A really good post in yesterday’s Guardian by James Darounian about university bureaucracy. It’s a good read because he doesn’t fall back on to cliche, but takes a critical look  at how university administration can sometimes drift from its goal of supporting students and academics.

Decent administration can and should be an aid to study and learning, not an obstacle. It’s about time that students and staff informed the systems operated, rather than suffering top-down selection of the latest gadgets that have not been road tested or approved by users.

His closing challenge is this:

Senior managers should be required – like those various reality TV series – to go ‘Back to the floor’ or become the ‘Undercover boss’. Maybe then they’ll understand what students and lecturers go through.

I’m up for that. In fact, last year I went “back to the floor” and shadowed two students at Exeter. I hope James is also willing to trade places with a senior manager to understand what they go through.


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