Laurie Taylor Column

August 25, 2006

What Are You Reading on Holiday?

We continue our investigation into academic holiday reading by making another surprise call to a leading university figure.

This week : Jamie Targett, Head of Corporate Development, University of Poppleton.

Holiday venue : The Excelsior Mind and Body Motivational Centre (somewhere up north).

Jamie Targett : Targett.

Times Higher : Ah, Mr Targett. Times Higher . We wondered what you were reading now.

JT : On or off the record?

Higher : On.

JT : I'm reading a major new volume called The Three Stage University: Maximising Control and Intellectual Output by Daniel J. W. Chegwin. It's an analysis of the main stages in the evolution of the contemporary university.

Higher : What's Stage One like?

JT : This is what Chegwin calls the "Academic Community Stage". Essentially anarchic. No real leadership. Morale is high, but productivity dangerously low.

Higher : And Stage Two?

JT : That's essentially the present situation, what Chegwin calls the "Biscuit Factory Stage". A control-and-command model with strong vertical hierarchy and an emphasis on production targets but with residual elements of obstructive individualism.

Higher : And Stage Three?

JT : That's the interactive model, with a high degree of horizontal organisation and one central electronic control system ensuring that students can be quickly fed with correct information using a multi-screen information system with high bottom-end levels of continuous surveillance.

Higher : And what does Cheggers call that?

JT : The "Call Centre Stage". Very much the coming thing.

Higher : Thank you, Mr Targett. Off the record, are you reading anything else?

JT : By my bed is a book called Nineteen Eighty-Four . Professor Lapping sent it to me suggesting it might be relevant. I can't think why. It sounds so out of date.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Marketing Officer YORK ST JOHN UNIVERSITY
Professor in Future Cities UNIVERSITY OF DERBY

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Globalisation

Times Higher Education World University Rankings data reveal the top 200 most outward-looking institutions

Common cactus finch (Geospiza scandens)

Tiffany Taylor on a thought-provoking view of the forces acting to ensure survival

Stressed businessman answering four telephones

Some surveys show faculty putting in at least 60 hours a week, but research casts doubt on whether this is a productive routine

Student asking question during class

University of Reading research finds link between undergraduate satisfaction and ethnicity of lecturers

Level of quality compass

Authors argue this means universities should spend less on senior academics and give promising younger scholars more of a chance