By Sue Shepherd
Higher education in the UK has been transformed over the last 50 years, with major implications for the management of universities. In an increasingly challenging and competitive environment it is essential that universities are well managed and it follows that they need to secure the best people for senior management jobs. This article focuses on PVCs, a term used here to include both deputy and pro-vice-chancellors, albeit with an acknowledgment that the two roles are becoming increasingly differentiated. It explores how the PVC role and appointment practice are changing in pre-1992 English universities and discusses the significance of these developments.
Despite the enduring nature and importance of PVCs, relatively little was known about how they are appointed or what they do until the seminal Leadership Foundation-funded study on the evolution of the PVC role between 1960 and 20051. My ESRC-funded doctoral research builds upon and updates elements of this work in relation to the demographic profile, professional background and appointment of PVCs. The article is based on findings from my research, which comprises a census, online survey of next-tier managers and 73 interviews with key stakeholders, including VCs, current and aspiring PVCs and executive search agents. It also draws on an advertisement monitoring exercise for PVC posts covering the eight-year period between January 2006 and December 2013.
Read on - Evolution
|Pro vice-chancellors (PVCs) play a pivotal role in university management but they have rarely been the subject of research in their own right. This article draws on findings from the author’s doctoral study to explore recent changes to PVC roles and appointment practice and considers the implications for PVC careers and management capacity building in the sector.|
Sue Shepherd, PhD student at the University of Kent and higher education management consultant
Find out more about the author’s research at:
www.sue-shepherd.co.uk or @sueshepherdHE
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