Laurie Taylor Column

September 19, 2003

"Academics too often take the view that the strategic goals of their university are nothing to do with them and work instead to their own agendas" - THES , September 12

Shocking. Absolutely shocking!

What's that?

This piece in last week's THES about the Universities UK conference.

What was so shocking?

Well, apparently the conference heard this report from RSM Robson Rhodes.

A military gentleman?

Actually, it's not a person. It's a group of management consultants called RSM Robson Rhodes. They carried out research into the management of 34 UK universities and found that hardly any academics knew their own university's strategic goals.

That almost beggars belief.

And they have got other bad news.

This is RSM Rhodes Boyson again?

RSM Robson Rhodes. They say: "Universities are unable to convert strategic goals into individual targets for front-line staff."

Well, that really takes the biscuit. Who would have thought it? My word. By the way, as a matter of passing interest, what are our own strategic goals?

Our own strategic goals? Here at Poppleton? Erm... don't rush me... well, it used to be Recruitment, Retention and some other R. And then this year they changed again and became the three Ds. Diversity, Difference and... erm...

Dialectics? Dialogics? Dentistry? Dumbing Down?

No... wait... it's coming. Ah, yes. Difference, Diversity and Development.

That's it. They're the ones. Our three strategic goals.

Really. You know, it's difficult to imagine how we ever got by without them.

My point entirely.

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