"We haven’t discovered anything that hadn’t already been discovered."
Administration. The expert group has had to consider whether the organisation and the administration that the management has built-up supports the objectives of the academic development process.
Where are the biggest problems?
"We say the university, because we assume that it’s a homogeneous entity, but for the expert group, just getting the chance to understand how diverse AU is has been a fantastic experience. I start by saying this because the answer to your question is complicated as we are facing different situations depending on whether we work with teaching, research or research-based public sector consultancy and public sector services. And when we have a situation with these differences and diversity, together with a desire for a standardisation of 90 per cent of the services from AU Administration as required by the academic development process, then this is a significant part of the whole complex issue."
How does this more specifically appear in the expert group’s analysis?
"I’ll put it like this: these differences indicate that there are some aspects related to the administrative organisation that are not entirely appropriate in relation to supporting the core activities. And that was, of course, the objective of the academic development process. But we can really see that there are some problems."
"The academic staff point to the fact that they don’t know who to contact in the system. And they’re not sure that the administrative staff members understand their reality. Conversely many of the administrative staff members find that their work is under-appreciated by the rest of the organisation."
Much of what you say can also be seen in the workplace assessment.
"Yes, and I don’t think that we have as such discovered anything that hasn’t already been discovered. But hopefully, when people see our report they’ll say that we’ve managed to provide an overview of the problems. And that we have related them to the factors in the organisation that create the problems. Then you will also begin to get closer to some of the things that you could consider changing."
Translated by Peter Lambourne.