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So many strategies, so little time ... making universities modern

John Clarke

This article examines the modernisation of universities in the U.K., arguing that heterogeneous policy objectives and strategies have become condensed in the construction of higher education as a governable system and the university as a corporate enterprise. It argues that managerialism has displaced and subordinated professional and administrative logics for the coordination of universities, articulating them into supporting roles. Finally, it examines some of the cultural psychological states associated with the contradictory and uncomfortable assemblage that is the modernized university: identifying fantasy, dissociation and professional melancholia. It concludes with an argument that nostalgia for a lost academic community cannot be a foundation for political challenges to the present model.

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Knowledge, society, higher education and the society of control

Roar Høstaker and Agnete Vabø

Research and higher education are, to a greater extent, being governed and evaluated by other than fellow scholars. These changes are discussed in relation to Gilles Deleuze's notion of a transition from 'societies of discipline' to what he called 'societies of control'. This involves a shift from pyramidshaped organisations, built upon authority, to a set of lateral controls and hybrid power structures. This theory and its logic are compared with other theories that have been used to explain such changes in higher education: New Public Management, new modes of knowledge production, academic capitalism, trust and the role of higher education in social reproduction. The development of lateral controls is analysed in relation to the de-coupling of the state as the guarantor of academic quality, the changing status of the academic disciplines and scientific employees, managerialism, the new modularised study programmes and the changing position of external stakeholders. The article, drawing on empirical studies from higher education in Norway, suggests possible affects of the change to 'societies of control' on research, teaching and learning in higher education.

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The reform of New Zealand's university system: 'after neoliberalism'

Cris Shore

This article explores the legacy of three decades of neoliberal reforms on New Zealand's university system. By tracing the different government policies during this period, it seeks to contribute to wider debates about the trajectory of contemporary universities in an age of globalisation. Since Lyotard's influential report on The Postmodern Condition (1994), critics have frequently claimed that commercialisation and managerialism have undermined and supplanted the social mission of the university as governments throughout the developed world have sought to transform the university 'from an ideological arm of the state into a bureaucratically organised and relatively autonomous consumer-oriented corporation' (Readings 1996: 457). Against this I argue that the new model of the entrepreneurial and corporate university has not so much replaced the traditional functions and meaning of the university as added a new layer of complexity to the university's already diverse and multifaceted roles in society. Drawing on an ethnography of one university and personal observations, I explore the effects of that reform process on the culture and character of the university and, more specifically, its impact on academic identities and the everyday practices of academics and students. As in other OECD countries, New Zealand's universities are now required to deliver a bewildering plethora of government priorities and strategic economic and social objectives whilst simultaneously carrying out their traditional roles in teaching, research and scholarship. The challenge for the modern university, as reflected in the case of New Zealand, is how to negotiate these diverse and often contradictory missions.

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Gender and sexuality: the discursive limits of 'equality' in higher education

Liz Morrish and Helen Sauntson

This special issue sets out to investigate a number of areas of concern, regarding gender and sexuality, which are identifiable in the current British higher education environment. We argue that current dominant 'neoliberal' discourses, which emphasise the commodification of higher education in the U.K., function to set limits upon 'equality'. While these discourses often suggest a widening of opportunities within higher education, with an emphasis upon unlimited individual freedom and choice, the lived experience can be rather different for women and sexual minorities. This issue explores the impact such discourses are having upon gender and sexuality identities and practices in the academy.

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The Mutable, the Mythical, and the Managerial

Raven Narratives and the Anthropocene

Thomas F. Thornton and Patricia M. Thornton

The Anthropocene is rooted in the proposition that human activity has disrupted earth systems to the extent that it has caused us to enter a new geological age. We identify three popular discourses of what the Anthropocene means for humanity's future: the Moral Jeremiad admonishes the transgression of planetary boundaries and advocates reductions to live sustainably within Earth's limits; the Technofix Earth Engineer approach depicts the Age of Humanity as an engineering opportunity to be met with innovative technological solutions to offset negative impacts; and the New Genesis discourse advocates re-enchantment of humanity's connections to earth. By contrast, we find that in many indigenous and premodern narratives and myths disseminated across the North Pacific and East Asia, it is the trickster-demiurge Raven that is most closely linked to environmental change and adaptation. Whereas Raven tales among northern Pacific indigenous communities emphasize a moral ecology of interdependence, creative adaptation, and resilience through practical knowledge (mētis), robustly centralizing Zhou Dynasty elites transposed early Chinese Raven trickster myths with tales lauding the human subjugation of nature. Raven and his fate across the northern Pacific reminds us that narratives of environmental crisis, as opposed to narratives of environmental change, legitimate attempts to invest power and authority in the hands of elites, and justify their commandeering of technological xes in the name of salvation.

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Shared governance in the public university

A case study from the US Midwest

Jose Leonardo Santos and Matthew Filner

. 2015 ; Leitch 2014 ; Newfield 2016 ). Some advocate a customer service approach towards students. Others feel such managerialism aggravates inequalities and reduces educational quality. Hostility between US conservatives and academia fuel this

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Book Reviews

Andrea R. Olinger, Alexander Williams, and Davydd J. Greenwood

, University of Louisville Reference Barnett , R. ( 2017 ), The Ecological University: A Feasible Utopia ( London : Routledge ). Keyan G. Tomaselli (2021), Contemporary Campus Life: Transformation, Manic Managerialism and Academentia

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Returnees, Institutions, and Networks

Making Space for Technology Entrepreneurship in Beirut

William Benton

in the challenging situation of fitting their technical and managerial expertise into the conventional business and finance practices of their home country at a point in their careers when they had a pressing need to make the fit work. Working in a

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Introduction to the Special Issue

Alternative forms of organising academic work in universities

Mette Lund Kristensen, Ingo Winkler, Elke Weik, Richard Mee, and Simon Jebsen

This Special Issue emerged as a reaction to changes in the organisation of academic work that authors variously refer to as the managerial university (e.g., Laiho et al. 2022 ; Lea 2011 ), the McUniversity (e.g., Nadolny and Ryan 2015 ; Parker

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Enhancing student engagement through effective ‘customer’ evaluation

Quis custodiet ipsos consumptores?

Geoff Payne

of the managerial repertoire. For example, the introduction of regular student satisfaction surveys (for convenience here, ‘SSSs’) in one university was explicitly motivated by the need to ensure that PDR [Professional Development Reviews