The NTEU is proud to begin the 2019 iteration of the NTEU Seminar Series with a seminar delivered by Professor Margaret Thornton on privatising the public university. Emerita Professor Margaret Thornton (FASSA, FAAL) is Professor of Law and ANU Public Policy Fellow at the ANU. Her research spans discrimination law, feminist legal theory, legal education, legal profession and the corporatisation of universities. Her publications include Privatising the Public University: The Case of Law (Routledge, 2012) and an edited collection Through a Glass Darkly: The Social Sciences look at the Neoliberal University (ANU Press, 2015). You can follow a link to purchase Through a Glass Darkly here.
Since the Dawkins reforms, there has been a dizzying rollercoaster of change in universities, facilitated by managerialism and metricisation. The changes have caused most academics to turn away and meekly do what the manageriat tells them to do (boiled frog syndrome?). As universities become more like for-profit corporations, decision-making processes have become remote and opaque. The demise of collegiality has meant that there is unlikely to be a forum in which to question the new orthodoxy.
This presentation will consider the impact of the transformation for the future of the university and for society more generally.