Badly managed?

April 20, 2017

I very much support the idea of a National Senior Management Survey, and would hope that university managers might seek to address some of the problems uncovered (“Overpaid and overbearing: UK staff on management”, News, 30 March). I fear, though, that rushing to publish these interim results, when the survey is still open, may undermine its validity and reliability. Calling for more participants in these circumstances may leave the survey open to charges of confirmation bias. I am sure vice-chancellors of the “burning platform”/“weekend spent with my chainsaw” variety will gratefully take refuge in this opportunity.


Two comments. First, there is no definition provided of senior management. To an entry-level lecturer, a head of department may be thought of as such, whereas to others it may be faculty deans or pro vice-chancellors (who may not have line “management” but rather strategic leadership responsibilities). Second, the survey uses the phrases “my senior management” and “my senior managers” seemingly interchangeably. There is arguably a difference – the former may well be thought of as a relatively distant homogeneous entity, whereas the latter would (I suspect) suggest particular people with line management responsibilities for the respondent. I don’t understand the rationale for the different phrases (and none is given).


Send to

Letters should be sent to:
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

sitting by statue

Institutions told they have a ‘culture of excluding postgraduates’ in wake of damning study