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ItemThe idea of the universitySharrock, Geoff (Centre for Independent Studies Limited, 2004)In their book on how Melbourne University has ‘lost its way’, John Cain and John Hewitt provide a rich snapshot of an institution in transition. They document a host of dissonances afflicting Australian universities generally, and show how confusing recent changes have been for many who work there. This is the book’s main strength. Its weaknesses are that it is prone to errors of fact and interpretation; and as a critique of the present situation, it rounds up the usual concepts and targets the usual suspects. In consequence, it offers no convincing solutions.
ItemPerformance management and cultural difference in the Australian universitySharrock, Geoff (SAGE Publications, 1999)A key recommendation of the Higher education management review (the Hoare Report, 1995: 86) was that every Australian university should ‘phase in a comprehensive performance management system for both academic and general staff’. This recommendation received very mixed reactions, due in part to the widespread failure of earlier attempts to introduce schemes with managerialist overtones in universities. A Monash University study (Paget et al., 1992: 3) found widespread ambivalence about the role of appraisal in tertiary institutions. Managers wanted a summative (judgemental) approach, while staff wanted a formative (developmental) approach.
ItemAfter Copernicus: beyond the crisis in Australian universitiesSharrock, Geoff (National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), 2007)There’s a received view of the troubles of academia which lays the blame on a new corporate culture of soulless managerialism. Geoff Sharrock isn’t convinced. He argues that critical scholars are often ill-placed to be able to understand their own predicament. And many of the problems of the sector lie in its incapacity to adjust to the changed world of knowledge-creation in which we live.
ItemRethinking the Australian university: a critique of Off CourseSharrock, Geoff (Taylor & Francis Australia, 2004)This paper critically examines a recent book about the University of Melbourne. It uses this as a case study to explore traditional conceptions of the university in the Western tradition, and aspects of the Australian debate about government policies and institutional strategies.