Learning, v46 n2 p283-286 Jul 2006
Universities are funny places. They have a strong sense of hierarchy and rank. They have an amazing disparity in salary levels and status between staff, are class conscious, and are run by a large bureaucracy that oils and keeps the machinery going. They operate as educational institutions and yet also are entrepreneurial, marketing themselves in a competitive search for students and research resources. Most are in the public education sector but a few are private; they are closely scrutinized by governments and have to perform and make account of themselves to government authorities yet offer little accountability to the lower echelons of their workforce by the managerialist-inspired elite upper ranks; and have had to come to grips with enormous social, political and cultural change to the world, nation and local contexts. Universities are just as diverse, contradictory and complex as any social institution or social phenomena. Hang about--for a researcher that means they are themselves a potential research question. It even poses a question for a doctoral study. In this article, the author, having worked in such institutions, describes universities as she sees them. She is currently designing a research project which will investigate the university as a community engaging in activism for social justice.
Descriptors: College Role, Activism, Institutional Characteristics, Social Justice, Public Colleges, Private Colleges, Colleges, Educational Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A