What is Valued in the University Education
The University as an Organization
Task 1. Read and learn words and word-combinations from the text.
Alumnus (masc.), Alumni (masc. pl.), Alumna (fem.), Alumnae (fem. pl.): those students of the university that have successfully completed their courses and degree requirements, and subsequently have received their degree.
Campus: all the grounds on which a college or university sits. It usually looks like a park with many trees, flowers, open green spaces, and benches where people can sit. The word “campus” may also refer to the university as an organization.
Capital plant: the general campus surroundings and supplies that may be considered as tangible resources for institutional activities, such as its buildings, land, library collection, and major equipment.
Chancellor: The chief executive of administration, also referred to as the university president.
Commencement: another term for a graduation ceremony.
Enrolment: the placement of university students on an official roster, which declares their status, major and minor area(s) of study, degree program, and in which courses they are or were involved.
Faculty: Certified educators and/or higher degree recipients that may include assistant professors, professors, part-time retired professors, chairs of departments, and at times college deans, departmental secretaries, advisors, school nurses, and ombudsmen.
Funding: the providing of currency to satisfy certain needs, or to be utilized for special purposes in accordance with a certain request or protocol; usually identified in terms of a donor providing currency to a specific recipient.
Interest group: a group or organization with particular aims and ideas.
Task 2. Read the text paying attention to the words in bold.
THE UNIVERSITY AS AN ORGANIZATION
Elements of University Management
The modern university of today may be considered to have undergone an institutional evolution. In comparison to the academic establishment of yesteryear, the contemporary university must counterbalance its academic interests with financial responsibility and political obligations. This entails the formation of a highly systematic organizational structure that no longer functions under the premises of merely a growing institution. A university now must additionally be managed as a so-called enterprising agency. This requires the instalment and involvement of an administrative structure. Often democratically governed, a university’s administration resolves, manages and supervises various ongoing institutional activities. This often includes both relevant on and off campus endeavours. To begin, the activities themselves shall be broken down and explained. Then, exactly how these activities are managed by an administration shall be more directly introduced.
University Activities: Theory and Reality
A university involves a great deal of operative activities on a day-to-day basis. On the theoretical level, such activities are split into three progressive segments: input, process, and output. The first segment is the input, which refers to the resource(s) and supplies necessary to instigate a particular activity. Such resources entail anything from funding to on-campus equipment logistics (capital plant) to attaining a minimum student enrolment.
The next segment is the process itself, or means by which an activity may be conducted and maintained on a consistent basis towards the overall goal. The process may exist as a new course, a symposium, or extracurricular activity being conducted, or commencing the employment of a new work-study international graduate student in the campus library, installing a new computer lab in the student career centre, opening a new campus restaurant for vegetarians, or instigating a better transit system for off campus students. All these activities require some or several kinds of input in which to maintain the consistency to endure a perpetual process.
The last segment is the output, which pertains to the resulting outcomes of the input-supported process. Some outputs are successful on a small scale, but may require further processing. Some outputs may be considered the finale of a process whether a success or not. Usually, most successful outputs serve as a justifiable means to repeat the entire segmented process. A graduation ceremony, publishing a thesis, hosting an exchange program, or holding a book donation drive are all examples of campus activities that follow this segmented theory. It is stated that the best outcomes involve a certain level of self-sustainability. This means that the process, should it be repeated, will not require any additional or outside input. Instead, the final output has (in addition to attaining its overall goal) produced enough of its own inputs to recycle into another round of process.
This theory is commonly put into practice in multiple ways within every university. But it is shaped accordingly to curricula standards, the overlying mission, commitment priorities, and capital plant capability. How university systems parallel each other is the means by which the theory is converted into practice. This refers to the decision makers, or administration of an institution. Whatever the case, processes and activities draw upon and expend resources. This requires an administration to make rational decisions about which resources to use, how much of them may be used at a time, for how long, and for which activities.
A University’s Administration System
As already mentioned, a university is generally operated as a democratic institution. This means that decisions are made not by a single authority from within a rigid administrative hierarchy. Rather, a university’s administration is established and broken down into various legislative branches much like an egalitarian government or business. For example, at the University of Cambridge, there is the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor, who handle official public relations as representatives of the university. There are also Pro-Vice-Chancellors who are in charge of various areas such as planning and resources, personnel, research, education, and others. Additionally, there is the Registrar, which handles academics, estate building, finance, health and safety, management information services, legal services, and others. There is also a Regent House and a Senate, which includes all department heads, amongst other individuals including students who discuss and vote on university matters much like a government or business would.
The key word is equality, or more so equilibrium amongst all those involved in, employed by, and dependent upon the institution. This converges two main aspects: (1) that a systematic governing body may exist, (2) while at the same time allowing for equal opportunity in the decision-making process. This means that at any one time a decision may be made that involves several players, such as students, parents, faculty, other institutional workers, grant donors, ministry or department of education representatives, cooperating institutions, etc. The theoretical definitions given to this democratic operative are “bounded rationality” and “boundaryless cooperation.”
All in all, a decision must be properly weighed in terms of who it affects, whether it falls within the university’s capabilities, whether it coincides with the university’s mission and other priorities, whether it serves a specific purpose, will the results have political significance affecting the university’s reputation and image, and will the consequences be a means to a positive and productive ends. Often such aspects are interdependent, meaning they are intertwined, related, and often affect and serve one another.
How much influence one player may yield depends upon their own degree of authority within the institution and their proportion of involvement in the activity itself. In a simplified example, the dean or chancellor of a university may have the most authority in a university, meaning that his decision carries the most influence above all others. But, the students of a university may have equal amount of influence if the activity they are planning directly affects and involves them. The students are under the dean’s authority, but without the students the dean has no university to manage. At the same time, there may be additional interest groups involved such as the Department of Education representative, the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), or local Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) supplying funding or additional logistics. Due to their significant input value, these parties will also carry a certain level of influence over both the dean and the students.
Assume that the same group of students are planning a “Take Back the Night” rally, which carries political significance symbolizing women’s rights. This directly affects the students, as they are the potential participants. But it also involves capital plant, as there must be some space and technical equipment provided for the demonstration. It also reflects an unalienable constitutional right of freedom of speech. This carries political consequence affecting the university’s reputation and image should permission to hold the rally not be permitted. However, it can also affect the university’s reputation and image should the peaceful march turn into a campus riot and be reported by the media to the surrounding city area.
Suppose the rally is being sponsored by local businesses and staffed by volunteers that include students’ parents and local NGOs that support women’s rights. At the same time, the march is planned to take place at night and the university alone does not have enough security personnel to control and protect a large crowd of over 1,000 students. It would seem that the university would need to ask for additional outside assistance, such as from the local police department. The university dean, amongst other decision-making parties involved including the students representing the activity, must discuss these pros and cons to reach a final decision based upon rational and compromise.
From here, the complexity of a university’s activities and its administrative duties may begin to be understood. The discussion now turns to what inputs a university may utilize as inputs and to what avail. In terms of processes, concentration is designated to its most fundamental and orthodox practice of academic programs and research. Consideration is also given to the resulting outputs of such processes in terms of consequences and their affects on university image and reputation.
University Inputs and Management
Resource inputs may take several forms. Essentially a resource may be considered “a useful or valuable possession or quality of a country, organization or person.” The most common inputs in terms of a university are money and equipment, though personnel may also be included.
What may be considered representative of input constants are equipment and personnel. The equipment, meaning capital plant, is the basis of a university. Indeed, in order to harbour and manage personnel, moreover to establish itself and grow, a university must retain even a basic level of capital plant. This includes even online correspondence courses, which allow one to earn a degree at home. These types of universities must invest and retain some level of resources in order to accommodate students. For example, they may maintain an online library, audio or video correspondence package downloads, teacher-to-student chat rooms, and official degrees or certificates upon graduation or course completion.
University personnel are the heart of an institution. Upper-administrative workers, tenured professors, and some specialized capital plant management are the originators of a university’s mission, image, and reputation. They are the means by which a university may be managed and promoted, publish and instigate original research, provide academic knowledge and experience, and arrange for capital plant recourses to be utilized and maintained. Secondary personnel, meaning non-fixed or continuous individuals of the university, are also of relevance to mention here. These include university students (full- and part-time), assistant or non-tenured professors, and temporary or part-time administrative or maintenance workers. Although their involvement or affiliation with the university is of interim, their contribution to the maintenance and growth of the institution as a whole is deemed significant. This is particularly applicable in the case of students for their provisions of experience, academic, and financial inputs to the university.
Another case of a temporary but necessary input advocating a university’s success is funding. Universities attain funds from multiple sources, whether indirectly (such as from students via tuition payments), or direct payment to the university itself. The most common funding sources are derived from government-sponsored programs and from outside endowments (NGOs, alumni, public and private corporations, local businesses, etc.). A university’s administration is often under acute budgetary constraints as to how it may distribute its funds. Government-sponsored programs are often the main source of financial supplement to an institution. Some examples are student loans, contracted work-study fellowships, military education agreements, competitive scholarships, research grants for a specific governmental department/ministry, civil service advancements, scholarships for minorities, subcontracted tuition waivers for departmental graduate student assistantships.
When a university is granted, donated, or supplied with a fund, the administration must first consider whether the funds are available to distribute generally, or are under certain restriction. General distribution funds are considered the most convenient, since they may be applied in any way the administration itself deems fit. For example, if a university wishes to host the city’s annual botanical garden exhibition, it may without any other outside consideration. Restricted funding is just as important, but limits the terms under which the funds may be distributed. Here, there are certain interest groups involved that may predetermine how the funding may be used. So, the university may wish to host the same exhibition, but because of the restricted funding, it may only be allowed to utilize its donation to display tulips and orchids.
Hence, a university may choose to mix its general and restricted funding, or attain funding from more than one donor that has different restrictions. Again, a self-sustaining project is the most efficient. However, in terms of instigation or in the case where a project cannot produce its own funding surplus, attaining funds from various sources is one of the most essential inputs to university engagements. Therefore, funding must be attained and re-attained on a constant basis in accordance with some timeline. This may be yearly, quarterly, semester-to-semester, or otherwise. The following paragraphs discuss to what avail funding may be managed, distributed, and later re-attained. This draws attention to funding management on the theoretical level, with a follow-up case study. Keep an open mind to other case studies to follow in subsequent units!
The Distribution of Funds: Theory of Processes
An administration essentially has four options towards which funding may be distributed. The first is to secure a minimal amount of inputs so as to ensure that the university may persevere on a regular basis. The second option for funding distribution is an investment into the supervision of the present infrastructure of the university in which to observe and record potential and suggested improvements. The third option is to improve the university’s infrastructure so as to expand the university’s programs or campus. This includes a subsequent and probable increase in a university’s complexity and efficiency. The fourth and last option refers to the matter of to which processes funding should be distributed based upon precedence. Over time, certain processes within a university may be promoted, downplayed, or replaced by others. It depends on which processes are considered of high or low priority in accordance with a university’s mission, evolving image, changing interest groups, and budgetary constraints.
A general overview of this theoretical approach reveals that a university may distribute funding into its present state to ensure its maintenance and attain feedback (first and second options). It may also simultaneously utilize funds in which to promote and build on its future (third and fourth options). Before proceeding on to the next paragraphs, see if you can brainstorm on specific ways that a university might draw on as sources for funding.
Practicing Fund-Raising by Utilizing its Main Resource: the Student Body
Enrolment has already been mentioned as a means for a university to attain funding. But the connection between the two is not as simple as connecting-the-dots. As with every activity within a university, there is a process involved.
There are many different reasons for a prospective student to be attracted to a particular university. Whether for its reputation of academic excellence in its field, its scholarship offers, its low tuition cost, its campus size and student activities, its exchange programs, work-study programs, its faculty, or even whether its location is close to home, all these stand out as various significant reasons for attracting students that the administration must consider and heed. A university often wishes to fulfil its maximum enrolment occupancy so as to attain maximum funding, student brainpower, and raise its level of reputation via projecting a positive image of a university that attracts students straightforwardly.
But in order to officially enrol students, a university often maintains eligibility requirements that must be met. Such requirements are set not only by its own administration but also by other interest groups. For example, a particular university has several applicants for their program in bioengineering. The entrance requirement for this program necessitates students to have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, and have completed courses in genetics, biology, and agronomics. Such requirements are determined by t
|Включите уведомления прямо сейчас и мы сразу сообщим Вам о важных новостях. Не волнуйтесь, мы будем отправлять только самое главное.|