Welcome to the era of the Schizophrenic University 

Jo Johnson wants universities to pay more attention to teaching and aims to do this through the Teaching Excellence Framework. 

This ambition is based on certain assumptions such as most universities favour research rather than teaching. This is a flawed assumption. Some universities – often the post ’92 variety have always had a reputation for excellent teaching and drawn from the wisdom and experiences of seasoned professionals rather than the idealistic musings of early career researchers.

According to The Guardian today this will lead to universities having to choose between Research or Teaching or suffer from what business strategist Michael Porter has always advised against – being stuck in the middle. 

This middle ground is a recipe for organisational psychosis with the conditions being created for academic schizophrenia – ‘am I a researcher or an educator – how can I reconcile two related yet utterly contrasting skill sets’?

And yet this middle ground is exactly what some universities are trying to straddle and generating a deep psychological imbalance in the very people who originate and deliver value – the individual academic. 

The supreme irony is that the discourse of marketing which so many university managers have bought into belies there complete lack of strategic marketing competence. 

The era of the schizophrenic university is upon us. Symptomised by incoherent value propositions, confused competitive positioning, and an impoverished grasp of the value definition, creation and delivery. 

#university #academic

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