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The social characteristics and demographics of Australian Vice-Chancellors, 1960-2000
journal contributionposted on 2007-08-24, 00:00 authored by B O'Meara, Stan Petzall
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify the key demographics and social characteristics of Vice-Chancellors of Australian universities so that an accurate profile of Vice-Chancellors can be established. At present, there is no contemporary profile of incumbents despite the high level of responsibility associated with these roles. Design/methodology/approach - A qualitative approach was used in the research that required the collation and analysis of public domain material regarding vice-chancellors. Multiple sources were used in order to ensure depth, breadth and accuracy of data collected. A questionnaire that was used as part of the PhD research allowed new data to be accessed and existing data verified. Finally, interviews with various incumbents allowed pertinent information to be discussed where applicable. Findings - The research outlines the changes in the roles of Vice-Chancellors that have occurred since 1960. The changes in the role reflect changes in government policy and social trends. Further, the research demonstrates that incumbents are now chief executive officers and require a broader range of business competencies and academic experience compared to their predecessors in order to meet contemporary challenges. These changes are reflected in the demographics and social characteristics of incumbents. Originality/value - This paper addresses this gap in knowledge and provides information about the people who are appointed vice-chancellors. The research gives an insight into all incumbents between 1960 and 2000 and where possible, examples of post-2000 trends have also been given. The creation of this profile will allow further and more in-depth research to be undertaken. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.