Australian universities were designed to have a crucial role in a free and democratic society, but today they are no longer able to fulfil their proper function. The chapters in this book elaborate on what universities are for and how they became subverted, with some revealing case histories.
Chapter 1 in pdf
This chapter discusses what universities are, how they came to be, and what their relationship is to the state. There is a range of "academic acceptability" that is often transgressed by those in political control, and that applies in Australia today.
Chapter 2 in pdf
The University of Tasmania was under-resourced and over-controlled until the 1950s, when a royal commission ordered changes. The man seen to be responsible for the commission was Professor Sydney Orr, who was summarily dismissed shortly after the commission reported. The issues raised resonate with the problems Australian universities currently face.
Chapter 3 in pdf
This is a history of universities and colleges in Australia, with a focus on changes post-1988. Essentially, universities have been converted into colleges, not vice versa. Case studies of the management styles used by the administrations of Sydney, La Trobe, QUT,and Queensland illustrate the thesis.
Chapter 4 in pdf
The Orr Case made it obvious that tenure and dismissal rules needed tightening. Tasmanian academics finally got agreement on dismissal procedures compatible with academic tenure that were a model for universities across Australia.
Chapter 5 in pdf
Rindos, an internationally respected scholar, blew the whistle on his head of department to find the barrier was suddenly raised when he sought tenure. The parallels to the Orr case, nearly 40 years earlier, are noteworthy.
Chapter 6 in pdf
In 1993, the Master of Ormond College, cleared by the courts of charges relating to alleged incidents of sexual harassment, was nevertheless forced to resign. Such an outcome not only suited the College community, for whom the implied guilt of the Master represented a localised narrative that deflected attention away from more fundamental problems and inequities, it also reflected the seductiveness of a consumerist logic which now characterises much of campus-driven feminist discourse, and Australian university culture more generally.
Chapter 7 in pdf
Sexuality is a fundamental part of human existence. So how do you deal with it in higher education, where women students now outnumber men, but most academic staff are male? Hint: hang on to that glass of wine - you may need it ...
Chapter 8 in pdf
Australian universities had become too complacent, if not corrupt, by the late 1970s. Nowhere was this more apparent than at the University of Newcastle, where a series of fatal misjudgements by the administration occurred. Dawkins was handed the ideal excuse for his assault on universities.
Chapter 9 (revised version, June 2009) in pdf
Chapter 9 (original version) in html
Chapter 9 (original version) in pdf
What happens to the idea of intellectual property, and an academic culture, in a corporatised research context? The case of Inez Carrin at Queensland University of Technology provides one answer.
Chapter 10 in pdf
The story of economic rationalism and political interference in New Zealand universities is told by a distinguished historian. Political deceit and a failure to understand the nature of university education undermined teaching and morale at Massey University and brought the author to early retirement. This chapter, his valedictory lecture, brought him a standing ovation.
Chapter 11 in pdf
Treating knowledge as a private good has undermined the quality of teaching and learning, distorted research priorities and corrupted leadership. Academics have allowed themselves to be duped by politicians. Yet academic universities can have a role in a globalised economy without becoming competitive knowledge shops.
Chapter 12 in pdf
An additional but related analysis (in pdf):
among the documents on education
Go to Brian Martin's website
Last updated 22 June 2009