University of Auckland must put ‘public’ at front of its strategy

Posted By TEU on Jun 28, 2012 |

The University of Auckland’s goal to be a ‘world-leading public university’ entails that it act foremost as a ‘public university’, according to the local TEU branch, which has just released its submission on the university’s draft strategic plan.

“The university should put the public good before commercial or private goals in its vision, structures, practices and incentives.”

The branch’s submission argues that university’s draft plan focuses disproportionately on academic staff performance and that it evaluates their performance too narrowly in terms of monetised research.

“Since teaching is one of the core missions of the university and tuition revenue one of its principal income streams for the university, TEU believes that innovative, effective and research­‐informed teaching, supervision and leadership should be supported, valued and rewarded as much as externally­‐funded research. Moreover, research that does not generate income or result in market‐measurable outcomes must also be valued.”

The branch consulted widely with members when putting together its detailed submission to the university, and focused on promoting a set of values to underpin the university’s goals.

“If the university embodies in its structures and practices the values of a public university, we expect that fiscal and administrative responsibilities will be shared and that good governance will be based on competence and trust. Achievement and performance can and should be monitored and supported in many ways, not just through monetary incentives.

The branch also warns the university against relying on increasing casualisation of jobs to reach its goals, and of the need to consult meaningfully with staff before engaging in change.

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