The real causes of academic staff problems

According to a report in this morning’s Australian,

AUSTRALIA’S academics are disillusioned by corporate management cultures at universities, threatening to drive many away from the profession and worsen a looming staff shortage as thousands of them approach retirement.

According to the survey on which the story is based (which I presume will appear here) 28% of Australian academics have taken concrete action to change jobs to an industry other than higher education.

What we don’t know is how many succeed. My calculations based on the ABS labour mobility survey suggest that education (which includes schools and vocational education) in 2007-08 had the lowest annual rate of labour loss of any Australian industry, coming fractionally below health on 3.5%.

While I doubt that corporate (sic) management culture has much to do with exit – since for all their complaints academics have less management direction than any industry I can think of – higher education is poorly placed to deal with its personnel issues. Continue reading “The real causes of academic staff problems”