Woodhill Park Retreat - http://www.woodhillpark.com
Why pursuing external research funding is fast becoming a catch-22 for tertiary leaders.
Drs. Hansen and Smith

Drs. Jens Hansen and Richard Smith began collaborating as writers, teachers and researchers at Unitec where, for a short time, they were each engaged with the Master of Educational Management. Even though they have now moved on from Unitec, they continue to work together. They have interviewed and critically interpreted the work of Professor Michael Apple and they have appraised the New Zealand Teachers’ Council (note that they persist in correctly adding an apostrophe – especially because it is a Council for teachers!). Jens and Richard have also co-developed various teaching resources which continue to be sought after by postgraduate students and other academics.

By Drs. Hansen and Smith
Published on 10/13/2008

Dr. Jens J. Hansen, Woodhill Park Research Retreat,
Dr. Richard J. M. Smith, Senior Lecturer in Education, AUT University

Adequate government research and development funding within the tertiary sector may seem to be an oxymoron.  In part, research funding is elusive and scarce because government coffers do not unfurl largess.  Hence entrepreneurial tertiary leaders necessarily explore alternative funding sources.  They increasingly seek support from benevolent agencies (trusts, endowments, Iwi Authorities, etc.).  They unhesitatingly broker partnerships with industry and/or the not-for-profit sector and/or with government departments.  And sometimes, triadic arrangements between government, industry and consortia of tertiary agencies are formed to capture mighty research dollars!  This presentation explores the catch-22 nature of the contemporary tertiary research funding pursuits across two tertiary institutions.  The imperatives of staff being research active, increasing layers of managerial costs, bourgeoning demands on staff time and a comparative absence of comprehensive research skills by academics, are issues with which tertiary leaders need to grapple.  We tentatively conclude that ways in which research funds are currently pursued and priced disadvantages tertiary institutions by inflating costs whilst undermining potential for quality scholarship.  In-depth scholarly research seems to have become replaced by quick-fix solutions or alternatively, projects become farmed out to commercial agencies who can do it cheaper but, we venture, not necessarily better.  We, therefore, propose some possible strategies for consideration. There is a slide show that can be accessed by clicking here but please note that because the augmentative AVs are not embedded, they are unlikely to activate.