9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN19 Sociology of Professions

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 Rethinking Social Inequalities and Professions: Gender, Ethnicity and Class Building I, Auditório 2

Professionalisation of academic (self)administration and the persistency of doing gender

These new recruits take administrative jobs shortly after they are awarded tenure - usually sometime between the fifth and seventh year of employment wit the university - stay in these administrative positions and move up the administrative ladder by moving form one university to the another.- (Leicht/ Fennell 2008: 96)

The "new recruits" Leicht and Fennell are talking about for the US case, who determine the picture of higher education in the 21st century, are mainly male academics or professionals. Lower and middle management positions vice versa, dedicated to tasks like quality control, course guidance service, fostering academic entrepreneurship, are open for women and ethnic minorities, thus satisfying the challenges of gender mainstreaming in higher education.
Relating these observations to the broader context of the Treaty of Lisboa and the Bologna reforms that both strive towards opening the university to societal (and economic) needs, it seems crucial to study the future of university decision making, to get a clue about which groups will determine the future of higher education.
In a research project the author is exploring to what extent the observations for US are true for European higher education as well. The research question being: To what extent do women (and representatives of ethnic minorities) participate in higher education administration and decision making, what career opportunities do they face and are they satisfied with this situation?
With this paper first results of the pilot study in Germany will be presented. On the long run the author plans to install a European monitoring instrument to observe and, from a gender mainstreaming perspective, assess recent changes in the administration of higher education today.

Reference: Leicht, Kevin T./ Fennell, Mary L. (2008) Who staffs the US leaning tower? Organisational change and diversity. In: Equal Opportunities International. Equality, diversity and inclusion. Special Issue "Reinventing gender and the professions: new governance, equality and diversity" (Guest editors: Ellen Kuhlmann and IvY Lynn Bourgeault). Vol. 27, Nr. 1: 88-106.