Social entrepreneurs?: university academic managers in Venezuela and Australia

Anteliz, Emilio A. and Danaher, Patrick Alan (2004) Social entrepreneurs?: university academic managers in Venezuela and Australia. In: British Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2004, 16-18 Sept 2004, Manchester, United Kingdom. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

[Abstract]: Contemporary university academics are subject to a large number of competing pressures, including role confusion, work intensification and work casualisation. Many of these pressures can be traced to a crisis of identity for universities in the early 21st century, as they seek to steer a path between the conflicting demands of state and market (Danaher, Gale & Erben, 2000). This identity crisis for universities increasingly promotes an equivalent crisis for university academics. Some academics hearken back to an imagined ‘golden age’ of collegiality and autonomy, and bemoan the perceived attacks on their individual rights and their collective power. Others have embraced wholeheartedly the commodification of knowledge, positioning their courses and themselves as ‘cutting edge’ and superior to the wares of their peers/competitors. In a context where universities are required to achieve ‘more with less’, and to diversify their funding sources, the working identities and lives of academics will likely never be the same again in this struggle between “the liberal tradition” of, and “the business case” for, education (Bailey, 1999) in the university sector. The authors of this paper endure – and grapple to engage with – this struggle in their work as academic managers. The first author is Chef de Division of the Instituto Tecnólogical in the Faculty of Engineering at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Venezuela’s oldest university. The Instituto’s primary role is to broker services for external clients and thereby to generate income for the Faculty and the institution. The second author is Head of the Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development Centre in the Division of Teaching and Learning Services at Central Queensland University, an Australian regional university. The Centre’s mission is to analyse policies, conduct projects and publish research relating to the institution’s teaching and learning activities, with an explicit focus on disseminating and promoting educational innovations. The authors deploy the concept of social entrepreneurship (Campbell, 1998) to interrogate their different and shared experiences and perspectives as they negotiate the multiple and often conflicting influences and demands in their respective institutions. Social entrepreneurs are concerned to highlight the civic obligations of being entrepreneurial, and thereby to render their actions responsive and responsible to their communities. While the concept is useful in highlighting many of the tensions involved in the authors’ work, it is less effective in suggesting strategies for a wholesale transformation of the forces creating those tensions. University academic managers may indeed strive to be socially responsible, but the entrepreneurial imperatives are difficult to resist. References Bailey, D. (1999). Mainstreaming equal opportunities policies in the Open University: Questions of discourse. Open Learning, 14(1), 9-16. Campbell, S. (1998). Social entrepreneurship: How to develop new social purpose business ventures. Health Care Strategic Management, 17-20. Danaher, P. A., Gale, T. C., & Erben, T. (2000). The teacher educator as (re)negotiated professional: Critical incidents in steering between state and market in Australia. Journal of Education for Teaching, 26(1), 55-71.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions on web site.
Depositing User: Assoc Prof Patrick Danaher
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:54
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:41
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic identities, academic work, Australia, social entrepreneurs, university academic managers, Venezuela
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
13 Education > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/1953

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