Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Second International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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How academic reforms change the organizational design of universities
Ilse Hagerer

Last modified: 07-06-2016


The academic landscape is changing in the course of New Public Management (NPM). More duties are assigned to universities and as a result transferred to their faculties. Management knowledge is needed for solving the problem of higher requirements for deans in terms of distribution of resources, responsibility for personal and finances. Until now, deans do not necessarily have this knowledge. One crucial approach for this problem is professionalization, which can take shape in various forms, e. g. in establishing positions for a new occupational group of academia professionals. To reach the organization’s objective in an effective and efficient way, there is no best solution corresponding to the contingency approach, it rather depends on the framework requirements.

The results of  an empiric inquiry of framework requirements and deanery attributes on four German universities show that the infrastructures of the faculties as decentral units depend less on the size of the faculty, but very strong on university’s organizational setting. This becomes apparent by the fact that at an elite university with strong research activities and with the profile of an entrepreneurial university, but with small framework requirements in the faculties has established many positions of academia professionals. Smaller universities, but also big multi-discipline universities with scientific excellence don’t reach as many academia professionals in spite of having big framework requirements.

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