Academic Leaders or Corporate Managers

Deans and Heads in Australian Higher Education 1977 to 1997

Institutional Management in Higher Education

This article explores the changing roles and personal characteristics of deans of faculties and heads of academic departments in Australian higher education institutions over a twenty-year period from 1977 to 1997. While deans and heads continued to be academics with superior qualifications and impressive research achievements, the gap between the research records of deans/heads and other academics narrowed between 1977 and 1997 but the gap between deans/heads and professors widened. Deans/heads in 1997 were somewhat less likely than in 1977 to have been professors or associate professors. Work patterns of deans/heads and other academics remained remarkably stable between 1977 and 1997, except that for both works hours per week increased. However, interest by both deans/heads and other academics in administration and committee work declined sharply between 1977 and 1997.

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