Education Changing Professional and Academic Identities
by
Celia Whitchurch, Christian Schneijderberg
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 April 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0181

Introduction

There is a growing literature on academic and professional identities in higher education in the context of more market-oriented environments, an increasing range of types of institution and modes of delivery, raised expectations by students of the experience they receive, and a rapidly diversifying workforce. As this is a developing field, this chapter is selective in that it is biased toward more recent contributions to the literature, with reference to earlier key texts. Two principal approaches can be identified in the literature—the changing workforce map, documenting international employment patterns and trends against the background of contemporary market contexts; and developing understandings about individual academic and professional identities, which have become less homogeneous and increasingly fluid. The two approaches provide complementary perspectives on issues such as conditions of service and careers, as well as the impact on academic autonomy, rewards and incentives, and motivation and morale. Furthermore, whereas approaches to academic and professional identities in higher education have in the past tended to reflect a perceived binary division between those on academic and those on professional contracts, this is beginning to change. Increasingly, there is recognition of professional and academic staff who work between academic and professional domains on projects that require joint input from staff with a range of expertise. Examples include those working in the fields of teaching and learning, the student experience, and knowledge exchange. Specific roles, and who fills them, also depends on the traditions and conventions of national systems, types of institution, and local organizational structures.

The Changing Workforce Map

Following an early survey on the academic profession funded by the Carnegie Foundation, which resulted in the monograph by Boyer, et al. 1994, there have been multiple texts drawing on national and international data sets associated with the Changing Academic Profession (CAP) project. These have drawn attention to trends in patterns of academic work and have formed the basis for ongoing comparisons. Some texts, such as Cummings and Finkelstein 2012 and Enders and de Weert 2009, draw on national studies. Others, including Teichler, et al. 2013 and Teichler and Cummings 2015, draw directly on the CAP studies, with Finkelstein, et al. 2016; Marginson 2000; and Musselin 2010 providing overarching conceptual frames for the movements identified.

  • Boyer, E. L., P. G. Altbach, and M. J. Whitelaw. 1994. The academic profession: An international perspective. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

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    This volume draws on the Carnegie Foundation international study of 1991–1993 and notes that key aspects of academic identity include commitment to a discipline and responsibility for applying new knowledge in the service of society, belonging to international scholarly networks, and freedom of choice of topics for research.

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    • Cummings, W., and M. Finkelstein. 2012. Scholars in the changing American academy: New contexts, new rules and new roles. The Changing Academy 4. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

      DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-2730-4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Drawing on the US component of the international Changing Academic Profession (CAP) survey (2007–2008), this volume highlights the diversification of what was a relatively homogeneous profession. The authors also point to an increase in non-tenured appointments, with those in tenure track positions more than twice as likely to be involved in research and publication.

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      • Enders, J., and E. de Weert, eds. 2009. The changing face of academic life: Analytical and comparative perspectives. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

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        In the context of moves toward mass higher education systems in more market-oriented, global environments, this volume offers international perspectives on structural influences on the academic profession, including new models of governance and new forms of knowledge. It analyses, inter alia, the potential effects on academic careers, employment relationships, and labor markets in Europe and the United States.

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        • Finkelstein, M. J., V. M. Conley, and J. H. Schuster. 2016. The faculty factor. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.

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          This monograph considers the impact of the market economy, including financial constraints, the casualization of the workforce, and globalization, on the lives and careers of academic faculty in the United States. It goes on to develop a “third paradigm,” comprising ten key elements, including the diversification of the workforce and the influence of technology on the delivery of contemporary higher education.

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          • Marginson, S. 2000. Rethinking academic work in the global era. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 22.1: 23–35.

            DOI: 10.1080/713678133Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            This early but seminal paper argues that the academic profession in Australia is undergoing a profound transformation with four dimensions: globalization and institutional responses to associated pressures and opportunities, the decline of government commitment to and funding of higher education, the crisis of collegial values in an era of corporate and professional principles, and the deconstruction of the academic profession itself.

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            • Musselin, C. 2010. The markets for academics. New York: Routledge.

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              Translated from Le Marché des Universitaires (Presses de Sciences Po, 2005). Focusing on competition among academics for positions, financial resources, and reputation, the book compares changes in education and training, tenure, and career paths, including new challenges in research, teaching, and the transfer of knowledge, from staff at junior to the most senior levels in France, Germany, and the United States.

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              • Teichler, U., A. Arimoto, and W. Cummings. 2013. The changing academic profession: Major findings of a comparative survey. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

                DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-6155-1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                This text focuses on key influences on academic identities, including internationalization, increasing regulation, a strengthening of management functions, and increased value being placed by institutions and governments on the impact of research and knowledge exchange activity. Nevertheless, it is suggested that job satisfaction remains high overall as a result of academics being able to maintain significant discretion over their work.

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                • Teichler, U., and W. Cummings, eds. 2015. Forming, recruiting and managing the academic profession. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

                  DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-16080-1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  This edited text extends the Changing Academic Profession (CAP) study to seven additional European countries to consider changes to academic career trajectories, motivation and reward structures, and international mobility, and the relationship of these factors to local institutional contexts.

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                  Academic Identities

                  Classic texts such as Boyer 1990, Clark 1989, Henkel 2000, and Becher and Trowler 2001 reflect a relatively stable profession subject to incremental change in the context of influencing factors such as disciplinary and practitioner affiliations. While Becher and Trowler examine the relationship between disciplinary knowledge and social locales, Henkel reviews ways in which academic identity develops over time in relation to an individual’s position vis-a-vis their subject, institution, and colleagues, going on to review an increasing diversity of identities. In turn, Gordon and Whitchurch 2010 and Fanghanel 2012 review more explicitly the impact of environmental complexity and step change, amid a diversification of identities as business and practitioner subjects are absorbed into higher education. These texts, therefore, reflect a shift over time from essentialist views of academic identity that focus on core elements, such as those provided by disciplinary communities, to representations of identity as a reflective, iterative, and ongoing process between the individual and the environments or structures in which they find themselves. This allows for self-determination on the part of the individual and for flexibility in the way identity is shaped. Identities are therefore seen as being multiple, overlapping, and continuously under construction; see Delanty 2008 and Taylor 2008, for example.

                  • Becher, T., and P. Trowler. 2001. Academic tribes and territories: Intellectual enquiry and the culture of disciplines. Buckingham, UK: Open Univ. Press.

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                    This volume updates Becher’s classic account of 1989, which defined academic identities in terms of knowledge groupings (“territories”) and disciplinary cultures (“tribes”). Although the second edition of the book acknowledges the difficulty of categorizations in contemporary environments, it does not fully take account of the increasing diversity of academic and professional identities.

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                    • Boyer, E. L. 1990. Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities for the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

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                      Boyer distinguishes between four different types of scholarship: discovery (commitment to knowledge for its own sake), integration (making connections between disciplines), application (the application of knowledge to solving problems), and teaching (transforming and extending knowledge as well as transmitting it). He argues for a more inclusive view of scholarship, in which the links between the four types are acknowledged and valued.

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                      • Clark, B. R. 1989. The academic life: Small worlds, different worlds. Educational Researcher 18.5: 4–8.

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                        Clark provides an early indication of the diversification that is set to take place in the academic profession over the following twenty-five years, as a departure from the concept of a homogeneous professoriate with common academic values. He also detects a growing distinction between the identities of academic faculty in research- and teaching-oriented institutions.

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                        • Delanty, G. 2008. Academic identities and institutional change. In Changing identities in higher education: Voicing perspectives. Edited by R. Barnett and R. di Napoli, 124–133. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

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                          Identity is seen as a project whereby social actors position themselves in relation to others, performing their identities in different ways that involve action. Identities are therefore situated in a context and involve discursive construction of narratives and other forms of communication. This highlights the multiple nature of identities, and the difficulty of articulating a collective identity, particularly for academics.

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                          • Fanghanel, J. 2012. Being an academic. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

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                            Fanghanel notes the influence of external events, fora, and practices, as well as ethical positionings, and the emergence of portfolio careers that may include spending time outside higher education. The text is structured around “moments of practice”—the managed academic, the early career academic, students and learning, and the academic as disciplinary specialist, as researcher, and in a global context.

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                            • Gordon, G., and C. Whitchurch, eds. 2010. Academic and professional identities in higher education: The challenges of a diversifying workforce. New York: Routledge.

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                              Authors from Australia, Europe, Japan, South Africa, and the United States review the implications of new forms of academic and professional identity, particularly in relation to a broadening disciplinary base and increasing permeability between higher education and external environments. The pace of change in different systems is examined, alongside challenges faced and how these are being addressed.

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                              • Henkel, M. 2000. Academic identities and policy change in higher education. London: Jessica Kingsley.

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                                This key study explores the concept of academic identity, in particular the relationship of the individual to his or her discipline and institution, devising preliminary categories such as “idealists” and “pragmatists” to describe variability in response to change. Although it describes the system as being in transition, it is nevertheless a conservative view, drawing out continuities with past traditions and values.

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                                • Taylor, P. 2008. Being an academic today. In Changing identities in higher education: Voicing perspectives. Edited by R. Barnett and R. di Napoli, 28–39. Abingdon: Routledge.

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                                  This chapter illustrates how contemporary academic identities represent a “creative commons” taken on through “shared practices” that involve a range of subject positions, and suggests that learning may provide a unifying focus, being central to research, teaching, and service activity.

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                                  The Diversification of Academic Roles

                                  Drilling down into the shifts noted above in relation to both the workforce map and academic identities, it is possible to detect a greater diversification of roles, for instance to focus on teaching or research, as well as an expansion to include, for instance, knowledge exchange activity and community and business partnership. This also includes a convergence with roles conducted by professional staff, for instance in relation to the student experience and online learning. Early identification of these trends is to be found in Slaughter and Rhoades 2004, often triggered by the interests of individuals in more broadly based agendas, as shown by Duberley, et al. 2007; Fumasoli, et al. 2015; Henkel 2007; Henkel 2009; Krause 2009; Locke, et al. 2016; and Whitchurch 2012.

                                  • Duberley, J., L. Cohen, and E. Leeson. 2007. Entrepreneurial academics: Developing scientific careers in changing university settings. Higher Education Quarterly 61.4: 479–497.

                                    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2273.2007.00368.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    This paper explores the concept of academic entrepreneurialism and identifies two groups of mainstream scientists, one of which moves in the direction of entrepreneurship and spin out, usually with significant “career capital”; and a group of more junior staff who capitalize on their scientific background by becoming technology transfer professionals.

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                                    • Fumasoli, T., G. Goastellec, and B. Kehm, eds. 2015. Academic work and careers in Europe: Trends, challenges, perspectives. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

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                                      Drawing on interviews in eight European countries, this book explores recent changes to academic work and an increasing diversity in relation to both conditions of service and career trajectories. It also notes the emergence of groups of academic and professional staff who work between domains in support of contemporary agendas.

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                                      • Henkel, M. 2007. Shifting boundaries and the academic profession. In Key challenges to the academic profession. Edited by M. Kogan and U. Teichler, 191–204. Kassel, Germany: International Centre for Higher Education Research Kassel.

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                                        Henkel pursues the idea that academics are no longer defined solely by their disciplinary and institutional affiliations, in that they work in structures that are complex and fluid, and across boundaries that are blurring, for instance between the state and the market, between the university and other forms of knowledge provider, and between academic and professional staff. They therefore engage with political, economic, and social values as well as academic ones.

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                                        • Henkel, M. 2009. Policy change and the challenge to academic identities. In The changing face of academic life: Analytical and comparative perspectives. Edited by J. Enders and E. de Weert, 78–95. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

                                          DOI: 10.1057/9780230242166_5Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          Discussing the interplay between the discipline, the institution, and the individual, this chapter notes how academic environments are becoming less exclusive, and how the influence of epistemic communities has been extended by, for instance, professional practice settings and lifestyles.

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                                          • Krause, K. -L. 2009. Interpreting changing academic roles in higher education. In The Routledge International handbook of higher education. Edited by M. Tight, K. H. Mok, J. Huisman, and C. Morphew, 409–425. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

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                                            Drawing on empirical studies in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States, this chapter examines the balance of research, teaching, and public service, including scholarship, knowledge exchange, and community engagement undertaken by academic staff.

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                                            • Locke, W., C. Whitchurch, H. Smith, and A. Mazenod. 2016. Shifting landscapes: Meeting the staff development needs of the changing academic workforce. York, UK: Higher Education Academy.

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                                              This report notes ways in which the parameters of academic work are changing, with an increasing specialization of roles and a growing separation between teaching and research activity. At the same time, the student experience, pedagogical innovation, knowledge exchange, and policy development are emerging as fields of interest in their own right, as younger staff become more agentic in their approach to roles and careers.

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                                              • Slaughter, S., and G. Rhoades. 2004. Academic capitalism and the new economy: Markets, state, and higher education. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.

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                                                The concept of academic capitalism is explored in a US context, showing how institutions are increasingly linked to their markets, so that knowledge and educational materials are seen as private goods and students as clients or customers. New roles emerge for academic and professional staff to support this closer integration of higher education with local and national economies.

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                                                • Whitchurch, C. 2012. Expanding the parameters of academia. Higher Education 64.1: 99–117.

                                                  DOI: 10.1007/s10734-011-9483-2Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  This paper considers ways in which academic staff are undertaking more project-oriented roles in relation to activities such as widening participation, learning support, and community partnership. The paper points to evidence that some staff choose to move in this direction for ideological and practical reasons, and consideration is given to factors that influence such choices, as well as to variables that affect ways in which these roles and identities develop.

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                                                  The Changing Conditions of Academic Work

                                                  The impact of more management-oriented agendas in the United States and United Kingdom became a major theme in works such as Coaldrake 2000; Deem, et al. 2007; Marginson 2000 (cited under the Changing Workforce Map), Rhoades 1998, and Rhoades 2007. This includes concern, demonstrated in Finkelstein 2010 and Kezar 2012, about increases in part-time and hourly paid staff, as well as fears that continued casualization will have a deleterious effect on both staff and students. Bexley, et al. 2011 and others note the need for constant attention to motivation and morale in less certain environments, while Brown and Gold 2007 and others demonstrate ways in which academic staff are managing changing conditions.

                                                  • Bexley, W., R. James, and S. Arkoudis. 2011. The Australian academic profession in transition: Addressing the challenge of reconceptualising academic work and regenerating the academic workforce. Melbourne: Centre for the Study of Higher Education.

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                                                    This study suggests that although the intrinsic satisfaction that academics continue to gain from their scholarly activities to some extent mitigates increasing workloads and less secure terms of service, maintaining the quality of teaching and research in future will require continued attention to work conditions.

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                                                    • Brown, D., and M. Gold. 2007. Academics on non-standard contracts in UK universities: Portfolio work, choice and consumption. Higher Education Quarterly 61.4: 439–460.

                                                      DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2273.2007.00366.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      This paper suggests that although academic staff on nonstandard contracts have some anxieties about lack of security, at least half those interviewed chose to be a “portfolio worker” with the opportunity to work part-time, suggesting some adaptation to nonlinear forms of career.

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                                                      • Coaldrake, P. 2000. Rethinking academic and university work. Higher Education Management and Policy 12.3: 7–30.

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                                                        This paper reviews increasing challenges posed by private and virtual providers, making an early reference to the “unbundling” of academic labor whereby separate groups of academics and industry professionals are contracted to develop and teach curricula in fields such as business, information technology, law, and engineering.

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                                                        • Deem, R., S. Hillyard, and M. Reed. 2007. Knowledge, higher education, and the new managerialism: The changing management of UK universities. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                          DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199265909.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          Changes in the management of academic work in British universities are considered, including the impact of “new managerialism” imposed by government, the nature of “knowledge work,” the emergence of “manager academics,” and implications for institutional cultures and values.

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                                                          • Finkelstein, M. 2010. Diversification in the academic workforce: The case of the US and implications for Europe. European Review 18.1: 141–156.

                                                            DOI: 10.1017/S1062798709990366Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            This paper reviews what the author sees as a “shrinking core” of tenured academics undertaking teaching, research, and knowledge exchange roles alongside increased workload and performance expectations. This reflects demographic change, expectations of work-life balance, and changes in types of appointments in a global academic market.

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                                                            • Kezar, A. 2012. Embracing non-tenure track faculty: Changing campuses for the new faculty majority. New York: Routledge.

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                                                              Using case material from US institutions, this text tracks ways in which changes are occurring to meet the needs of contingent and non-tenure-track faculty, such as multiyear contracts and professional development initiatives, and the implementation challenges that these create.

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                                                              • Rhoades, G. 1998. Managed professionals: Unionized faculty and restructuring academic labor. Albany: State Univ. of New York Press.

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                                                                This major text reviews the impact of more managerially oriented approaches, including new salary structures, the use of part-time staff, and technology-assisted teaching, all of which are seen as deskilling influences in a restructuring process that aims to increase productivity and alter the balance between academic autonomy and managerial control.

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                                                                • Rhoades, G. 2007. Technology-enhanced courses and a Mode III organization of instructional work. Tertiary Education and Management 13.1: 1–17.

                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/13583880601145496Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  This paper uses technology-assisted teaching, and the incorporation of professional staff to assist with this, as an example of ways in which academic staff are becoming de-professionalized and fragmented, particularly where this is introduced for commercial reasons.

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                                                                  Academic Careers

                                                                  Cummings and Finkelstein 2012 (cited under the Changing Workforce Map) outlined key changes that have taken place in relation to academic careers in the United States, signaling a breakdown of the Humboldtian model of an essential link between research and teaching. As these changes translate into practice, works such as Archer 2008a and Archer 2008b; Dowd and Kaplan 2005; McAlpine and Akerlind 2010; Jones, et al. 2012; and Yudkevich, et al. 2015 show the effect of these changes on younger staff trying to gain a foothold on the career ladder. In turn, Coates and Goedegebuure 2010 raise issues arising from portfolio careers and movement in and out of the higher education sector, and Strike and Taylor 2009 consider the mismatch that can arise between human resource policies and individual career aspirations.

                                                                  • Archer, L. 2008a. The neoliberal subjects? Younger academics’ constructions of professional identity. Journal of Educational Policy 23.3: 265–285.

                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/02680930701754047Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    This paper focuses on newer generations of academics under thirty-five years old who have only experienced managerial cultures in higher education. It is suggested that becoming an academic is not a straightforward or linear process, and involves practices of resistance.

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                                                                    • Archer, L. 2008b. Younger academics’ constructions of “authenticity,” “success” and professional identity. Studies in Higher Education 33.4: 385–403.

                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/03075070802211729Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      This paper develops the argument in Archer 2008a that issues of inauthenticity, marginalization, and exclusion are likely to be central to the formation of academic identities. These are likely to be constrained by race/ethnicity, social class, gender, and age, as well as pressures to perform according to established criteria, especially for those who are contract researchers.

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                                                                      • Coates, H., and L. Goedegebuure. 2010. The real academic revolution. Melbourne: L. H. Martin Institute.

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                                                                        With a focus on Australia, this volume reviews the workforce implications of increasing movement between higher education and other sectors, at a time of both expansion and diversification. It is argued that roles and careers will need to be reconceptualized, with greater attention paid to integrating part-time and sessional staff within academic teams.

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                                                                        • Dowd, K. O., and D. M. Kaplan. 2005. The career life of academics: Boundaried or boundaryless? Human Relations 58.6: 699–721.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1177/0018726705057156Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          This article describes a loosening of career paths, including probationers whose focus is their institution; mavericks who manage their own careers by developing connections via disciplinary connections; conservationists who expect to have a career in academia, but see this as the responsibility of their employer; and connectors who manage their careers by maximizing their networks.

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                                                                          • Jones, G., J. Weinrib, A. Metcalfe, D. Fisher, K. Rubenson, and I. Snee. 2012. Perceptions of early career faculty and the academic workplace in Canada. Higher Education Quarterly 66.2: 189–206.

                                                                            DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2273.2012.00515.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            This paper uses data from the Changing Academic Profession (CAP) survey in Canada to demonstrate that, contrary to what is suggested in the literature, there are generally high levels of morale across both junior and senior faculty, although a gap is opening up between tenured and non-tenured staff to create a more diversified workforce.

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                                                                            • McAlpine, L., and G. Akerlind, eds. 2010. Becoming an academic: International perspectives. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

                                                                              DOI: 10.1007/978-0-230-36509-4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              This book draws on research in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States into the experiences of doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, and new members of academic staff. It raises the possibility of portfolio careers, with a range of contracts, and incumbents who value opportunities for personal growth and social contributions as much as status or permanency, reviewing how their development needs might best be met.

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                                                                              • Strike, T., and J. Taylor. 2009. The career perceptions of academic staff and human resource discourses in English higher education. Higher Education Quarterly 63.2: 177–195.

                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2273.2008.00404.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                Based on twenty-one interviews in six UK universities, this paper highlights a dissonance between institutional human resource policies, focusing on structural issues such as pay bargaining, and the concerns of academic staff about their careers, including workloads, their positioning in disciplinary and institutional career frameworks, and variables such as age, race, and gender.

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                                                                                • Yudkevich, M., P. G. Altbach, and L. E. Rumbley, eds. 2015. Young faculty in the twenty-first century: International perspectives. Albany: State Univ. of New York Press.

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                                                                                  This edited volume points to deteriorating career structures for younger staff, using case studies in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Norway, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, and the United States. It reviews the impact of part-time and full-time contracts, salaries, and institutional conditions, in both public and private institutions, and argues for more certain frameworks that will sustain the profession for the future.

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                                                                                  Academics as Managers

                                                                                  While early work, such as Amaral, et al. 2003, tended to focus on the perceived negative impacts of more managerially oriented institutions, recent texts offer a more positive approach to changes that have occurred. The devolution of management responsibilities to schools and faculties, particularly in large and complex institutions, has seen greater emphasis on the role of middle managers in taking responsibility for implementation of policy. The implications of this have been noted in works such as Floyd 2015 and Kallenberg 2007. In turn, works such as Jones, et al. 2012; Kolsaker 2008; Meek, et al. 2010; and Whitchurch and Gordon 2017 illustrate approaches to management that emphasize partnership and the interpretation of formal policies in ways that play to the strengths of individuals.

                                                                                  • Amaral, A., V. L. Meek, and I. M. Larsen, eds. 2003. The higher education managerial revolution? Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic.

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                                                                                    Ways in which institutions address changes in management thinking and practice are examined across eleven countries. Although it is concluded that institutions are adapting in different ways according to their historical, economic, social, and cultural backgrounds, common tensions are identified between academic staff and those with management responsibilities, whether academic or professional.

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                                                                                    • Floyd, A. 2015. Supporting academic middle managers in higher education: Do we care? Higher Education Policy 29:167–183.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.1057/hep.2015.11Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      This paper, drawing on research projects in two UK universities, reviewed the support received by middle managers and concluded that despite the expansion of formal training programs, individually tailored interventions, rather than generic “all must attend” courses, were perceived as more useful and relevant.

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                                                                                      • Jones, S., G. Lefoe, M. Harvey, and K. Ryland. 2012. Distributed leadership: A collaborative framework for academics, executives and professionals in higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 34.1: 67–78.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/1360080X.2012.642334Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        Using material from four Australian universities, this paper proposes a cross-functional, distributed leadership model as being the most appropriate in academic environments.

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                                                                                        • Kallenberg, A. J. 2007. Strategic innovation in higher education: The roles of academic middle managers. Tertiary Education and Management 13.1: 19–33.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.1080/13583880601145504Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          This paper analyses the roles of middle managers in higher education, together with organizational and personal variables affecting these roles, noting that they occupy a critical position within an institution’s social network as well as at the interface between the university and its external environment.

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                                                                                          • Kolsaker, A. 2008. Academic professionalism in the managerialist era: A study of English universities. Studies in Higher Education 33.5: 513–525.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/03075070802372885Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            This paper shows how academic staff are accommodating to more managerial approaches by preserving autonomous space for themselves, and advocates a constructive approach to academic/professional relationships, suggesting that the traditional binary between the two is outdated.

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                                                                                            • Meek, V. L., L. Goedegebuure, R. Santiago, and T. Carvalho, eds. 2010. The changing dynamics of higher education middle management. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

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                                                                                              Using data from ten countries, this volume focuses on the roles of “squeezed” middle managers, such as deans and heads of school and department, who are responsible for implementing institutional policy in relation to issues such as rewards, incentives, and progression routes. They therefore have a pivotal role to play between senior management teams and “rank-and-file” staff.

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                                                                                              • Whitchurch, C., and G. Gordon. 2017. Reconstructing relationships in higher education: Challenging agendas. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                Drawing on two international research studies, this monograph looks behind formal organizational structures to consider the significance of working relationships at local level, which can overlay formal reporting lines. In particular, it explores ways in which local managers support individuals and promote career development, for instance by providing opportunities, encouraging peer group learning, and offering just-in-time advice and encouragement.

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                                                                                                Professional Identities

                                                                                                An initial literature survey on professional staff was conducted by Whitchurch 2006, and this was updated by Schneijderberg and Merkator 2012. These texts provide a comprehensive starting point, together with reviews of changing statistical profiles in Gornitzka and Larsen 2004; Hogan 2011; Krücken, et al. 2013; and discussions of the nomenclature used to describe staff not employed on academic contracts in Conway 2000; Sebalj, et al. 2012; and Whitchurch 2006.

                                                                                                • Conway, M. 2000. Defining administrators and new professionals. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 4.1: 14–15.

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                                                                                                  This paper points to the lack of precise descriptors for professional staff, partly as a result of mixed understandings around the terms “administrator” and “manager,” and calls for a greater clarity in the terminology used.

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                                                                                                  • Gornitzka, A., and I. M. Larsen. 2004. Towards professionalisation? Restructuring of administrative work force in universities. Higher Education 47:455–471.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1023/B:HIGH.0000020870.06667.f1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    The authors review two groups of nonacademic staff in Norway: clerical staff and administrative staff, the latter including consultants, middle, and senior managers. A process of professionalization has stimulated a more collective identity for the latter, who work increasingly in partnership with academic colleagues.

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                                                                                                    • Hogan, J. 2011. Is higher education spending more on administration and if so, why? Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 15.1: 7–13.

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                                                                                                      This article offers a cost-benefit analysis of an increase in professional staff over the period 1994 to 2008 to deal with the complex institutional operations required to develop new income streams and maximize reputation. It considers the implications of a transfer of work from academic to professional staff, including regulatory requirements, diversity and equality obligations, and policy and planning.

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                                                                                                      • Krücken, G., A. Blümel, and K. Klocke. 2013. The managerial turn in higher education? On the interplay of organizational and occupational change in German academia. Minerva 51.4: 417–442.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1007/s11024-013-9240-zSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        Based on the analysis of data from 1992 to 2007, this paper provides details of academic and nonacademic staff in German higher education. Overall, staff numbers have increased, due to a growth of academic staff. At the same time, a shift from lower to higher grades of administrative (or “professional”) staff is evident.

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                                                                                                        • Schneijderberg, C., and N. Merkator. 2012. Higher education professionals—A literature review. In The academic profession in Europe: New tasks and new challenges. Edited by B. Kehm and U. Teichler, 53–92. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

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                                                                                                          This extensive literature review illustrates the development of research on professional staff. A distinction is made between administrative roles and higher education professionals (HEPROs) whose work includes academic elements. Growing numbers of academic, professional, and administrative staff are identified, with overlaps at the interface between these, challenging relationships between academic and professional staff.

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                                                                                                          • Sebalj, D., A. Holbrook, and S. Bourke. 2012. The rise of “professional staff” and demise of the “non-academic”: A study of university staffing nomenclature preferences. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 34.5: 463–472.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/1360080X.2012.715994Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            This continues the discussion in Australia and the United Kingdom about the terminology associated with professional administration and management, in this case in relation to research support staff, and develops a “nomenclature ladder” that might be applied across the sector.

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                                                                                                            • Whitchurch, C. 2006. Professional managers in UK higher education: Preparing for complex futures (interim report). London: Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.

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                                                                                                              This was the first literature review undertaken of professional staff in higher education and highlights difficulties around nomenclature, including understandings of “administration” and “management”; and terminology such as “non-academic,” “general,” “support” and “academic related” staff. Available online.

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                                                                                                              The Practitioner View

                                                                                                              Early work on professional identities was written predominantly, though not exclusively, by practitioners, often via the journals of professional associations such as the US Association for Institutional Researchers (AIR), the European Association of Institutional Research (EAIR), the UK Association of University Administrators (AUA), and the Australian Association of Tertiary Education Management (ATEM). They focused mainly on a process of professionalization via the development of skills and good practice, a movement from “administration” or “service” toward “management,” and the relationship between academic and professional staff. All the papers listed below fall into this category.

                                                                                                              • Allen, D., and E. Newcomb. 1999. University management in the 21st century. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 3.2: 38–43.

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                                                                                                                This early contribution focuses on the professionalization process via the establishment of a body of knowledge, continual professional development, and a code of practice by the UK Association of University Administrators.

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                                                                                                                • Dobson, I., and M. Conway. 2003. Fear and loathing in university staffing: The case of Australian academic and general staff. Higher Education Management and Policy 15.3: 123–133.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1787/hemp-v15-art27-enSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  In an Australian context, this paper reviews some of the difficulties arising from perceptions by academics of professional staff, calling for a clearer recognition of professional roles and the increasing partnership between the two groups.

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                                                                                                                  • Gornall, L. 1999. “New professionals”: Change and occupational roles in higher education. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 3.2: 44–49.

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                                                                                                                    This paper reviews the emergence of a range of professional roles, particularly in relation to learning technology, and issues of recognition that arise from this.

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                                                                                                                    • Hare, P., and L. Hare. 2002. The evolving role of head of department in UK universities. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 6.2: 33–37.

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                                                                                                                      This is a useful case review of the relationship between heads of department with local professional colleagues, demonstrating evidence of a mismatch between a local and implicit appreciation of the roles of individuals and of professional staff as a collective.

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                                                                                                                      • Holmes, D. 1998. Some personal reflections on the role of administrators and managers in British universities. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 2.4: 110–115.

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                                                                                                                        This early practitioner piece by a head of administration offers a retrospective of the developing roles of professional staff in the United Kingdom, and the shift from administrative service to more management-oriented approaches.

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                                                                                                                        • Lauwerys, J. 2002. The future of the profession of university administration and management. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 6.4: 93–97.

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                                                                                                                          This is another practitioner piece, by a head of administration, that looks forward to ways in which the roles of professional staff are likely to change in the future to cope with more complex environments, including the development of multi-professional teams and portfolio career patterns.

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                                                                                                                          • Skinner, M. 2001. The AUA code of professional standards. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 5.3: 63–67.

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                                                                                                                            This paper outlines the establishment of a Code of Professional Standards by the UK Association of University Administrators, reflecting moves to codify a body of knowledge and promote an “integrated set” of core values and characteristics.

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                                                                                                                            • Szekeres, J. 2011. Professional staff carve out a new space. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 33.6: 679–691.

                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/1360080X.2011.621193Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              This paper suggests that although some professional staff have moved into senior management team roles, previously the sole preserve of academic staff, this has not necessarily induced change at junior and middle management level, in which an “uneasy” relationship continues to exist between academic and professional staff.

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                                                                                                                              Critiquing a Binary Status with Academic Staff

                                                                                                                              The publications listed in the previous section have helped to modify the perception of a binary division between academic and professional staff, as articulated by Lewis and Altbach 1996, McInnis 1998, and Thomas 1998. In the United States, where identities of professional staff were well established by the 1990s, the division was consolidated by reference to professional staff as “managerial professionals” (Rhoades 1998). In the United Kingdom, Prichard 2000 and Warner and Palfreyman 1996 saw professional staff as an increasingly integral part of university management teams.

                                                                                                                              • Lewis, L. S., and P. G. Altbach. 1996. Faculty versus administration: A universal problem. Higher Education Policy 9.3: 255–258.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1016/S0952-8733(96)00016-5Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                Drawing on the results of the Carnegie International Survey of the Academic Profession across twelve countries (1992), this early piece shows a lack of trust in administrators, based on a sense that academic autonomy was being increasingly challenged worldwide. The term “administrators” is used here in the US sense of senior management teams as well as rank-and-file professional staff.

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                                                                                                                                • McInnis, C. 1998. Academics and professional administrators in Australian universities: dissolving boundaries and new tensions. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 20.2: 161–173.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/1360080980200204Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  Arising from a survey of administrators in Australia, this piece acknowledges an emerging partnership between academic and professional staff at the same time as identifying tensions that need to be worked through day-to-day if institutions are going to be able to handle the challenges of new environments.

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                                                                                                                                  • Prichard, C. 2000. Making managers in universities and colleges. Buckingham, UK: Open Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                    This monograph takes an early look at what it means to be an academic or professional manager in higher education, making the point that while “administration” is likely to be seen as aligned with academic interests, supporting staff and students in areas such as program delivery, “management” is more likely to be perceived as promoting an institution’s corporate interests in market environments.

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                                                                                                                                    • Rhoades, G. 1998. Managed professionals: Unionized faculty and restructuring academic labor. Albany: State Univ. of New York Press.

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                                                                                                                                      This major text reviews the impact of more managerially oriented approaches, including new salary structures, the use of part-time staff, and technology-assisted teaching, all of which are seen as deskilling influences in a restructuring process that aims to increase productivity and alter the balance between academic autonomy and managerial control.

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                                                                                                                                      • Thomas, H. 1998. Commentary: National Committee of Enquiry into Higher Education Report 4—Administrative and support staff: Their experiences and expectations. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 2.2: 69–70.

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                                                                                                                                        This report helpfully exposes misconceptions about professional staff at the national level, showing how the UK Dearing Report of 1997 based its comments on a small and unrepresentative sample and contained fundamental misunderstandings about their roles.

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                                                                                                                                        • Warner, D., and D. Palfreyman. 1996. Higher education management: The key elements. Buckingham, UK: Open Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                          This volume offers the most comprehensive account at that point in time of the roles of professional staff from the point of view of practitioners, promoting the fact that those in both generalist and specialist roles not only need to contextualize their knowledge, but also to be aware of the impact of their work on other functions.

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                                                                                                                                          Diversification of Professional Roles

                                                                                                                                          The literature on professional staff also reflects an extension and diversification of roles. Thus, Whitchurch identifies a growing body of professional staff who have academic credentials and whose work incorporates academic activity. Middlehurst 2010 challenges the notion of separate identities for academic and professional staff, and Macfarlane 2010 notes the rise of “para-academics”. In Germany, staff who were effectively public service administrators are being reconceptualized as “higher education professionals” in the post-bureaucratic and more autonomous public university (Schneijderberg, et al. 2013). These developments raise issues around, for instance, the relationship between academic and professional staff; relationships between individuals and organizational structures; and professional careers and career development. At the same time that practitioners have published work on the topic of professional identities, the contributions in Deem 2010 (cited under Research Managers); Graham 2009; Graham 2012; Rhoades, et al. 2008; and Schneijderberg 2015 have broadened out the literature to include, for instance, career development and the contribution of professional staff to the student experience and institutional management.

                                                                                                                                          • Graham, C. 2009. Investing in early career general staff. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 31.2: 175–183.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/13600800902825868Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            This paper points to the fact, in an Australian context, there has been little attention given to the development needs of early career professional staff. It reviews what these might be in the context of changing environments and the expectations of younger staff, as well as the use of portfolios to meet these needs.

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                                                                                                                                            • Graham, C. 2012. Transforming spaces and identities: The contributions of professional staff to learning spaces in higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 34.4: 437–452.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/1360080X.2012.696326Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Using data from an Australian university, this paper focuses on the contribution that professional staff make to the design, development, and maintenance of learning spaces, both physical and virtual, particularly in relation to student outcomes.

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                                                                                                                                              • Macfarlane, B. 2010. The morphing of academic practice: Unbundling and the rise of the para-academic. Higher Education Quarterly 65.1: 59–73.

                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2273.2010.00467.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                This paper reviews the use of what the author terms “para-academic” staff, such as study skills advisers, educational developers, learning technologists, and research managers, who increasingly perform specialist roles to meet contemporary institutional agendas. This is presented as a threat rather than an opportunity vis-a-vis traditional “all round” academic roles, with their public service, “academic citizenship” element.

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                                                                                                                                                • Middlehurst, R. 2010. Developing higher education professionals. In Academic and professional identities in higher education: The challenges of a diversifying workforce. Edited by G. Gordon and C. Whitchurch, 223–243. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                  Middlehurst further elaborates her concept of higher education professionals of the 21st century in British universities. She uses the exploratory concept of “borderless professionals” for all professionals working at a university, including academic and administrative staff.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Rhoades, G., J. M. Kiyama, R. McCormick, and M. Quiroz. 2008. Local cosmopolitans and cosmopolitan locals: New models of professionals in the academy. Review of Higher Education 31.2: 209–235.

                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2007.0079Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    In a US context, this paper promotes the idea of the “local” professional, drawn from an institution’s local community, who is valued for their strong commitment to widening participation from that community at their local university, thus overcoming the sense that career development must necessarily include mobility between institutions and sectors.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Schneijderberg, C. 2015. Work jurisdiction of new higher education professionals. In Forming, recruiting and managing the academic profession. Edited by U. Teichler and W. K. Cummings, 113–144. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-16080-1_7Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      Focusing on Abbot’s jurisdiction of work (1988), the professional tasks, skills, and competences of organizing teaching and study in universities by higher education professionals (HEPROs) in German universities is analyzed. This shows that HEPROs are experts for the job roles they are expected to perform, and they are described as a modal type of staff working at (German) universities.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Schneijderberg, C., N. Merkator, U. Teichler, and B. M. Kehm, eds. 2013. Verwaltung war Gestern? Neue Hochschulprofessionen und die Gestaltung von Studium und Lehre. Frankfurt am Main, and New York: Campus.

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                                                                                                                                                        Based on the sociology of professions, a mixed-methods study was conducted among highly qualified professionals in Germany (HEPROs) who are not primarily active in teaching and research but support the decisions of managers, establish services, and actively shape the core functions of research and teaching. Descriptions are given of their working situation, special expertise, relationships with management, roles, and identities.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Whitchurch, C. 2008. Beyond administration and management: Reconstructing the identities of professional staff in UK higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 30.4: 375–386.

                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1080/13600800802383042Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          Using twenty-four interviews in the United Kingdom, this paper develops early ideas about professional staff identities, which are categorized according to whether they adopted “bounded,” “cross-boundary,” or “unbounded” approaches to roles. The latter two involved greater agency on the part of the individual in relation to broadly based projects emerging across the university, as opposed to the implementation of existing systems and processes within given structures.

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                                                                                                                                                          “Third Space” Professionals

                                                                                                                                                          Whitchurch’s work shows that the complexity of individual and collective relationships does not justify a simple, binary division of academic and professional staff, and develops understandings about those who see themselves as working in a permeable “third space” between academic and professional domains (see Whitchurch, Whitchurch 2009, and Whitchurch 2013). There is also a growing subset of this literature on the roles and identities of both institutional researchers and research managers, who often possess academic credentials, including doctorates, and see themselves as working in the third space described by Whitchurch 2013 and Berman and Pitman 2010.

                                                                                                                                                          • Berman, J. E., and T. Pitman. 2010. Occupying a “third space”: Research trained professional staff in Australian universities. Higher Education 60.2: 157–169.

                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1007/s10734-009-9292-zSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            Using findings from interviews with research staff at an Australian institution, this paper highlights the value of generic skills acquired during a research training, and suggests that these could be recognized and utilized more effectively in roles that are not formally categorized as academic.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Whitchurch, C. 2008. Shifting identities and blurring boundaries: The emergence of third space professionals in UK higher education. Higher Education Quarterly 62.4: 377–396.

                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2273.2008.00387.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              Drawing on a study of fifty-four professional managers in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States, this seminal paper describes a further category of “blended professionals,” whose backgrounds and portfolios have elements of both professional and academic activity, and who undertake project-oriented roles. It goes on to introduce the concept of “third space” as an emergent territory between academic and professional domains.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Whitchurch, C. 2009. The rise of the blended professional in higher education: A comparison between the UK, Australia and the United States. Higher Education 58.3: 407–418.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1007/s10734-009-9202-4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                This paper further explores the concept of the “blended professional,” the characteristics of those who work between academic and professional domains, and some of the reasons behind their choice to do so. It goes on to define the spaces, knowledges, relationships, and legitimacies that they construct for themselves, and the potentials of their work for institutions.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Whitchurch, C. 2013. Reconstructing identities in higher education: The rise of third space professionals. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                  This seminal text develops the concept of “third space,” in which academic and professional staff collaborate on broadly based projects such as the student experience and community partnership. It focuses on a series of paradoxes, ambiguities, and dilemmas, and suggests that the authenticity of being a "third space professional" derives in part from being able to work positively with the challenges created by these factors.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Institutional Researchers

                                                                                                                                                                  As Fincher 1978, Peterson and Corcoran 1985, and Teodorescu 2006 show, institutional research is regarded as an intermediary function linking educational, governance, and information functions. In turn, Calderon and Mathies 2013, Fincher 1985, Terenzini 1993, and Volkwein 1999 demonstrate that, as a field of practice or applied research, institutional researchers work primarily in a management-oriented, data-handling, and analyzing function to develop institutional knowledge about performance and the achievement of goals.

                                                                                                                                                                  • Calderon, A., and C. Mathies. 2013. Institutional research in the future: Challenges within higher education and the need for excellence in professional practice. New Directions for Institutional Research 157 (Spring): 77–90.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1002/ir.20040Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    This paper draws attention to the central role played by institutional researchers in positioning higher education institutions in a competitive, globalized environment, and notes the generic and specialized skills they require to inform the decision-making process.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Fincher, C. 1978. Institutional research as organizational intelligence. Research in Higher Education 8.2: 189–192.

                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1007/BF00992119Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      Fincher elaborates on the different parameters of institutional research, defining it in terms of organizational intelligence gathering. Thus, using research into higher education and organizational knowledge, institutional researchers undertake campus-based planning with a view to enhancing institutional development and effectiveness.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Fincher, C. 1985. The art and science of institutional research. In Institutional research in transition. Edited by M. W. Peterson and M. Corcoran, 17–38. New Directions for Institutional Research 46. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Fincher suggests that institutional research bridges the discipline- and mission-oriented approach to measurement by developing suitable instruments for the assessment of institutional goals. From a historical perspective, he argues that institutional researchers need to develop their own techniques to provide a more holistic approach to educational research, including measurement and assessment, systems analysis, operations research, evaluation research, planning models, and program budgeting.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Peterson, M. W., and M. Corcoran. 1985. Editors’ notes. In Institutional research in transition. Edited by M. W. Peterson and M. Corcoran, 1–4. New Directions for Institutional Research 46. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Institutional research is described, firstly, as an institutional function, linking the educational, governance, and information functions of universities. Secondly, it is described as a field of practice whereby day-to-day institutional research activities inform the function, structure, and institutional contexts of universities as organizations.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Teodorescu, D. 2006. Institutional researchers as knowledge managers in universities: Envisioning new roles for the IR profession. Tertiary Education and Management 12.1: 75–88.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/13583883.2006.9967161Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            Teodorescu focuses on the knowledge brokerage function of institutional research and refers to institutional researchers as knowledge managers rather than simply as providers of data or information. He sees strong parallels between institutional researchers and academic staff in that they want to build a reputation for their knowledge that serves the public good.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Terenzini, P. T. 1993. On the nature of institutional research and the knowledge and skills it requires. Research in Higher Education 34.1: 1–10.

                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1007/BF00991859Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Terenzini defines organizational intelligence as encompassing data gathering about an institution, and the analysis and transformation of that data into intelligence reports, thereby providing knowledge about the institution as an organization. He identifies technical/analytical intelligence (expert knowledge and methodological competences), issues intelligence (understanding of problems and procedures), and contextual intelligence (understanding of the culture and customs of higher education, a specific institution, and academic staff).

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Volkwein, F. J. 1999. The four faces of institutional research. In What is institutional research all about? A critical and comprehensive assessment of the profession. Edited by F. J. Volkwein and S. Lanasa, 9–19. New Directions for Institutional Research 104. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Volkwein suggests that in satisfying the needs of administration and management, and the requirements of accountability and external stakeholders, institutional researchers need to take account of academic and administrative cultures, the institutional role of teaching, and the professional role of scholarship. He proposes a typology of roles: the institutional researcher as information authority, as policy analyst, as spin doctor, and as scholar and researcher.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Research Managers

                                                                                                                                                                                The roles of higher education professionals, third space professionals, and institutional researchers are generally characterized rather broadly. The generic nature of their work requires them to combine different role sets and multiple skills and competences. A more well-defined area of work is the organization of the research function of universities by research managers, although as shown by Allen-Collinson 2007, Allen-Collinson 2009, Berman and Pitman 2010 (cited under “Third Space” Professionals), Hockey and Allen-Collinson 2009, Knight and Lightowler 2010, Schutzenmeister 2010, Sebalj and Holbrook 2009, and Shelley 2010, many of these staff also see themselves as working in a third space between professional and academic domains.

                                                                                                                                                                                • Allen-Collinson, J. 2007. “Get yourself some nice, neat, matching box files!” Research administrators and occupational identity work. Studies in Higher Education 32.3: 295–309.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/03075070701346832Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  Based on interviews with twenty-seven research managers, this paper shows how members of this group are developing their professional identities in the face of challenges by academic colleagues, which can create identity strain.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Allen-Collinson, J. 2009. Negative “marking”? University research administrators and contestation of moral exclusion. Studies in Higher Education 34.8: 941–954.

                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/03075070902755641Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    This paper pursues the theme of exclusion, but shows that being able to cope with ambiguity through social agency is a significant aspect of research managers’ construction of their identities.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Deem, R. 2010. Herding the academic cats: The challenges of “managing” academic research in the contemporary UK university. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 14.2: 37–43.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      This paper takes a positive stance on the building of collaborative alliances between academic and professional staff, and suggests that these can help to protect research activity. The contribution of professional staff includes knowledge about funding sources and bidding processes, acting as critical friends in reading research proposals, tapping into appropriate networks of participants, understanding how to maximize impact and public engagement, and building case law about successful bids.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hockey, J., and J. Allen-Collinson. 2009. Occupational knowledge and practice amongst UK university research administrators. Higher Education Quarterly 63.2: 141–159.

                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2273.2008.00409.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        This paper shows how the building of networks is a significant element of research managers’ roles, with professional capital being located increasingly out-with hierarchical structures and processes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Knight, C., and C. Lightowler. 2010. Reflections of “knowledge exchange professionals” in the social sciences: Emerging opportunities and challenges for university-based knowledge brokers. Evidence and Policy 6.4: 543–556.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1332/174426410X535891Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          This paper explores the emergence of dedicated knowledge exchange professionals or knowledge brokers in Scottish universities. As shown in Allen-Collinson 2009, being able to cope with ambiguity was a key aspect of their roles, creating both challenges and opportunities in relation to motivation, legitimacy, and career development.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Schutzenmeister, F. 2010. University research management: An exploratory literature review. Berkeley: Institute of European Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            This literature review suggests that research increasingly needs to be managed, and it sees this process as boundary work undertaken by academically qualified individuals who are able to make decisions that draw on both their scientific knowledge and their knowledge of contemporary research environments.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Sebalj, D., and A. Holbrook. 2009. The profile of university research services staff. Australian Universities Review 51.1: 30–38.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Based on a survey of thirty-six Australian universities, this paper investigates the roles and identities of 194 research managers. More than half had previous research experience, and just under one-third had been an academic. Men were more likely than women to have a higher degree, earned significantly higher salaries, and were promoted more rapidly.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Shelley, L. 2010. Research managers uncovered—Changing roles and “shifting arenas” in the academy. Higher Education Quarterly 64.1: 41–64.

                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2273.2009.00429.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                Drawing on a study of research managers in English universities, this paper explores how their roles have become more proactive, crossing into academic spheres of activity to create a “shifting arena” or “space of tension.” Better understanding of this is needed to enhance collaborative working on agendas that continue to evolve.

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