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ERIC Number: EJ963761
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0620
Protecting Academic Freedom in Changing Times: The Role of Heads of Departments
Qualter, Anne; Willis, Ian
Journal of Educational Administration and History, v44 n2 p121-139 2012
In changing times for higher education that are dominated by a neoliberal ideology, we set out to uncover how Heads of Departments (HoDs) perceive their role with respect to supporting their staff and their academic freedom. Freedom to pursue academic research is seen as key to the generation of new knowledge yet it is potentially constrained by funding regimes and university accountability systems. As HoDs operate at the interface between university systems and individual academic projects, how they perceive their role can have a profound influence on the working environment of their departmental staff. The research study is located in two successful departments in a research intensive university in England. The study shows that the HoDs were not captured by the neoliberal discourse and aimed to protect their staff so they could "get on with their work". In so doing they interpreted university demands to the best advantage of their departments but were not active in challenging university driven changes, thus raising questions about the effects of accommodating to change, so risking incremental change, and of how less successful departments might be able to protect their staff and their academic freedom. (Contains 71 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)