Universities and Communities: A Case Study of Change in the Management of a University.

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ABSTRACT The role of universities has been evolving over the last 20 years, from a focus on teaching and research towards an enabling, partnership role with industry, government and communities in their proximate geographical spaces. Universities are increasingly linked to place. This paper reports on a case study of a peri-urban Australian university that has chosen to link its identity with the development of its proximate communities. In doing so, a number of levers of change have been employed, amidst 'push' and 'pull' factors that have challenged the institutionalisation of change. The strategies employed by university managers have included: industry, government and community participation in university governance; a cooperative education programme; and changes to systems for promotion, performance and recognition. There have been a number of obstacles to change, some of which continue to beset the embedding of a focus on regional and community engagement. Although at a formative stage, this change is already showing promising results. The change levers employed provide some interesting insights for university managers, academic staff and students of organisational change, more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-211
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2004


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