Some hold the view that most modern universities are more akin to business concerns than they are concerned with higher learning, scholarship and research.

In the past thirty odd years that I have taught and endeavoured to conduct myself in a scholarly manner as a university academic, I do believe I have noticed a move to managing universities as businesses. There are probably good reasons for doing so. Whether they can justify the massive increase in the size of university administrations and their accompanying bureaucracies is not clear to me. What is clear is the effect that it has on me if the following ways:

I could go on, probably to write a boring, but never the less substantial book dealing with such issues. Issues that I believe severely affect my ability to achieve the quality I believe I am capable of with respect to the delivery of the modules that I teach.

Now quality is clearly something that should concern a business trying to return a profit. It is thus not surprising that it is now also something that universities are also interested in. Efforts certainly are made to measure the quality of my teaching and research and understandably so. So while I do not have a problem with that, I do at times feel that the effort is misguided whilst I am able to quote situations like the ones I have listed above. It also would not be half as bad if one was able to change these situations, but is generally not.

As I have already mentioned, I do not have a problem with measuring quality as I seriously endeavour to deliver the modules I teach to the best of my ability. Whether the students are making the most of their opportunities to benefit from these efforts is an open question, one that Steven Zucker tries to address in his article on Teaching at University Level. It is also the other side of the quality coin.