University Governance, Leadership and Management in a Decade of Diversification and Uncertainty



The last decade has seen an acceleration of change in the way British universities have been governed, led and managed. This has substantially been driven by the instability of the external environment, which has encouraged a greater centralisation of decision-making leading to less governance and more management, but it is also a consequence of the growing convergence of the governance and management models of the pre- and post-1992 universities. The article identifies a rise in ‘the executive’ at the expense of the traditional components of university governance, governing bodies, senates, academic boards and faculty boards, and a growing tendency to push academic participation to the periphery. It describes the dangers implicit in such developments and suggests that they may lead to a loss in academic vitality and distinctiveness.