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Being an academic in Europe and in the U.S.: role differentiation, shifting identities and protected spaces

Prof. Dr. Liudvika Leisyte


Academic profession has been traditionally governed by scientific norms and disciplinary communities. Research suggests that the welfare state reforms have increasingly targeted universities to become more 'complete and corporate' organizations and this has resulted in more managed universities as we can observe in the Anglo-Saxon countries (Krücken and Meier 2006; Leisyte and Dee, 2012). How are academic roles changing as a result of reforms and organizational shifts on both sides of the Atlantic? Does organizational managerialism replace disciplines as the source of identity for academics? Is the holistic academic identity threatened? I will first discuss the changes in the institutional environment of academics in the U.S. and in European contexts, especially reflect on the changing working conditions for academics. Further, the dynamics of roles in academic work will be presented and discussed with a focus on structural, functional and social differentiation in academic roles and identities (Leisyte, 2013). Finally, a reflection and a typology of academic identities in a managerial context will be presented with the implications of these developments for the protected spaces of academic work.

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November 21, 2013

Belgium University Foundation Ethical Forum 2013
"The academic’s burden. University professors under perverse pressure?"
Brussels, Belgium

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