A business model for universities


Sir, – The correspondents from NUI Galway (Letters, April 8th) raised the problem of precarious employment in the university particularly as it affects junior staff members.

Your readers will also recently be aware of the discrimination in promotion against female staff members in the university.

Such problems have arisen from the decision of the management to adopt the business model for university organisation. In this model, the president becomes the CEO of a large enterprise, professors and senior staff become line-managers while junior staff function as insecure employees to undertake administrative and teaching duties.

Within this university structure specific “centres of excellence” are created, wherever possible headed by an expensive superacademic, to attract funds from industry and international bodies such as the EC. Like any private company, money is the driving force and the measure of success.

Against this background is it any wonder that there is discontent and unrest in third-level institutions? Cardinal John Henry Newman must be turning in his grave! – Yours, etc,



Emeritus Professor of


NUI Galway.