Deakin University

File(s) under permanent embargo

The north and the south of it: academic governance in the US, England and Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by Julie Rowlands, Mai Tyet Ngo
This article draws on Raewyn Connell’s Southern theory and other
related scholarship to undertake an analysis of scholarly literature
relating to academic governance, highlighting the dominance of
theoretical models by researchers from the global North. The
article also draws on publicly available data from the United
States (US), England and Australia on academic board
composition, function and mode of establishment to show that
while models of academic governance adopted within
Anglophone nations originally derived from medieval Europe and
then from England, the US has gone on to develop its own
unique models of academic governance. In contrast, academic
governance models in place in Australia continue to closely mirror
those from English universities, despite some unique
characteristics of Australian universities. The authors argue that
Australia’s position within what Connell describes as the periphery
has contributed to its failure to develop academic governance
processes and practices that respond to the particular needs of
Australian universities. At the same time, this positioning has
engendered some critical scholarship on both academic and
university governance that has contributed to the field more
broadly and has shown that in general terms, current models of
academic governance appear to be problematic. The article
concludes by asserting that there is a need to develop new
context-specific models of academic governance that account for
national and local differences and that resist the temptation to
implement approaches from other locations without taking
adequate account of specific institutional requirements. This has
practical implications for universities in the global South and,
specifically, for Australian universities as well as those in the North.



Higher education research and development






1501 - 1514


Taylor & Francis


Abingdon, Eng.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, HERDSA