University Management, the Academic Profession, and Neoliberalism

By John S. Levin, Marie C. Martin, and Ariadna I. López Damián

Subjects: Education, Higher Education, Education Policy And Leadership, Educational Administration, Educational Research
Paperback : 9781438479101, 210 pages, January 2021
Hardcover : 9781438479095, 210 pages, August 2020

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Table of contents


Introduction: The Management of the Academic Profession

1. Full-time Tenure Track Faculty: Academic Professional Identity and Managerialism

2. Non-Tenure Track Faculty: Professionals with Commitment and Self-Worth in an Exploitative Environment

3. Department Chairs: Dual Roles, Dual Identities

4. Academic Deans: Double Agents of Two Institutional Logics and Two Institutional Domains

5. Higher Education Management in the U. S. University


A unique examination of how faculty and university administrators understand their work and professional identities under neoliberalism.


This book examines tensions and challenges in the professional lives and identities of contemporary academics. Drawing on extensive interviews conducted over seven years with academics in the United States and the United Kingdom, the authors analyze the experiences of four types of academics as they respond and adjust to the demands of neoliberalism: part-time faculty, full-time faculty, department heads and chairs, and deans. While critical of this phenomenon, University Management, the Academic Profession, and Neoliberalism also recognizes that neoliberalism cannot be driven out of academia easily or without serious consequences, such as a perilous loss of revenue and public support. Instead, it works to shed light on the complex—sometimes contradictory, sometimes complementary—relationship between market values and academic values in the roles and behaviors of faculty and administrators. In providing an unprecedented in-depth, data-based look at the management of the academic profession, the book will be of interest not only to educational researchers but also to professionals throughout higher education.

John S. Levin is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of California, Riverside. His many books include Community Colleges and New Universities under Neoliberal Pressures: Organizational Change and Stability. Marie C. Martin is Director of Academic Services at the University of California, Riverside Extension and an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education at the University of Redlands. Ariadna I. López Damián is Professor at Tecnológico Nacional de México, Instituto Tecnológico de Chilpancingo.


"It is notable that this book was published in 2020, a year of unprecedented crisis and change that will inevitably impact the academy. There has never been a more important moment to balance the forces of traditional academic roles/identities and neoliberalism. The authors provide valuable information for faculty and academic leaders/managers to help make decisions about the future of university management. " — CHOICE

"The authors provide a new in-depth approach to understanding the influence of neoliberalism on traditional academic culture, values, and logic. " — Walter H. Gmelch, coauthor of Building Academic Leadership Capacity: A Guide to Best Practices