Seeking an Institution-Decentring Politics to Regain Purpose for Australian University Futures
Institution-centric governance focusses on the university’s reputational capital as driven by quasi markets, tied to the career advancement of an increasingly powerful managerial caste. Entrenching across the Australian university sector, this approach to governance has whittled away multiple democratic functions of the Australian university, leaving central senior management and Council able to remove core capacities of the university in teaching, research and community service. We argue in contrast for a de-centred institution, through a community-oriented and community-participatory research agenda on problems that matter for the community as a way to regenerate the social justice mission of the university. Drawing on the pragmatist philosophical resources of the activist scholar, Isabelle Stengers, our proposed focus suggests a way out of the “enterprise university” and its institution-centric, authoritarian governance.
Keywordsmanagerialism University governance Community participation Decentring politics
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