Academic Governance in the Contemporary University

Perspectives from Anglophone nations

  • Julie Rowlands

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Academic Governance in Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Julie Rowlands
      Pages 47-69
    3. Julie Rowlands
      Pages 91-110
    4. Julie Rowlands
      Pages 111-128
  3. Case Studies of Academic Governance in Practice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 129-129
    2. Julie Rowlands
      Pages 147-159
  4. Moving Forward

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 201-201
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 241-247

About this book


This book addresses three central questions in contemporary university governance: (1) How and why has academic governance in Anglophone nations changed in recent years and what impact have these changes had on current practices? (2) How do power relations within universities affect decisions about teaching and research and what are the implications for academic voices? (3) How can those involved in university governance and management improve academic governance processes and outcomes and why is it important that they do so? 

The book explores these issues in clear, concise and accessible language that will appeal to higher education researchers and governance practitioners alike. It draws on extensive empirical data from key national systems in the Anglophone world but goes beyond the simply descriptive to analyse and explain. 

The book chronicles the changes in university governance in Anglophone systems in a thorough and systematic way. It brings together in one volume an analysis of the trends and issues facing the governance of the world’s major higher education systems. It is the only recent work that I know of which does this. The shift from “academic governance” to “executive governance” has been one of the most important changes facing higher education nearly everywhere. Rowlands’ documentation and analysis of these changes is deep and rich.
Professor V. Lynn Meek, University of Melbourne

This is a much needed and carefully crafted comparative analysis of the UK, USA and Australia as to the changing role of academic boards or senates in university governance. Rowlands’ skillful use of theory in clear, accessible language goes to the heart of a troubling shift in power away from academics to the executive in the modern university in more regulated/deregulated and marketised contexts.
Professor Jill Blackmore, Deakin University<

In an era that has seen the decline of the professor and the rise of executive senior management, Julie Rowlands builds round a focus on the senate/academic board to examine how universities are run. She shines a light on power, where it resides, how it is exercised and what checks and balances exist. This illuminating book will be essential to courses on higher education management and key reading for those involved in governance, not least representatives of staff subject to New Public Management.
Professor Ian McNay, University of Greenwich


University governance academic governance academic quality academic quality assurance leadership and management organisational change

Authors and affiliations

  • Julie Rowlands
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationDeakin University School of EducationWarrnamboolAustralia

Bibliographic information